In the past there have been many good reasons why someone might choose to hire or work with a remote editor, however during the time of Covid-19 it’s become more of a necessity. If you’re planning on working with an off-site editor, there are some things you can do that will:
- Help you choose the right editor.
- Lower your editing costs.
- Improve your experience.
- Increase the odds that you’re happy with your editors’ work.
With a little pre-planning, you’ll be able to accomplish all of the above.
This will be covered in two parts:
- Part 1 will cover how to choose the right editor for you.
- Part 2 will include tips for working efficiently and effectively with your editor.
Let’s dig right in to part 1!
How do you choose the right editor for the job?
Every editor is different. If you gave 25 editors the same exact footage with the same directions, you’d get 25 different edited versions of the video.
Genre experience is important.
I’d recommend finding someone who has not only done projects that are similar to yours, but who tends to focus on that type of project. Exact matches are not necessary. It’s more of a genre issue.
For example, if it’s a business video, I’d suggest finding a business focused editor. So, if you’re selling shoes in your commercial, it’s not necessary for them to have edited shoe commercials in the past. However, they should have some understanding of the business concepts that go into editing a successful video. They should know how to implement those concepts in the edit.
Or if it’s a dramatic TV show or reality show, you’re better off finding someone who has done a lot of these and knows how to tell a good story through editing.
If it’s a comedy, you’ll want someone with a good sense of comic timing.
The same applies to music videos. You’ll want an editor that appreciates the type of music that’s in your video, and has plenty of experience editing music videos.
Storytelling is always essential.
Regardless of the type of project, you also need to find an editor who knows how to tell a story.
Anyone can cut together a series of video clips. Editing is more about storytelling. This is true regardless of the genre. When I think of a good editor, I think of a bunch of kids around a campfire, and one of them is telling a story with flashlight lighting his face. Everyone is sitting on the edge of their seat waiting to see what happens next. A good editor creates an experience. It’s the same whether it’s a business video or an epic movie.
How can you tell if an editor is a good match? You’ll want to see samples of videos they’ve edited. Most editors will show you their editing demo reel, which is great. You’ll want to see that. That demo reel should give you a sense of what the editor specializes in, and their editing style. But you’ll also want to see multiple samples of actual shows they’ve edited. Preferably something in the same genre. With these you can get a better look at the editors’ style and skills. This can give you a feel for who you match up with best.
Before all this, you’ll want to have a solid vision for your project.
One thing that will help you choose the best editor is to have a vision for your project before-hand. You’ll want an idea of what it should look and feel like. Then you’ll want to look around for someone who has done something similar. Again, it’s not important for the editor to have done something exactly like your project, but it’s best if they understand the genre.
What about editing platforms? Does it matter what tools they use?
As far as editing platforms go, there are three main editing systems currently in use:
- Final Cut Pro
- Adobe Premier
When you get your hair cut, do you want to know what kind of scissors and blow dryer the stylist uses? Or do you want to know if they’re talented and skilled? Do you look at the process of how they cut hair, or do you look at the end result of their work? Which program the editor uses usually shouldn’t make a difference to you.
There’s one situation where the platform is important. This is when you might need to have the edit project files so you can make changes to your editor’s work later on. If that’s the case, then you’d want to choose someone using the same platform as you use. Though be aware that most editors, unless it’s agreed to upfront, won’t release their project files. It’s like asking a restaurant to release their recipes when you’ve enjoyed your dinner.
After you’ve chosen, the work begins!
Now you’ve found your editor. What can you do to get the best possible results and to keep your costs down? Stay tuned. We’ll discuss this in part 2.