Selecting an editor is the first step. Without a doubt, our Joyco editors are the best, so you can save a lot time by having Joyco shoot and then edit your production. Skilled in the use of all the extremely complicated computer software modern video production demands. Time is money and if you don’t have to spend a lot time poring over demo reels trying to decide on an editor, you’re already saving cash.
The Importance of a Good Script
Previously, I mentioned how important a good script is to a successful production. In post-production, a good script is now even more important, because it will serve as a guide for your video editor, a road map if you will. He or she will now know how to shape the raw footage into a finished production that relates the message you intend to communicate to your audience.
Hopefully, since you had a good shooting script, one of your intrepid production staff members, has kept track of the good and bad takes during the course of shooting. Going into the editing process with a good idea of what material is usable, is another way to save time and money. Endless reviewing of take after take will drive your budget skyward. Know your material before you start the editing process.
Occasionally, projects have to be shot in an “unscripted” fashion because it simply is not possible to organize the project into script form before shooting starts.
Unscripted productions raise all sorts of budgetary problems, mainly related to selecting the raw. You literally have to sit down and view all the footage shot, to pick out the best shots that tell your story. This is called “off-line” editing, since it usually involves only the client watching the raw footage with the director/producer, and making notes called an “edit decision list” that spells out which shots should be passed on to the editor.
This takes a lot of time. Save money. Shoot with a script! And if you can’t come up with a script, at least develop a fairly detailed shot list before shooting begins, so you don’t end up with footage that’s not usable or is not necessary to tell your story.
Okay, we’ve explored a few ideas of how proper scripting can affect your editing budget. Fascinating how all these elements work together to affect the whole project isn’t it?
Now lets discuss “on-line” editing, full-fledged editing with an editor, including visual effects, graphics, sound effects, and music. Sound expensive? It can be, but it’s this area of post-production that can really make or break a production, and by the same token, require decisions from you as to how much money you want to spend on editing your project.
There’s an old axiom floating around the video production industry: you spend 80% of your budget on the final 20% of the process. Well, I suggest spending 80% of your budget on the editing process and 20% on production. Obviously you can adjust these numbers to fit the situation, but I’ve seen too many productions suffer because not enough of the over-all budget was reserved for the editing process.
What good is it to have the best footage in the world slapped together without adding the finer touches a truly talented editor can add to the end result? As I said already, editing can make or break your video. This is the most important area of your production, where you may need to increase your budget.
On-line editing costs are mostly associated with the amount of time you can afford to pay the editor to assemble and massage the video into a sophisticated video.
An editor can use motion graphics, animation, special effects, sound effects, audio sweetening and finally, music to create your message. Other elements may also include adding voice-over recordings and, if you can afford it, enlisting the help of a music composer to pen some original music.
Using all these elements requires special knowledge, not many people possess. That’s why good editors are so rare and why you should reserve the lion’s share of you budget for the post-production process.
As the editing process begins, the editor using the script as the road map, will assemble the footage and produce a “rough cut” version of the project. As the client, you will be called into the edit suite to offer input and opinions as to the value of what the editor has assembled. The editor will then take your input and further modify the video to produce the final version. You will again be called upon to approve the final cut.
Producing a video means a significant time commitment on the part of the client. Can you devote enough time as well as money to the process? You’d be surprised how many clients expect the production crew to make key decisions regarding content of the video. We can offer advice, but it’s your baby. Only you know what you want your baby to grow up to be!
Let’s jump to the end of the process. You’ve got your finished product. How do you distribute it? Broadcast TV, cable TV, the web, hard copies like DVDs or what!?!?
Hopefully, this a question you thought about the answer to at the very beginning of the production process. Video is a very flexible medium, so your editor will need to “encode” the video file into the correct format for the avenue of distribution you have selected.
This takes time, and inevitably adds to the cost of production. But unlike in the old days when duplication was in real time, modern digital duplication is reasonably fast and if your avenue of distribution is say, YouTube, costs drop to practically nothing. You don’t even have to worry about packaging!
So, using the 80/20 for production, the wise video client will spend most of his or her budget on post-production. Shaping good video through editing will make a great video and be money well spent.