January 7, 2014
Video editing is one of the more personal facets of filmmaking in that no two people do it exactly the same way. We all develop our own media workflows, our own ways of organizing projects, and we all cut differently. Unfortunately, sometimes the editing habits that we develop aren’t necessarily the best, and sometimes they’re just straight-up lazy and they don’t help us do our jobs to the best possible extent. Luckily, a new year is right around the corner, which means that it’s time to start making resolutions and to start working on giving up the bad editing habits that have been holding our work back.
Before we can resolve to give up our bad editing habits, we should identify what some of the worst habits are. Recently, Videomaker shared a list of 10 habits that editors need to break. Here are a few of the most pertinent:
A lot of creative people like to wing it, take things serendipitously and let a project unfold as they work on it. This is a habit that’s easy to fall into as a video editor, footage shows up and the editor sorts it out as they go. The danger lies in the fact that a project may consume more time than necessary when a video editor is winging it, and they run the risk of missing the point. Instead of shooting from the hip, be prepared and make a plan. Learning to have a few contingency plans that can apply to multiple projects will a make a video editor more productive and help them to stay on task.
Keeping in a Cluttered Workspace
It’s no lie, video editing can be messy. It’s also a bad habit. That doesn’t mean a video editor has to like it or live there. A video editor who keeps their workspace, virtual space, and their projects well-organized will be more proficient.
Audio is one half of video and it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Mixing audio as a rote technical process is a bad habit that kills a lot of good videos. A good audio mix is a skillfully crafted element of video editing. A video editor should at the least make sure that there are no audio cutoffs, that audio levels remain appropriately consistent, and that any music bed used enhances the edit.
These mistakes are ones that many of us make, but perhaps the most egregiously overlooked of all is audio. Many of us are starting to get privy to the basics of good production audio, but on the editorial side of things, many young editors still overlook the basics of mixing and mastering audio. So, for the new year, let’s all start treating audio with the importance that it deserves.
Personally, my editing resolution is to start organizing my media and assets better, no matter the size of the project. On large projects I usually organize the project
with a pre-determined file structure created by an absolutely fantastic program called Post Haste. However, since I’m mostly working on small projects and personal projects, I’m often not very strict about my asset management. This lackadaisical approach has certainly bitten me in the ass quite a few times as I’ve misplaced all kinds of media. Not in 2014. It’s going to be a year of organized media for this guy.
Make sure you head on over to Videomaker to see all 10 of the bad editing habits that need to be broken.
What do you guys think? What are some of your worst habits as a video editor, and more importantly, how do you look to change them in the new year? Let us know down in the comments!