How Video Editors Are The New Multi-taskers

What is a video editor?

Is it someone who carefully sifts through footage, finds the gems and polishes them off for the audience? Or is it someone who knows how to create amazing animated explainer videos with moving graphics and eye catching visuals... Is an editor someone who knows where to make a cut, time a musical score, build tension and create action? Are they someone who can take a finished piece and manipulate an invisible color palette to create mood for an audience? Or is an editor simply someone with a good eye and natural ability for timing?

You can probably guess where this is going. In our insanely fast paced modern world, to call yourself a video editor you better be able to do all of these things and more. Or if you can't, you should be really good at some of them and learning the rest as you go. What I am really getting at here is the relationship between client expectations and the ability of a small post production house to handle it all. Of course there are many exceptions, but for the most part let's focus on a small video production studio much like us at First Pillar Studios.

Our work flow usually begins with a client asking us to create ideas and concepts for a project. We come to an agreement on a creative outline and plan accordingly. Then we move into production and shooting, which depending on your budget can vary greatly

Finally we move into post production. Simple right?

But if you break down even just the first step of the workflow, you can see how easily things can get out of hand.

Ideas and concepts are limited only to your ability to follow through on them. If your small team is limited by your own ability, then you will find yourself having to look elsewhere to finish a project. For example: let's say you have 2 actors walking into a movie theater, then they walk up to the screen and jump into it and begin dancing and then become animated versions of themselves and fly away. Whoa! That 20 second clip sounds simple but is extremely time consuming to pull off. The post production process on that would involves compositing multiple layers of shots, keying out background, rotoscoping and then on top of all of that - animating! If you don't have a multitalented team to pull it off then you will have to subcontract out some of the work and therefore raise the budget. A higher budget might not get you the client...which means no job for anyone!

The moral of the story?

If your an editor, learn as much as possible. Even if your not starting your own business, knowing as much about your trade as you can comes in handy and may get you a well deserved promotion. If your a business owner, hiring an editor is a big decision. Make sure you get someone who knows their craft, who had a wide range of knowledge, and can handle different kinds of projects. If you can't find a jack of all editor, find someone who is open to continual education and willing to keep learning.