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Old September 20th, 2014, 06:10 AM   #1
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Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I wonder if there is a study on how video editing can effect the editor's mind and mental health?

It is amazing the amount of intense focus and problem solving the art of video editing is and how one intuitively knows whether something works.

Besides manipulating and invoking an emotional response from the viewer, I think the projects also affect me.

I think about the constant repetition of a playing a sequence and fine tuning it and think I'm getting some Pavlovian damage to my psyche.

Yes, this post is a bit tongue in cheek, but I think there is some truth to it.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 07:00 AM   #2
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I agree with it to some extent.

I don't know how some editors finish their edits in one long stretch.

I can't handle more than 30 minutes at a time without giving my head a break. And I find if I work on a project 2-3 hour tops per day, the end result is always better and more creative.

But then, I do cinematic style wedding films which require a lot more creativity than say corporate or documentary work (from my experience anyway).
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Old September 20th, 2014, 09:48 AM   #3
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I think there's something to John's observation.

For quite some time now, I've been wondering if I was alone (or "not cut out" for editing - no pun intended) in needing a break after 1-2 hrs of editing. Due to deadlines and dates, I've done a few straight-through, long-term sessions; they are grueling, taxing, and "wipe me out" both physically and mentally.

While I'm not sure there's a "psychological" effect due to the content, I describe it as becoming "bug-eyed" after a couple of hours. Much of my work lately has been in the legal field editing, writing for, and narrating pre-settlement/negotiation" brochures with interviews of the plaintiff, which have been educational and can be emotionally compelling, but are not scripted and "wander". So, arriving at a 20-40 minute "documentary" takes lots and lots of cutting. I seldom do more than a 1-2 hr stint before taking a break.

I'm kinda glad to learn that I'm not the only one who needs a break relatively often..
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Old September 20th, 2014, 11:04 AM   #4
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Well when I had a 9-5 job I used to take tea breaks regularly. I couldn't stare at the computer for too long as it resulted in migraines.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #5
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I seem to recall hearing that our brains just aren't made for focusing and concentrating constantly for more than maybe 45 minutes, and it may have been less than that.

It's one reason films have an ebb and flow - you get a little breather before things get intense again.

A variety or work can also be good. Edit for 20-30 minutes, then go answer an email or get a snack. Come back and do another 30.

I'm lucky. I'm a stay at home dad, and have a great excuse to take frequent breathers. So even if it's 20 hours of editing, it takes me 5 days to do it.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 05:47 PM   #6
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Sometimes my back hurts at the end of the day, my wrist, but mostly my eyes get the blunt of it. I used to edit fashion shows during fashion week, 14 hr days at top speed, tight deadlines, when I came home at night I couldn't switch off and sleep, my brain felt like a swarm of bees, now I do TV news editing, sometimes the deadlines are grueling also, but mostly is the content that gets to me: wars, famines, refuges, diseases, ...only tragedies, in short, no news is good news.
Luckily I also shoot, I'm about half editor, half operator, and occasionally a producer, it gets me off the editing chair.
I think it is a valid point , since we stare and strain at moving images in a glaring screen, it can't be a good thing.
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Old September 20th, 2014, 08:30 PM   #7
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

After a long day editing, I will go outside for a walk or a bike, and the world looks totally surreal and somehow hyper-3D. It takes a bit to adjust...
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Old September 20th, 2014, 09:05 PM   #8
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

When I was younger (mid 20s when I first got into video and doing weddings) - I would edit for hours late into the evenings after working my 9-5 job. Never really bothered me.

Fast forward to now, almost 40 years old, and I find myself doing the 20-30 minute thing and taking a break all the time. I find that when I start getting sloppy or trying to force things, that means it's time to go do something else.

I'm doing a lot more creative stuff now than I use to , and it is taxing for sure.
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Old September 21st, 2014, 05:41 PM   #9
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I believe there are studies on working with computers in general. Editors aren't unique in spending long hours in front of a computer screen. Although the individual experience may vary depending on if you're having interactions with directors, reporters, producers etc.

Ideally writers seem to spend around 3 hours a day actually writing, although, this figure appears to apply to long form projects like novels, rather than fast turnaround short form stuff. From a professional editing viewpoint, most projects tend to have tight deadlines and so the amount of downtime to think things out is getting less.

One thing editors claimed that editing on film gave them was the amount of time moving material around gave for thinking. Interestingly that's the sort of low level activity proven to be good for creative thinking.
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 09:56 AM   #10
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

I have found its best to do as much as you can during production to ease post-production. 3 seconds extra spent in production saves me 60 seconds in post.

I assume this is pretty basic, and some of it is a carry-over from film-days:
If I finish filmed a scene, and I instantly know it is not useful, I record a few seconds of a black frame
(close lens cover, turn gain all the way down, cover lens with my hand)
Then once I've uploaded the footage, I can instantly see the black frame and delete it and the scene immediately before it.

Likewise, if I have a scene that I know is a definite keeper, I will film a few seconds of a white frame (usually by turning the gain all the way up).
Again, during post, I can instantly see the white scene and give it its proper attention
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Old May 11th, 2015, 06:45 PM   #11
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Pachiano View Post
I have found it's best to do as much as you can during production to ease post-production. 3 seconds extra spent in production saves me 60 seconds in post.
I have always followed this approach to the limit. When doing sports events, I am so careful about keeping every scene as clean and tight as possible and avoiding superfluous footage, that half the time, I have to do no editing at all.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 11:31 PM   #12
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

i was starting to take on quite a bit of editing work in the last few years. i only really LIKED editing way back in school and for a few years after, at some point realizing i just wasnt that into it. i have now gotten to the point where i actively HATE it. doesnt matter what im editing, something about sitting in that chair dealing with infinitely minute decisions drives me bonkers. the only way i could do it is if i could put in an hour a day, tops, and most deadlines are way to tight for that with many edits taking 40+ hours. i think the most boring day in the field is better than the best day in the chair.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #13
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Quote:
i think the most boring day in the field is better than the best day in the chair.
After almost 10 years I still really like to edit but not when it's under time pressure, then I feel more like a robot doing automated tasks and I don't enjoy it at all, I have decided to stop doing weddings but still need to handle what was booked for this year and at this moment I"m in the most busy part of the year with editing sessions up to 10 to 12 hours a day when I"m not shooting , I am honestly looking forward not having to deal with that pressure anymore so I can start to enjoy shooting video a bit more.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 08:09 AM   #14
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Every once in a while you hear about someone editing for 12 hours a day on a regular basis. I always wonder. . ."HOW????"
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Old May 12th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #15
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Re: Psychological Effects of Video Editing

Every one to two hours I take a break, walk around and get back to it, this is not months in a row, it only happens every year in May when I have to finish several projects with a deadline, after that I can spread my work in a more workable way. But this is the last year I will be doing that. It actually is not that bad, I have worked in an office environment where you where also 8 hours a day hooked on a pc with only two 5 minute and one 30 minute break and that for 5 days a week and a entire year.
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