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Old October 30th, 2013, 04:51 PM   #1
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Qualities in a good editor

Hey guys trying to get better at editing highlight wedding videos for weddings. What makes a good editor? What qualities makes for a good clean proper edit. Is there any rules to editing? Any tips from experienced editors on cutting or editing?

Also how do you know if its a good job on editing? What qualities does the video have to be a good proper editing job?

What makes a good editor?

I got one advice recently from a top editor saying a good edit is when someone won't anticipate what will come next.

Last edited by Andre Pimentel; October 30th, 2013 at 05:33 PM.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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Re: Qualities in a good editor

People have written books on the topic of what makes a good editor! I don't know...

I guess speed is very important; wedding budgets are always limited. Ability to sort through tonnes of footage quickly, and make good decisions quickly, and navigate around their NLE quickly.

Patience. Ability to sit in that room for hours on end staring at a screen. Not everyone is cut out for it. I know I'm not.

Eye for detail, meaning things like keeping gear out of frame, or cutting a shot if it goes a bit dodgy at the end, and also noticing all that's good about an image -- noticing what's going on emotionally in the content.

Thoroughness -- there might be 14 hours of footage, but I want the editor to find the diamonds amongst all the crap.

Preparedness to go the extra mile to add some wow factor, even if it's time-consuming. Random example: I shot a wedding last year for a couple who are mad computer gamers, requested computer game music for the edit, and particularly like the game Portal. The editor went the extra mile to a nice little After Effects Portal animation at the end of the video.

A degree of maturity and restraint. I think wedding videos have to walk a line between too romantic and not romantic enough. I personally don't like to produce soppy, too-sentimental, over-the-top work.

Practicality. They should care about things like, "Make sure there's enough shots of the bride's mother in there", and of course things like, "Make sure the bride looks good in every shot."

Sheer creativity and sensitivity count for the most, and are hardest to evaluate. When I outsource edits, I want to be surprised -- I want the editor to do things I wouldn't have thought of doing myself. I want them to do things that aren't plodding and linear. and I also want there to be some sort of subtlety and meaning from the interplay of sound and visual. That's cinema to me, more so than the shallow depth and slider shots.

This is a stupid thing to say, but it's amazing the difference a good editor makes. My shooting partner and I do a lot of subcontractor work for other video companies, and we notice how different each company's editing style is, though we're essentially giving everyone the same footage.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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Re: Qualities in a good editor

I don't do highlights at all as the bride never asks for them but for me highlights are usually geared more towards advertising your skills to other brides. Well, if I did do them for promo purposes I would still make them bride appealing cos I wanted the business.

I think you have to be very careful and clear about doing a highlight and it's purpose. It might be great to get rave comments from the DVInfo community about how skilful your edit is and how well you have colour graded etc etc BUT if that doesn't appeal to the brides then you haven't really succeeded.

If your bridal market relies on romantic and soppy video then that's what you have to do to get the business. It's just important that you make sure that your highlight edit is not being created to impress your mates rather than impress new prospective brides .. in my mind that's what they should be for ....If it's a teaser to keep the bride happy while you take the next 6 weeks then gear it towards her and future brides .. My DVD's on in the bride's hot little hands before she is back from honeymoon so highlights are not really necessary but if I do create a hightlight/showreel once in a while it's intention is purely to get more business so make sure the edit reflects this.

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Old October 30th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Qualities in a good editor

Good advice from both Adrian & Chris.

To sum it up, you need to be able to handle your workload really well. The style of video you offer will most likely be the same as every other videographer unless your selling a niche video, what ever that may be.

The best way to handle your workload is to learn your NLE inside & out. I've come to the realisaton once I had famliarised myself with certain tools in my NLE (Sony Vegas) I was able to be so much more creative and productive.

And best of all ... if I made a mistake filming, I was able to rectify it in post production. Fix it enough that the bride didn't complain and was happy - being able to do that is KEY.

Doesn't matter what other videographers think of your work. It's all about the customer.
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Old October 30th, 2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Re: Qualities in a good editor

Adrian hit on all the attributes I would have mentioned. "In the Blink of an Eye" is a great book written by Walter Murch on the art of film editing. The book goes into detail on why cuts work, how people perceive a film they are watching based on how it is edited. Pretty deep stuff and a good read.

- Art Varga www.vargaproductions.com
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