Video editing is an essential part of the video production process, much like cooking is an essential part of preparing a meal. Just as a chef carefully selects ingredients and combines them in a specific way to create a delicious dish, a video editor carefully selects footage and combines it in a specific way to create a compelling story.
Both cooking and video editing require creativity, attention to detail, and the ability to bring all the elements together in a cohesive way. Without proper editing, a video production can fall flat and fail to engage its audience.
This is how we approach the video editing process.
Step 1: let’s start with the end goal in mind
Starting the video editing process with a goal in mind is crucial for making sure the final product is awesome. Having a clear goal helps guide the editing process and keeps the focus on what we want to achieve. It also lets the editor make decisions about which footage to use, how to structure the video, and what mood to set. For example, if the goal is to create a video that educates and informs, the editor may choose to include more informative content and less focus on visual effects. But if the goal is to create a video that emotionally connects with the audience, the editor may choose to include more personal stories and focus on building an emotional connection.
Also, having a goal in mind makes it super easy to measure the success of the final product. If the goal was to increase brand awareness, we can measure the success by checking if there’s an increase in brand awareness after the video was released.
Before we begin any video production journey, we always sit down with our clients and chat about the goal of the video. This is a chance for us to understand our client’s objectives, target audience, and what they want to achieve with the video. By discussing the goal upfront, we can make sure the final product aligns with our client’s marketing strategy and meets their specific requirements. It also sets clear expectations and makes sure everyone is on the same page, which leads to a more successful and satisfying final product.
Step 2: let’s review the footage
We always kick off the video editing process by reviewing the footage. It’s essential to get a good feel for the footage and start planning how we want to structure the video.
First, we organize the footage. This usually means putting it into folders by scene or shot. It makes it way easier to find specific footage later on in the process.
Next, we watch the footage and take notes on what we see. We jot down any specific shots that stand out, moments that are particularly emotive, or any technical issues that need to be addressed. We also start getting an idea of what the structure of the video will be and which shots will be used to tell the story.
After the initial review, we start sorting the footage into different categories. Like “B-roll” (supplementary footage that is used to add visual interest), “interviews” etc. This makes it easier to find specific shots later on when we’re ready to start assembling the video.
Step 3: we need a structure, and a tone
Before we jump into the actual video editing, we need to figure out a structure for the video. And the structure totally depends on the length of the video. Like if you’re asking us to make a short 1-minute video for social media, we’ll come up with a structure that fits that timeframe and makes sure the video makes sense and keeps the audience engaged from start to finish.
But if you’re asking us to make a longer 5-minute video, the structure will be totally different. And we’ll help you figure out the best way to make the most of the longer video and make sure it’s as good as it can be. It’s all about making the most of the time we’ve got and making sure the video is as engaging and effective as possible.
Not only the length of the video, but the structure will also be driven by its tone, mood, and overall rhythm. For example, if you want the video to have a serious tone, the structure will be different than if you want a more lighthearted tone. Similarly, if you want the video to have a fast-paced rhythm to match the energy of your brand or product, the structure will be different than if you want a slow-paced, contemplative video.
The editor will consider these factors when deciding on the best structure for the video. For example, if the video is supposed to be serious, the editor may choose to include more serious footage and use more serious music in the background. On the other hand, if the video is supposed to be light-hearted, the editor may choose to include more playful footage and use more upbeat music in the background.
Additionally, the editor will also consider the audience’s attention span, which is shorter in the case of a short video for social media, and plan the video accordingly. So, the video will have more quick cuts, and less long shots in case of a short video.
Step 4: time to choose the tune
We like to be in control of the video production process and guide our clients through it, so music selection is usually done by our editor who carefully selects a bunch of music tracks for our client’s approval. Once we have the music track/s that we want to use for the editing, we will spend a considerable amount of time adapting the music to the length and structure of the video.
We never work with editors who just slap a music track on the video and close the editing with a simple fade-out effect. That’s not how we roll. Our founder, Matt Callian, has a background in music and puts his heart and soul into this step of the video editing process to make sure it perfectly matches the video and creates the desired tone and mood throughout.
Step 5: time to have fun
After all the prep work is done, it’s now time to put all the beautiful footage to work and start placing it on the timeline. This is the part where we fill in the blanks and tell the story. It’s where the real magic happens, where we work with the visuals and create the video.
During this stage, the editor will begin to assemble the footage on the timeline, and start to shape the story. They will use the footage that was selected during the reviewing process to create a cohesive narrative. This is where the editor will use their creativity to make decisions about what shots to include, and how to pace the story.
Step 6: life is colourful!
We go through every single video clip with a fine-tooth comb and color-correct and grade the footage to give it a specific look. There’s no magic button that does it for us, if you want color grading done right, you gotta do it manually.
This is the step where we give the video the look it deserves. We go through every single frame, adjusting the color, brightness, contrast and saturation to make sure the video pops and looks its best. We’re talking about the little details that make a big difference in how your video comes across. We’re not satisfied until it looks just right!
Step 7: not only it looks good, it also sounds good
One thing that many video editors overlook (or are not trained to do) is the sound mix! But for us, it’s crucial. We are sound maniacs, and for us, a video doesn’t only need to look cool, it needs to sound awesome too.
That’s why we spend a good amount of time polishing the audio, including: perfecting the audio mix, adding audio transitions, sound design and audio effects, compression and normalisation, dialogue optimization. This makes a huge difference between amateur video editing and professional editing work.
During the sound mixing process, we carefully balance the levels of the different audio elements, such as dialogue, music, and sound effects, to ensure that they complement each other and create the desired tone and mood. We also use various techniques such as EQ, compression, and reverb to enhance the overall sound quality and make it more immersive.
Step 8: let’s add the cool stuff
We add all the little extras that make the video look complete like graphics, motion effects, logos, lower thirds, captions, and all the other graphic elements. We’re super careful to make sure we respect your brand’s guidelines during this step. So, we take off our “video editor” hat and put on our “graphics designer” hat.
We make sure that the graphics and effects we add complement the video and make it look polished and professional. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between making the video look cool and making sure it’s on brand. We want to make sure that the final product aligns with your brand’s visual identity and also will be visually appealing.
Step 9: can I see my video???
We probably share the video with you at some of the steps above, for example we will most likely share a version of the video after the colour grading is done, and before adding graphics, so don’t worry, you’ll get a chance to see it at different stages and we’ll keep you in the loop constantly.
You’ll also leave your comments and revisions requests using our sharing platform, where we send you versions of the video and read your notes so we can implement revisions and changes.
When it’s time for final delivery, the video file is sent to you via cloud so you can click and collect 🙂(oops.. download).
Thank you for your time
We’re glad you took the time to read our blog post about our video editing approach. We hope that it gave you a better understanding of the process and the amount of work that goes into creating a high-quality video. We want our clients to be informed and involved in the process, and we believe that by sharing our approach, we can create a more collaborative and successful working relationship.
Video production is an expensive investment, and we want to make it as easy and stress-free as possible for our clients. By sharing our approach, we hope to alleviate any uncertainty and give you a sense of what to expect when working with us.
We believe that the key to creating a great video is to have a clear goal, a solid plan, and a team that is dedicated to achieving that goal. By following the approach outlined in this blog post, we can ensure that the final product is engaging, effective, and meets the client’s needs and expectations.