The video shoot is over, the director has called out: “That’s a wrap!”and the crew has gone home. And your dream is in pieces.
Don’t worry. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Every element has been created. Now it’s time to assemble those pieces into the masterpiece that matches your final vision.
Welcome to the editing phase. We could say editing is the next step in creating the final video, but the process actually encompasses several steps that fall under the general umbrella of post-production. We’ll deal with those separately. For now, let’s look at the meat and potatoes of editing: putting together your video in a way that tells your story.
There are two basic methods of editing: linear and non-linear. When videotape was first developed, editors actually used the cut-and-splice method, where unwanted material was literally cut out piece by piece and the remaining material was spliced together. Later that process was simplified to allow editors to copy only the desired material from a source tape onto another tape, thus preserving all of the original source material. Non-linear editing is an extension of that. It involves transferring digitally recorded material (a process sometimes called “ingesting”) to a computer. From there, the editor can access material without the loss of quality that often came when transferring video and audio from one tape to another. Because the source material is preserved intact, non-linear editing is sometimes referred to as non-destructive editing.
There are several non-linear editing platforms available. You may be familiar with two of them: Microsoft’s Movie Maker and Apple’s iMovie. These are typically included with your computer’s operating system, and have become increasingly sophisticated since their debut. On a professional level, there are several systems that editors prefer to use for their versatility and the high quality of the end product.
One of those systems is Adobe’s Premiere Pro. This was among the first computer-based non-linear editing systems. (A simpler version called Premiere Elements is available for home users.) Premiere Pro has incredible versatility, including integration with another Adobe product called After Effects that allows the editor to create special visual effects and to generate and animate two and three-dimensional graphics. (At Hencar, we also employ professional graphic artists for these complex jobs to ensure you get the highest quality graphics available.) Premiere Pro, like some other Adobe products including Photoshop, works on the principle of layers. Each element in a scene can be placed on its own layer. For example, an actress depicting Eve can stand with her hand palm-up on one layer. On another layer, a rotating apple is placed. When the two are superimposed, it appears the apple is hovering and rotating over Eve’s hand.
Two of the other popular non-linear systems are Final Cut Pro (Apple) and Avid Media Composer. Within the industry they are more or less considered competitors, and each has a fan base. Both have been used in the movie industry, although Final Cut initially gained a stronger following among independent filmmakers. Avid has strong support in the mainstream television and film industry. It even won an Oscar in 1999 for concept, system design, and engineering for motion picture editing. Now that people have seen what Final Cut can do it’s closer to an even match. Like Adobe, both Final Cut Pro and Media Composer have specific advantages which make them more appropriate for certain projects.
You can be certain Hencar will line up the perfect editor to meet the needs of your project, ensuring you get a high-quality final product that will make you proud.
Learn more about our other Post-Production services:
- Color correction
- Video transcoding and compression
- Motion graphics & animation
- Sound booth recording
- Audio sweeting and mixing