The Third Stage of the Video Production Process: Editing

Borrowed from my friend Kevin Anson

After all the planning and shooting is complete, it’s time to put everything together to form one coherent piece, much like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. The third and final stage of the video production process involves several steps and typically takes longer than the first two stages. The final stage is crucial, so if you don’t know how to edit a video, you need to make sure to use the expertise of an experienced editor or video production company. This third stage can make or break your video and includes video and soundtrack editing, motion graphics, and producing the video in multiple compression formats for final distribution.

Collaborating with a video editor or production company

Here are some important collaboration tips to help ensure your video is what you envisioned:
Be proactive – Ask and answer questions promptly and communicate often throughout the process. Also called the rough cut, viewing this will help give you some ideas and suggestions that will make the final product exactly what you want.

Start from the beginning – Ask for a sample, or a first draft at the beginning of the editing process to avoid problems later. It’s much easier to fix things early on than to have the entire video done wrong and have to start all over again.

Give feedback – Don’t be afraid to give an honest opinion on how you feel about what you see, so everyone is on the same page. Jot down your suggestions and questions, and then submit them in one document or a single email communication. Write them in a clear, concise manner to help the editor make the changes easier and faster.

Find out about formatting – Ask about formatting and find out what you’ll need for your purposes when it comes time to distribute your video. Make sure your editor or production company completes the video in several compression formats, so you can use them in multiple places. A professional editor or video production company will be happy to answer your questions completely and promptly.

Ideas in motion

Motion graphics are graphics that use video footage and/or animation technology to create the illusion of motion or rotation, graphics are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects. To see examples of motion graphics, visit our video gallery.

Consistency – The most important thing to know about motion graphics is that you need to make sure they are consistent throughout your video. This means that the colors, look and feel of the motion graphics should all look the same. An example of this would be if you had one full screen graphic that used the font Arial in the color blue, then the next graphic used the font Times New Roman in purple, this is not what you consider ‘consistency’ amongst your motion graphics. Keep your graphics simple, clean, consistent and your viewers will thank you.

Match your brand The design of your motion graphics is extremely important. Too many times, we see videos where the motion graphics simply do not match the colors or the logo of the intended brand. For example, if your website colors are blue and white, and your logo is red, we recommend using those same colors throughout your motion graphics. Plus if you have some design elements on your website, i.e. circles or arrows, its recommended to use those in the motion graphics design as well. Especially if the video will be living on your website.

A few words about video editing techniques

Mentioned in the section above, editing and formatting is an important part of the final stage of the video production process, so here’s what you need to know:

Terminology knowledge helps – While discussing video compression formatting with your editor or video production company, words, like, “compression,” and “codec” come up often. Compression is the process of making a video file smaller. Codec, the combination of the two words, compression and decompression, refers to specific software or hardware that shrinks or expands video data into a certain video format.

Size counts – Video compression formatting is simply the process of making a video into a usable size, depending on where you plan to distribute it. For maximum usability, ask to have your video produced in three sizes: small, which is 640×360 pixels – a standard size for YouTube; medium, which is 854×480 or 960×540; and large, which is normally 1280×720.

Compression types matter – The two types of video compression is lossy and lossless. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. To keep it simple, lossy compression involves losing some of the original data, however, it helps to make files much smaller, and it usually takes a serious amount of data loss to see an effect on the quality. Lossless compression will give you high quality results, but the file will be larger and not suitable for all platforms.

Don’t forget the audio

Some people get so involved in the images in a video; they forget to pay attention to the audio, which is an important component of the video production process.

Safe and sound – The editor usually edits the sounds, music and dialogue separately, and then applies them to the video to enhance the footage. The purpose of sound design is to help the images flow smoothly from beginning to end.

The latest and greatest – Make sure that your video editor or production company uses the latest, professional audio equipment and the audio software. Since improvements and innovations are constantly emerging, do your homework to find out what the best video editors are currently using and then make sure your editor has similar equipment. They don’t need equipment or programs that came out yesterday, but they should be relatively up to date.

Give it a listen – Ask to hear the soundtrack early in the editing process and try to work closely with your editor along the way. Provide your ideas on what you’d like to see during the video. This will avoid having to start all over when the video is completed and you realize it doesn’t reflect your vision.

Once everything is completed, you have your final cut. If you’ve been proactive during the entire process, you’ll end up with an engaging video that creates the results you want.

Questions, ideas, suggestion? Shoot me an email or a reply. We always love to hear from you!


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