What are the three most important pieces of an editing workflow? What are some key ways to stay organized while editing? What systems or processes do you use on a regular basis?

JOHN-CLAY: When it comes to editing, there are three key rules. Be organized, be organized and work in passes. You thought I was going to say organized. You could say, “Be organized” three times, and it still wouldn’t be enough. So be organized when you’re offloading footage, and when you’re putting it onto your system, onto your drives, however your file folder structures are, be organized. Reflect that organization inside of your editing software. That saves a lot of time. Especially if you’re doing similar processes or similar projects repetitiously, it can save a lot of time. If you’re trying to find something, the client needs changes, you want to make an adjustment, being able to find those in music, sound effects, graphics effects, files, research, exports, just have a place where you put all of that for each project that we can find it quickly.

Be organized, be organized and work in passes. Click To Tweet

Even inside the program, I like to take all my footage and drop it into separate sequences, so that I can scrub through it and find it. I don’t just double-click all the footage in the bins and watch through each of them there. I use Adobe Premiere; I’ve heard if you use Avid, or one of those, sometimes that can be an easy way to work in that program. But for Premiere, I like to drop it into timeline, so I can see it all and I can scrub through it. Things I like I will then often bump up to the next track so I can see very quickly to visual glance what I liked and stuff that I haven’t used or that I didn’t like, I didn’t think was as helpful. I’ll copy a lot of the stuff that I did like into a new sequence.

And I’ll start editing. When I want to make major revisions, I will duplicate that sequence and name it version two, and name it version three and version four, so I can go back. So I’m very organized. I’m always trying to think of contingencies.

What if I try something new? If I want to rearrange a thing, I’ll make a new sequence. That way if I don’t like it, or the client doesn’t like it, I don’t have to recreate it or remember what I did, I can go back or find a different version of the way things were laid out. So I like to do versions of sequences and, again, keep that organized in bins.

Don't make finished film in increments. Click To Tweet

The third piece is work in passes. Don’t make finished film in increments as you go, think of how to do all of one thing at a time, then all another thing in time, and all the titles at a time, then all the color at a time, then all your sound work at a time. Working in passes, start to finish, is really helpful for efficiency’s sake. It helps you speed up, because it’s creating repetitious stuff, especially if you’re working episodes or multiple pieces that have a lot of similar type things. You can find faster ways of doing that instead of having to do it all, individually, incrementally as you go.

Bethany Meckle

Bethany Meckle

Content Curator

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