One of the things that makes me who I am as a video editor is that I can visualize aspects of the project that haven’t occurred yet. When I see a scene or a picture, I know how it will work (if at all) with other footage I’ve seen. When I hear something, I know what I can use it for. Basically, I create the video while I’m reviewing the footage and then I basically trace what I already saw instead of building a video from scratch and wondering whether it’s going to work or not.
There are a lot of elements that go into making a video that don’t become important until the final output, yet if you don’t pay attention to those elements ahead of time (known as pre-production), you may end up needing to re-do all the work you just did. Elements include frame dimensions (16×9 vs 4×3), frame size (in pixels), data rate, codec, font, font size, lower 3rds, drop shadows, transitions… For just one example, if your video is going to be seen @ 320×180 (width and height, in pixels), you’re going to want to deal with your font sizes differently than if you were going to present in 1280×720 HD (high definition). If you act as if you’re going to output in HD, you might have to change all your titles when the client sees them in 320×180, because they can’t be read.
The reason I bring this up is that this ability increases my efficiency. I know the questions to ask ahead of time so I don’t waste time. Also, I can see my way clear through to the end of the project. I can basically “see” the finished video as if I fast-forwarded time to when I was finished. This is because everything goes onto a “checklist”. If I know what the video dimensions are, I can visualize the size that the final output will be. If I know the font, I can imagine what the text will look like…
OTOH… If I *DON’T* know what the background color is… That becomes apparent to me in my visualization and I ask the client if they want to use a background image or they have a specific color in mind. Same thing for font color or music selection. I have a good basic idea of what’s missing and what I need to figure out ASAP in order to efficiently get the job done. Continue reading “Time, Part 07: “Subcontracting””