Also referred to as editing, the post-production process is when you convert, condense, correct and/or organize raw video footage, film or photos into a format for publication, broadcasting and/or dissemination.
Although I could probably list many more – here’s five (5) tips each producer should seriously consider when editing wedding and/or event videos.
Tip Number One:
Pre-planning is very important. Plan for the final result before and during the entire shoot. A professional videographer, whether the actual editor or not, will record the event with the final product in mind.
Its been said that the best editors make good shooters. Since I edit the majority of the footage that I tape, whether its for myself or someone else, I approach each project with a vision of the final product. Most artists have a vision of what the final print will or should look like before they approach the canvas. The same applies to video. And although you may not always have the luxury of a prepared script and/or story board – you should always begin with the end in mind.
Tip Number Two:
If utilizing two or more cameras to tape the same wedding ceremony or event, its suggested that you start each camera simultaneously. This is especially important if each camera is isolated from the others. In some situations where multiple cameras are used – you will have the luxury of feeding each camera into a master recording deck via a video switcher.
For those who do not have the convenience of a multi-input video switcher – starting each camera in “record mode” at the exact same moment will save a great deal of time and grief in post-production. Its in post-production where most of the work is performed and synchronizing the video from each camera can sometimes be very challenging – especially if one or more of the cameras stopped recording during the event.
Its the responsibility of the director, producer or production manager to insist that each camera operator keep the camera rolling (except for tape or media changes) during the entire wedding ceremony, speech or main presentation.
Tip Number Three:
Log the footage from each video tape, hard drive or memory device based on what occurred in the field. And while this is a detail that each editor must work out based on individual preferences – I find it helpful to log raw footage based on which camera it originated from (example, Camera #1, #2, etc) or the particular view that the camera was assigned to capture (example, b-roll camera, bride’s camera, groom’s camera, wide shot camera, etc).
Logging the footage and any separate audio source (such as from a CD, hard drive, memory device or digital audio recorder) is key to a successful and stress-free edit session. Assembling together all of the components for the final edit is like a baker who gathers all of the ingredients together for a cake or loaf of bread. If you miss any of the key ingredients – the final outcome might not be acceptable.
Tip Number Four:
Take time to create and gather graphics, photos and other on-screen components that serve to enhance the final production. For 99% of the videos we produce, we normally create – at minimum – an introduction and exit. Additionally, we also have the ability to incorporate on-screen titles, company logos, still photos and PowerPoint slides. Take time and make sure all of these necessary components are readily available before starting the post-production process. And above all, especially when creating on-screen titles and ending credits, double check for spelling errors. If in doubt, check with the event organizer, bride and/or groom about spelling variations, fonts, colors and special graphics that should be used.
Spelling of names can vary greatly. For example, if the printed wedding program lists the maid of honor as Johnny and you think it should be spelled – Johnnie – make an inquiry. Its better than having to re-edit, re-render and re-burn the final DVD(s) due to a spelling error.
Tip Number Five:
If at all possible, seek the assistance and advice of a second set of eyes. Although every professional editor will check and re-check their work for accuracy, creativity and flow – we all make mistakes. Ask at least one other if not 2 or 3 people to view the final production before you make the master and final-edited copy. And while you’re not attempting to re-edit the entire project from beginning to end – its always good to seek the opinion of others.
You should always strive for excellence. And for those who are truly compassionate about their work – you may soon have more assignments than you can handle.