A good video, whether it be a music video, marketing campaign video, corporate video, or anything else, must follow 3 important stages:
Post-production is primarily the editing stage. But why is video editing important? I’m not here to tell you that video editing is the most important of them all, hands down. I’m here to tell you that without it, you’ll be left with a complete mess. It’s true that all roles of video production are important. Without a good cameraman, your shot is ruined. Without a good director, your scenes are disorganized and confusing. But without an editor, all of the other aspects of video production can no longer come together to create the masterpiece that you’re trying to create. To better understand this point, here are some of the reasons video editing is so vitally important:
The Perfect Flow
Your film (short or long) can be absolutely amazing with virtually no errors or room for improvement up until the post-production process; however, the flow you have in mind is entirely dependent on the editors working with the director and cinematographer. Have you ever been shooting a scene when all of a sudden something unexpected and completely unpredictable ruins it? For example, if a light blows out, you have to replace it and start anew. The flow that you had may have been wonderful, but it can be jammed up in the blink of an eye. When an editor receives the footage, their primary goal is to make it as smooth and organized as possible. Basically, they want to contain the flow that you established. As an editor, it’s their job to make this happen (in conjunction with the director, producer, cinematographer, and anyone else involved in these decisions of course). It’s capturing this flow with cuts, pace, and sound that makes a stunning film.
Cutting Your Way to Success
In video editing, one of the most common and most effective ways to achieve the perfect flow is through cuts. Cutting in and of itself is not difficult: you choose a start and end time and there you go, it’s gone. But that’s not all that goes into a cut. To make your video’s flow ideal, you have to cut shots at the perfect time. Timing is critical! Cut it too soon and you end up with a sudden stop that the audience was not expecting. Cut it too late and you end up with a shot that seems to drag on forever.
Switching Gears…or Scenes
Transitions make all the difference in the world to a scene. Sometimes, without a transition you end up with a jumpy, fast-paced mess that nobody wants to watch. Video editing makes these transitions smooth and elegant. The flow that the editor is trying to preserve is what makes the film great, and transitions (in conjunction with cutting) are a way to keep the pace of the film controlled. With the pace under control, the editor can focus on equally as important changes, such as continuity editing, coloring, layering, and sound editing.
The Forgotten One: Sound Editing
What the first thing is that comes to mind when you hear the word “editing”? I’m going to guess you didn’t answer with sounds and voice-overs. Everyone thinks of video editing as the visual part. Although this is true, it’s not the whole story. Editing a film so that the pictures flow does not necessarily mean the audio flows as well. Adjusting volumes levels and synchronizing audio clips with video clips can be anything but a walk in the park; however, it can also make your film exactly as it was intended. Sound editing is how your film can set the mood and evoke emotions from your audience. Replacing a sound track with another, unintended one can really open your eyes to what it is sound editing truly does for us. To drive the point of sound editing and choices of sounds home, take a look at this video of the Matrix club scene with a…different approach to audio. Although it may be a bit extreme, it does illustrate the importance of sound editing!
Video editing is important because it is the key to blending images and sounds to make us feel emotionally connected and sometimes truly there in the film we’re watching. It’s a safe assumption to say that video editing is among the most important jobs in the film industry. With professional video editing you can create an emotion-evoking masterpiece, and it can make or break your film, which is why it’s just as important to choose the right video editor as it is to choose the right camera equipment.