Post-production—commonly known as editing—is the third and final part of the video production process. Following the pre-production and production phases, post-production involves the assembly of all the elements gathered in the earlier two phases to create a product that aligns with the director's vision. Since video is still an emerging trend on the internet, and can be a great tool to incorporate into an inbound marketing strategy, the editing is not a phase that can be forgotten or taken lightly. While each phase comes with its own challenges, in this article, we will focus on post-production and offer 5 tips to smooth out what can sometimes be a bumpy process.
Gather as many of the assets as you can for the project right off the bat. This will save time later, as you will already have much of what you need and not have to spend as much time choosing things like fonts and images. Since the process is a fluid one, it is impossible to anticipate every asset you’ll need before the start of a long edit, but taking time to think through and gather what you can anticipate at the outset will give you a good start.
Organization is one of the most crucial factors in an efficient post-production setup. The bigger a project, the more files it will require. Having a digital file structure setup that you are familiar with—and will stick to—will ensure that you are able to find everything you need in a timely manner. Using the same file structure within your editing software as you do in your hard drive folder for the project is an easy way to avoid confusion when the number of folders starts to climb. Plus, as many editors know, one of the biggest heartbreaks is wrapping up a project and getting a big red “missing file” warning.
Pond5 offers tips for organizing your Premiere Pro project here.
As I mentioned in the preparation section, everything is always changing. You need to ask yourself when putting elements into video or motion graphic projects is “how easily will this be to change if the client needs it?” It is easy to get on a roll and put a bunch of assets into a project, stack a bunch of effects, and set a bunch of keyframes to make something look a certain way, but all it takes is the client or your boss to come back and say it needs to be changed. Depending on how this is setup, could take minutes or hours to make a requested change. Its best just to plan for things to be changed but hope that they won't.
Whether they be big or small, setting goals in post-production is an important way to fight though the overwhelming number of tasks often needed to complete a project. Tell yourself you will not do anything else until all of the interview footage is color corrected or all of the B-roll from a particular location is sorted through and labeled. These goals can be anything, and setting them will help keep your head—and your project—moving forward.
Getting outside eyes to analyze your work can sometimes feel daunting, but it is a necessary step in making sure you stay on track with the vision of the project. Make checkpoints within the post-production process with the supervisor—or even one of your colleagues—to go over what you have and explain why you are doing what you are doing. Another thorough review is needed at the end, mainly to catch simple mistakes that the editor may have missed. It isn’t a great feeling when someone else sees a typo or jump cut in your work, but it is much better to catch that in review than have it discovered by a boss or client later on.
Although there is no way to make the post-production process easy, following these tips can certainly make it easier. Learning something new to make your process more efficient with every project you complete will make you a better editor and enable you to better align your projects with their goals. At Blue Frog, we know all about this process and would love to discuss potential video and motion graphics with your business. Visit our video services page to see our work and learn more!