As a videographer, I get involved in every stage of a video production. Nothing excites me more than editing together footage that we have spent so long preparing for and filming!
Editing can make or break a video production. Get it right and the video will be successful, but get it wrong and all the hard work that goes into producing the footage can be wasted.
In this blog, I will be looking at how you can get the most out of post-production and also how a good editor can enhance (or save!) your footage.
Preparing for a stress-free edit
It’s always a good idea to work on a storyboard or outline of the video. This will not only help the speed of the edit, but also give the client a good idea of what to expect.
We suggest you supply us with any brand guidelines, fonts, logos and most importantly the call to action. This will ensure there are no unwanted delays and that the final film will be delivered with all branding present and correct!
When Shout! Communications is commissioned for a video production our crew consists of a camera operator and a video producer/director. The producer will ensure the filming will go smoothly and that we get all the required shots. You do not want to get into the edit and find a really important shot is missing! When I am filming I make sure I ‘shoot for the edit’ – this means that I’ll try not to ‘over-shoot’ and won’t have to sift through hours and hours of footage to make a two minute video.
Editing basic rules
There are a few basic rules I follow when editing a video. These rules cover all different types of PR video, including online, corporate, social media and B-roll.
Always start with engaging content, probably your best shots – attention spans are really short so always start with something that will grab your audience’s attention. This could be an amazing shot, a powerful soundbite or a technique such as a time-lapse.
Use a variety of shots – using the same type of shot throughout will soon bore the audience, you don’t want them to switch off before they see the important call to action.
Don’t confuse the audience – it sounds obvious, but if your interviewee is talking about women’s football don’t show cut-aways of men playing basketball!
Every now and then we need to correct some mistakes, or improve the video in post-production. So here are some ‘PR problems’ we can help fix during the edit.
Lack of things to film – when we film an interview we will always have to edit parts out. In order for the soundbites to flow naturally we cover the edits up with other shots, which we call cut-aways. If for whatever reason (lack of time to film for example) cutaways are missing or just not very interesting there are some ways to make the edit more interesting.
- Film an interview using two cameras. That means one camera can film the interview “wide” and the second camera can be set to give a closer view of the interviewee. If that’s not possible and you just have one camera then film the interview with a wide shot, which can be cropped (to appear as a medium or close up shot) in the edit.
- If your budget allows, adding some effects can really lift a video. Adding some animated text or graphics can transform a boring cutaway into something that really grabs the audience’s attention.
- If the only extra footage available is in the form of stills add some movement to the shot. This could just be a basic zoom or pan, or if there is time and budget we can make the image appear 3D!
Fixing mistakes – although it is best to get everything right during the filming, mistakes do happen, and there is a certain amount that can be fixed in post-production.
Easy to correct, for example, are images that are a little too bright or dark or the framing of each shot. In the Founders Forum video below, the shot of Prince William had to be darkened a little. This “mistake” occurred because I was filming an interview inside when the Prince made a surprise entrance outside. Having to quickly dash over to film him I did not have the time to accurately set the exposure. However, I knew it was set close enough to get a great image after a little post tweaking!
Filming in a dull location – there may be times when the location we are asked to use to film an interview is a little dull and uninspiring. However, all is not lost; you can, for example, always set up a green screen and then replace the background with whatever you like! Filming on green screen also enables the editor to integrate graphics and animated text.
If you’d like to learn more about green screen see our explainer video here:
Or make a feature of a blank background. Change the depth of field so the background is blurred, but make sure your interviewee is beautifully lit and in sharp focus. Personally, I think that’s a very effective way of focusing on what an interviewee is saying. In the edit I would crop the shot tight, so that the interviewee is viewed in a close-up.
So, to sum up, post-production can make or break your video. No matter how amazing your footage is, if it is edited poorly then the audience will quickly lose interest!
If you would like to learn more about post-production get in touch. Rory@shoutcommunications.co.uk or call us on 020 7240 7373.
Download our E-book, “Best PR Video Practises” here.