Editing Blues & Tips for Working With/For Others

Hey, George here! 

   I’ve been editing the web series Cassie & Miley for a while now. And I would like to give my personal... opinions about editing for other people.

   The reason I got into Photography is because I love the art of capturing life. The reason I got into Videography, is because I love telling visual stories to people. And the reason I got into Music Making is because I love the process of idea to song. And for each of these topics, I have a certain style in how I work. For video, I like to be as simple as possible. For photos, I like deep blacks and high contrast. For music, I like full sounds with minimal (if any) distortion. 

   When people want you to do work for them (paid or unpaid), 90% of the time it’s because they like your work. And that's a good sign, it means people like your style. But once you land the job with them, they most likely have an idea about what they want and just want you to create it for them... then throw in a LITTLE of your creative flare if any. This can be frustrating to the content creator/editors editing for others because they want to show what they can do. And I know that for a fact because I have dealt with it.

   Here’s a story: When I was editing their latest video Story Time with Cassie & Miley, I was having computer problems. The main drive didn’t have enough space, so I had to delete stuff like crazy. The video needed HEAVY color correction and was on the wrong settings for video compression so I had to render out of Final Cut to After Effects to grade (and even then it was hard). Then I had to reimport the videos and place them onto the timeline. Then I had to create the titles, end screen, and apply some audio corrections. Then I exported a 950 x 540 version so they can see it for approval. That took about 5 hours, because FCPX loves to take its sweet time (UPDATE 8/10/2014: I later found out that it my hard drive was dying out and wasn't working properly). She specifically said that she wanted it to be 10 - 15 minutes (closer to ten if possible), and when I uploaded it, and Cassie said it was too short and it didn’t flow right. So I reedited the video, rendered out 1920 x 1080 (taking 12 hours), and she approves it. And the whole time I thought the video needed to go up by Thursday, when she really wanted it up by Tuesday. Anyway, here is the final product:

   The video turned out great, but still. Before I say anything else, let me clarify something. This isn't a rant exactly. It's what happens when there isn't great communication between people. But I found out a couple things editing for other people that will make your job easier:

  1. Don't Edit in Front of People: I'm serious about this. When I used to edit in front of people, they say, "You make it look so easy... can't you just..." and then make a long list. I'm not saying that Cassie & Miley have ever said that, but I have gotten that remark before. Now, take it with a grain of salt. Yes you can edit in front of people to show them what you can do. But don't say, "It's SO easy," or "That takes no time at all," when really it does take effort/time.
  2. Effective Communication: Like in the case of schedule mistakes, you can always miss hear or not get the message of what they want you to do. Always keep communication and if questions arise, don't hesitate to ask.
  3. Just do what they ask: This is something that can be applied in every aspect of life. If you do what they ask you to do, and they like it, you're on their good side. And when you're on their good side, you have more leeway with what you can do creatively.

   Before I leave, I found this great speech by a photographer in the Bay Area, Jeff Cable:

   I will be looking forward to hearing what you guys think.

   And as always, thanks for reading. George out!