What’s involved in the video editing process?

Often we come across people who wonder why the post production/edit process takes such a long time compared to filming.

To best answer this question let’s take a standard promotional video or corporate video as an example. Let’s assume that this video was shot using a multicam setup, say two cameras for example and that audio was also recorded for a number of speakers in the video. Let’s also assume that a lot of b roll footage was also required to use as cutaway shots in the final video and let’s assume that some sort of text overlay will be required in the final video render.

Step 1:

The first stage in the video editing processes would be the transferring of all of the captured video and audio files to our video editing computers. High quality video files are large and ingesting these files can take some time.  After this the files may need to be renamed and sorted into the relevant folders for the particular project

Step 2:

Once the files are transferred over usually we must sort through all the clips. This means watching the video clips/listening to audio clips to ascertain which clips are to be imported into our video editing software and which clips can be purged/deleted as they are not usable.

Step 3:

Based on the project requirements we now must find an appropriate music backing track that will fit with the style of video to be produced. This may take some time as it requires listening to multiple tracks in order to find a good fit and in order to ensure it is not rejected by the client.

Step 4:

The next step would be importing the footage into our video editing software and creating a rough timeline. In the example above we must sync the video clips with the clean audio we recorded via lapel mics and then delete the scratch audio tracks (scratch audio  is usually captured via the in camera microphones and used to sync the video clips in post production). Then we must edit the timeline to switch between the different camera angles and import any b roll footage that may work in the final export. For other styles of video we must try to sync up the imported clips with the music and or b roll footage to fit the particualr style of video.

Step 5:

Once the clips and audio are synced and the order of the clips and b roll clips has been completed and finalized on the timeline any text overlays, subtitles, transitions or motion graphics are added. Then the first draft is sent to the client for approval.

Step 6:

Usually after the first draft is received by the client they will have some feedback and will want to have some small revisions made. The amount of revisions being requested can slow down the edit process and typically the quantity of revisions allowed is agreed upon before the project commences. Each change and revision will require the video to be rendered and exported each time which takes time. Once all the revisions are made and the client is happy we move on to step 7 below.

*Click here for more information on revisions and how they can effect timelines and costs.

Step 7:

After client sign off we move on to colour grading and then exporting the final render to a high quality file format such as .mp4. Some clients may also requre different resolutions such as portrait mode for instagram and other social media platforms. These separate resolutions require more rendering and exporting and thus add to the overall edit time.