Things Editors Want You To Know

Thinking of becoming a filmmaker?

Here are some things you should know to make sure your editor doesn’t hate you 🙂


1. Give Us Something To Cut

Editors need footage to… well, edit.

Otherwise we’re just sitting in a dark room watching outtakes for no reason.

While I do believe there is such a thing as too much footage, as a general rule, the more footage you film, the happier we’ll be.

Record early and cut late- that way we’ll have a place to cut, not just having to leave it where the camera turned on and off.

Always film extra angles and takes and, when shooting b-roll, film a minimum of ten seconds and record it at least three times.


2. No, We Can’t Fix Everything In Post

While I agree editors are like media magicians, if you didn’t film something, we can’t magically pull it out of the stuff you did film.

My favourite request from a director- when they realised they hadn’t filmed a particular angle- was: ‘…can you not just move it round a bit.’

No.

No, I can’t.


3. Tell Us What You Want

Talk to your editor, go through the footage with them, explain your vision for the piece.

Of course, all films develop and we change our direction and minds, but don’t wait until the last minute to tell your editor you’re not happy.

We don’t like staying up all night… again.


4. Clap. For. Audio.

For the love of God, please don’t forget to clap in view of the camera and range of the microphone.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a board or just your hands and saying out loud the scene and take.

I’m begging you, just do it.

Syncing audio is a tedious job, but what is even more soul destroying is when there is no marker to help us.


5. Sound Design

I think this one mostly applies to filmmaking students, but please let your editor know if they’re going to be volunteered to do sound design as well.

It’s nice to be prepared for extra work like that.


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