May 18, 2022

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A beginner’s guide to the Film editing process

The magic of manifesting the director’s vision in front of the audience is what film editors do. The film editors do not always enjoy the limelight, but they play a significant role in shaping the final version of a movie. The work of a film editor is very meticulous and requires a creative edge along with excellent command over the editing techniques. Defined precisely, film editing is the process of assembling long (raw) shots of the movie, cutting them meticulously with a suitable online video editor or software, and making the artistic choices using their creativity to put the director’s vision of the film alive. Film editors work closely with the directors and producers to analyze how they want the movie to look and then show their magic accordingly. To be described in one sentence, film editing is the straightforward and methodological activity of making films presentable on screen.

Why Film editing is essential in the filmmaking process:

A film presented to the audience is a product of the unfaltering efforts of a big team of directors, actors, producers, camera operators, editors, and every person who works tirelessly behind and in front of the camera. However, sometimes a film fails to cast the anticipated magic on the audience, which is a nightmare for every person associated with it. And to avoid that, a good editor comes in the driver’s seat.

Following are a few of many reasons why film editing is a crucial step in the filmmaking process:

  1. Editing conveys the information at the right time: The charge of presenting the correct information at the right time is assigned to the film editor. The comic timing, the dramatic sound, and the effect that keep the audience and their mind engaged throughout the film are the magic of the film editor.
  2. Editing determines the pace: An editor determines what pace could be the best suited for a shot as per the story demands. The editor analyzes when the story is dragging unnecessarily and edits it with video editor websites/software while maintaining the overall storyline and pace of the movie.
  3. Editing ensures the continual flow of shots: A coherent flow of shots is what the story and the audience demand the most. If the audience feels there is any jump cut in the movie, they would consider it a mistake, which will ultimately affect their overall perception of the movie.
  4. Editing establishes an emotional connection with the audience: Good editors think and rethink every aspect of the shot from the customer’s point of view and work to keep the audience and their emotions connected to the movie. For horror movies, for example, if the scene with suspense and horror is aligned with rotten sound or poor effects, the audience would consider it funny rather than scary. By that, the movie will lose the emotional connection with the audience.
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The Crucial stages of the Film editing process

There are certain stages in the film editing process, an editor would regret overlooking. These steps are:

  1. Logging: Logging is the task assigned to the assistant editor. It is the process of sorting and picking the footage, which an editor would manipulate in further editing. It also contains additional notes from the directors about the distinctive shots and what they want the editor to do with them.
  2. First Assembly: First Assembly is the editor’s version of the story, albeit a pretty long one. In this process, the editor strings together the available footage as per the story of the film. The first assembly for the high-budgeted Hollywood movies starts parallel with the shooting.
  3. Rough Cut: A part where the creativity of the editor plays a significant role. It can take up to months, and the process can differ from editor to editor. It is trimming the extended version of the movie laid out in a structured format in the first assembly process. When working closely with the director, you may have to work according to the director. However, while working alone, you can have creative freedom in your hands.
  4. Fine and Final cut: As of now, with the rough cut, the film is refined to an extent. This stage is about paying attention to details. At this stage, the focus shifts to every minor cut. No changes can be made to the timeline after a fine cut.
    The final cut focuses on searching for royalty-free music and sound effects. It also includes visual effects, graphics, and every other element that may beautify the appearance of the movie.
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Which Video Editing software would be the best fit for Film Editing needs?

Movie editing is famous as a tedious, time-consuming, and difficult task, which it is indeed. However, the right choice of software can make the whole process a lot easier and fast. While choosing the right video editing software, you must look for special features such as availability of effects, easy-to-use features, automated voice-overs, speed adjustments, HD resolution, high cloud storage, and many more within your budget. A few names that top the list are InVideo, Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Final Cut Pro X.

InVideo, out of all, is at the top of our list given its beginner-friendly, high-end features, 100 GB cloud storage, and excellent customer support.

Things to remember while editing a movie

The following tips can make the film editing process go from typically tedious to genuinely relaxing in a go.

  1. Avoid adding extra details that may slow down the pace of the film.
  2. Keep the editing and its process in mind while shooting the movie. Try to cut a scene/shot while there is a moment on-screen or on camera.
  3. Keep in mind the main idea or the storyline of the film while editing and try to stick to it.
  4. Use the audio effects to add more intensity to the scenes without compromising the visual elements. Make sure to establish coordination between the visual and audio elements.
  5. Consider using two monitors. While editing a video, an editor must avoid going back and forth between windows. However, using two monitors helps to easily monitor every aspect of the video.
  6. While editing, you must avoid cutting video and audio concurrently to evade a clash between the two. To achieve the coordination between the audio and video, try using pre-lapping and post-lapping techniques.
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