The Importance of a Video Editor & the Workflow Pipeline

A good video project has three stages: pre-production, production, and post-production.

Every stage is connected. Depending on whom you ask, some might say
production (filming) is more important. In film school, for a project to work, we have to pay more attention to direction, cinematography, script, art, and costume (to name a few), but what about video editing and color grading? Video editors and colorists are creative individuals too!

A video editor goes through hundreds of hours of footage, selects the best pieces to help tell a good story, and at the same time, elevates your material. We must enjoy this craft that entails long nights and tight deadlines.

What is a workflow pipeline?

A workflow pipeline in video editing refers to processes followed to complete a task. It can be guidelines or templates to ensure consistency and quality in the final product. A well-defined workflow pipeline can help the editing process be much easier for collaborations with other team members to ensure that deadlines are met.

What is the overview of a workflow pipeline in editing?

The word says it all. Organize, catalog, and name all raw footage and assets into folders to be used.

Rough cut
Offline editing is the first attempt at assembling footage in rough form. Here we focus on the pacing and flow of the video.

Online editing
In this process, the video editing is worked in high-resolution formats, allowing for more detailed adjustments, such as picture, color correction, compositing, and visual effects. Sound is also mixed in this stage to ensure that all audio levels are consistent throughout the project and that the sound effects, music, and dialogue are balanced.

Color correction and grading
After a rough cut is made, the editor will move to color correction and grading to make sure there is a consistent look throughout the video. Color correction is another art that helps elevate your video project’s look. This helps audience viewers understand the mood of the setting or how a character feels.

Sound design
In this stage, we have sound effects done by a foley artist and added, as well as adjusting levels and synching audio.

Sound mixing
A sound mixer adjusts levels, EQ, and panning on individual audio tracks in a video. Here the sound mixer pays close attention to adjusting the volume of dialogue, sound effects, and music, adding sound effects, and adjusting the EQ to enhance or reduce minor frequencies. All this is done for the viewer to get an optimal audio experience.

Final cut
This step involves fine-tuning edits that might seem too distracting or rough, making those small and final adjustments to prepare the video for the next step.

Quality Control (QC)
Once the final cut is made and cleared, the video project will go through a QC to ensure all technical and creative standards are met.

Once the QC is on hand and completed, the final video project is exported into the required format and delivered to the client.

Every online editing and sound mixing is done in software like Avid, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and Pro Tools.

How do you deal with a client who constantly changes the workflow pipeline?

This question can help someone else understand how you deal with a problem and find a solution.

Dealing with a client that constantly changes a workflow pipeline can be challenging and frustrating as it can delay a production schedule and even creates confusion among team members. I passed through a similar experience with a client, and while it was frustrating to do, the way I dealt with it was this way:

Instead of uploading 20 shots of a timeline a day, it was reduced to 3 per day to obtain a re-confirmation that what was seen on that take was what was wanted to proceed with the next series of shots in the timeline.

In case, you pass through a similar experience with a client, here are some of my tips to help you deal with this situation:

  • Communication

It’s important to communicate clearly and transparently with every team member, including the client, so everyone can be on the same page. This prevents confusion and ensures that the project stays on track.

  • Prioritize and manage expectations

It can be possible as an editor to have a client who constantly requests a change, but it’s crucial to prioritize and manage their expectations. Identify quickly what change is essential and which ones can wait. And we go back to the first one again, COMMUNICATE how this change can impact the project’s schedule and budget. As the saying goes, every change costs money.

  • Have a key member keep the project on track

Depending on the size of the project and its complexity, a Coordinator or a Production Manager can help assist with the communication between the client and editor, manage the client’s expectations, and keep the project on track. But only some of the time is this the case.

  • Document the change

Do it if you need to take notes about the changes and there was an agreement. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and can serve as a reference for any disputes or misunderstandings.

  • Have the client view it on f.track and Shotgun

This allows the client to observe the project in real-time 24/7. Here the client can keep the conversation going or give the green light that everything is going well.

These tips can help in case you ever bump into a situation like this. If you are a fellow editor, shoutout to you.

*Chat GPT did not write this.

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