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Creating the Perfect Editing Space

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 3/15/2010

Editing is a time consuming artistic task, so you need to create a physical environment that will help you excel.

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    The Art of Editing

    Editing is like any concentrated art form, and takes a serious amount of focus and creative fortitude. You editing space should be well decided and equipped to make the process more successful in the long run. Like any studio, there are certain elements that should always be present.

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    The computer is the focus of the editing process so a quality machine is central. Make sure that it is curtailed to the requirements of the software you are using and that you are operating two monitors and an attached television. One of the most important parts of this is to make sure that the color and sound are perfectly calibrated so that you know exactly what types of decisions you are making.

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    Desk Space

    You are going to need a sufficient amount of desk space to look at notes and written documents while you are editing. The likelihood is that you are going to have to review shot lists, logs, tape transcriptions, and production notes constantly, so you need to have enough open space to have these out. You may have to make due with what you have, but an open room is better.

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    Headphones can be good for listening to audio while you are editing, but nothing is as beneficial as having a good sound system so you can listen openly. Try to get an adequate set of computer speakers so that the playback is representative of what will exist when the film is printed. You are going to need to be able to secure the place so that the loud sound does not disturb others that may be in the vicinity. Try to soundproof the room as best you can for this.

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    One of the most important things you need is security. Not only is the equipment you are working on expensive, but the materials you have filmed and the written work that accompanies it is priceless. If you are in an area where others may be passing by at random keep a lock on the door, and take anything you can with you when you leave. This includes portable hard drives and digital video tapes.

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    Wall Space

    Wall space can be an important aspect as you may want to paste storyboards and text outlines on big poster boards. Some times this visual blocking is helpful when you are in the mix of story editing. This is not a must, but it is another thing that can make your editing space more suitable to you.

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    Shelves, as well as personal effects, are a great way to personalize the area. Since you may be spending quite a bit of time there you want to feel as much at home as you possibly can. Keep books around that may help with your technical tasks, such as those related to your editing and DVD authoring software.

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    Personalize the Space

    Keep in mind that your editing space is more of an artistic space than an office, so try to keep out anything that is not related to your work. When you go to edit you should keep one thing on your mind at a time.