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How to Put Together a Video Editing Plan

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/27/2010

Here is how to organize your post-production process so that you keep every element of it in specific order.

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    The Video Editing Stages

    The post-production process is both a creative workflow, and a technical and ordered one. Video editing and the rest of the post-production process actually takes place in a number of sequential stages, and within the stages you can include your creative vision. The basic order of the video editing workflow should not be altered too much so that you can make sure that you can hit every element of your video and so that each post-production stage can be completed appropriately. Here is how to monitor the step by step workflow of the editing and digital video post-production system.

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    Media Management

    The first part of the video editing process includes the capture and import of all the footage you want to use. This will also include finding stock footage and photos, bringing in second unit photography, and generally acquiring and logging every bit of footage you are going to use in the final film. This needs to be organized and put into the proper formats or codecs for your edit, though for large projects you may want to use low resolution footage for the offline edit and then reconnect the media to the high resolution masters.

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    The Actual Video Editing

    The actual video editing process usually begins once you have finished the film, though with certain types of films like experimental films or documentaries you may start while still in production. The first step of the actual editing part is to put together a rough cut. This video editing rough cut may have some transitions, effects, and music, but generally it is the rough cut of the story and clips that you are going to use. This is what you are then going to show others for input for further cuts.

    From here you are going to edit down your rough cut, cut out different clips, and smooth up the overall film. You want to get it into a tighter place where it will look more like the final product. This should be after you have taken critical looks at the rough cut and even after you have shown it to others for feedback.

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    Aesthetics and Final Steps

    Once your film has gone to a second draft of sorts you will want to begin including all of the music and getting a clear idea of all the visual and audio changes that you will want to make. Make more corrections to your film with this in mind until the film flows exactly as you would want, just without the aesthetic additions. From here you will need to send your audio for audio mixing, which may be in an associated program like Soundtrack Pro. You will want to send over the video for color grading, and if you are using a complete software package like Final Cut Studio then you will have a program like Color to use. If you are using visual effects then you can send over your final sequence to After Effects so all of these changes can be made. The main point is that once you send to programs for audio mixing, color grading, visual effects, and other aesthetic points you will not be able to make any more conventional edits without causing an issue. You can also put in the final amount of music and then create and import your titles. Everything will come back into your non-linear editing program when finished, so monitor it to make sure that all the changes were imported and that it did not disturb your previous edit. From here you will be able to export your final film to the codec you want to then be transferred to different formats or published.






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