Earlier this year we started working alongside Bristol-based creative education centre, Boomsatsuma and independent magazine, Bristol 24/7 on a young filmmakers course. As part of the course, our very own creative director Steve Garratt has volunteered to become a mentor to one of the students embarking on the course. Last week Steve had his first one on one mentoring session with Rae, his mentee. Rae wants to specialise in editing, so over the course of the meeting, Steve shared some valuable insights and tips that he’s picked up over the last 20 years. We thought we would also share these tips here for any budding film editors.

1. Edit the sound first

A good video is all about creating a clear narrative to tell a story. You could edit together all the best footage, but it won’t always make sense or tell a compelling story. This is why it’s always best to start with the audio. Steve’s advice was just to ‘close your eyes and listen, then deal with the visuals later’, this way you’ll be able to create a much clearer narrative. We will always forgive shaky visuals and iffy focus but we never forgive bad audio. It makes your film seem unprofessional, cheap and unloved.

2. Be ready to edit wherever and whenever

You don’t have to be stuck in an edit suite for weeks these days, technology enables us to edit wherever and whenever we like, so why not do that! Use a laptop and a portable drive so you can collaborate with your colleagues wherever they are. You can even edit on your iPad or iPhone now, we recommend trying out Adobe Rush or even iMovie.

3.Logging your footage

Logging footage isn’t the most exciting task, but it’s one of the most important. On average you should allow yourself double the amount of footage time to go through, review and log all the footage. So if you have 8 hours of footage, you should expect to spend 16 hours reviewing and logging unless you have really decent notes. See our final tip.

4. Know your footage

You should know the footage inside out, back to front and upside down! If you know all the footage you’ll be able to work out what works well and what doesn’t, and if an issue arises with one clip you’ll be able to find something that works well in its place. If there isn’t someone logging the footage on the shoot and you can attend then make sure you do. Knowing which takes are best and where they are will save you hours of time.

5. Always take notes

And finally, this might not seem like the most important tip, BUT we think its key. You should have a notebook ready for every meeting, every shoot and every editing session. Making notes of what works, what doesn’t, what the director said can be the key differences between a good and a bad editor, even if you follow all of our other tips.

So good luck to any trying editing for the first time, we really hope that these tips help. If you need a video editing then get in touch with us by emailing jon@studiogiggle.co.uk or call 0117 972 0081

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