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Many managers feel editing is all the same and they're not sure why one editor costs more than another.

But as anybody in the business knows that there are great editors, and there are not so great editors.

Anybody can buy budget editing software to edit at home on their PC or smartphone, and anybody can learn the basic idea of cutting and joining bits of film together to make an edit.

But what makes a great editor?

A great editor can take the same footage, and bring it to life in a way that the amateur, or even the average competent editor just can’t do.

Editing isn’t maths, it’s an art. An art that’s learnt through years of handling footage, of knowing just the right millisecond to stop and start, of knowing just how to intercut this-with-that to achieve the desired effect.

The best editors oddly enough don’t use that many effects. The best editors often keep to the simple cut and dissolve, the basic elements of the video.

Effect piled on effect is can be the hallmark of the novice. You can tell when this is so, because the effect will distract you from the message the video is intended to deliver.

Of course, the great editor will also be expert with motion graphic design effects. But you can tell this too as the effects will add value to the message, rather than distort it.

Great editing adds value.

Great editing will also give you a great video programme, even with average footage.

For example, if you’ve had difficulty on the shoot getting the footage right because of difficult circumstances – and this can often be the case in corporate video where you’re using makeshift video locations on your site – a great editor can still turn it round into something quite stunning that you won’t believe.

As well as being an art, editing is also a science.

When footage is shot and brought back to the studio, the first thing to happen is that all the footage is looked at and graded.

All the good parts are marked off into blocks, and they’re kept. All the bad parts, for example where the camera wobbled or something inappropriate appeared or was said on set, are just left out. On the cutting room floor!

Once graded and the best of the footage is sorted, the real editing commences.

Each clip is assembled one after the other, under the expert eye of the skilled editor.

Once the video programme is edited, it’s still not complete.

What is delivered, to you at this stage as a customer, is a 1st Viewing. This is the editor’s, the director’s, and the producer’s view of what your program should look like in its basic form.

Nonetheless a Rough Cut is still fairly close to the finished video production.

At this stage you’ll be invited to join in the editing process. If you’re not, then you should ask. You can do this in the studio, or by having the video streamed online to your desk, or with a meeting that can be arranged at your office.

Your choice of editing location depends on the program. But in any event, it allows you to comment and make suggestions such as ‘I would like an improvement here’ or ‘more emphasis here’ or ‘to bring forward this section’.

Your comments will be valued, and your input decisive.

Great editing gets you involved in the creative process.

Great editing will deliver you the video you imagined when you first started - but payiong less won't necessarily get you what you want.

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