Although editing is one of the last steps in the video production process, it’s often considered one of the most important. Editing is where everything – the footage, audio, music, sound effects and creative details – comes together.
In fact, the final video may take a completely different shape during the editing process than what was imagined during the initial planning stages.
One thing’s for certain: even if you decide to produce your video commercials in-house, you’ll want to consider outsourcing the editing process to a production company that offers professional video editing services.
The Challenges of Editing
Editing isn’t as simple as it’s sometimes perceived. It’s not just a matter of lining up your footage in the order the shots appear on your shot list. The following are some of the skills required in order to edit your commercial videos:
You need to be familiar with an editing program
Advanced editing programs can be extremely difficult to navigate and learn. It could take you more than twice as long to complete your project if you aren’t familiar with the necessary programs. You could also run into technical difficulties that you may not be capable of solving on your own.
You need to have an understanding of pacing
If the pacing of a commercial is off, then the message has less impact. Think of it this way – a long joke has to be told in the right way for the punch line to have its intended effect.
If you don’t tell it the right way, the punch line loses humor. The pacing of a video works in the same way.
You need to have an understanding of rhythm
Editing footage is somewhat like playing an instrument. You may know how to play the notes and what order to play them in, but the song won’t turn out well if you aren’t able to play with a certain rhythm. The same applies to editing. Without an understanding of rhythm, your shots won’t cut smoothly and your video will feel amateurish.
You need to have editing skills to edit a professional video
An editor needs to have various skills to be able to properly edit a video. It’s important to keep continuity between shots, create spacial awareness for an audience within a scene and use tricks of the trade to make the video look more professional.
You need to be able to problem solve
Cutting together a video is often like putting together a puzzle. Ultimately, you’re trying to figure out the best way to fit together your footage. Sometimes, you may not have the right shots.
The shots you have may just not cut together the way they were intended. You need to have the ability to solve such problems, an ability that is typically learned from experience.
As you can see, editing requires a lot of knowledge and skill. But if you’re still on the fence about outsourcing your post-production work, consider the specific challenge of cutting commercial videos. This entails managing the length of the commercial.
The Length of Commercial Videos
Although you may have some editing skills, understanding how to cut the commercial to the proper length is another important skill. The thing about commercial videos is that they have to fit a specific time slot.
These come in either 15-second, 30-second or 60-second time slots. You need to cut down your commercial based on the time slot chosen. Each duration presents its own editing challenges:
If you’re telling a story, then you may need a full minute to complete the arc. Pacing and rhythm become absolutely vital during this process.
Flaws with either, become more readily apparent in longer videos. This longer length also makes it more difficult to keep the attention of viewers.
30 seconds tends to be the sweet spot for commercials. It provides enough time to get a joke in or deliver a message without risking boring the audience.
15 seconds isn’t a lot of time, but can be still be impactful for sharing a quick piece of product information or relaying a basic message to your audience.
Don’t be surprised when your first cut is twice as long as it’s supposed to be. It takes a ton of editing skill to cut it down to the required length.
So how exactly can you cut down your commercial videos to their required length? The following are a few methods that professional editors will employ:
They will use L cuts
L cuts help eliminate dead air between dialogue. This makes dialogue fast paced, which can also help establish a quicker rhythm.
They will remove establishing shots
If the commercial centers around a family at the kitchen table, then you may not need that three-second shot of the house that precedes the scene.
They will look for dialogue that can be cut
Sometimes, there are lines that don’t add any value to the overall video. These can be removed (along with their corresponding video) without affecting your message.
The Need For Video Editing Services
Considering all of the skills required to edit a video commercial, the assistance of a professional production company that provides video editing services should be welcomed.
This can help with any issues and help avoid the editing challenges you may face. Their editors will have the skills and experience required to cut your commercials to any length needed.