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.
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.
Mark Serao, Co-founder and Director of Production at Grey Sky Films, has had an eye on brand building from an early age. Inspired by the music industry and how record companies use a grassroots marketing strategy to build their artists/brands, Mark set out to apply those same fundamentals to the business community. Since 2001, Grey Sky Films has worked with businesses, both large and small, to increase market share by producing compelling video that evokes emotion and subsequently creates more sales opportunities.