How much source material will the video editor be working with? Editing a one-minute video from 10 minutes of footage might be quite straightforward. Provided with clear instructions, an editor on a freelancing gig site like Fiverr or Upwork could likely deliver exactly what you’re hoping to achieve with minimal rounds of alterations.
Experienced editors are able to manage and navigate large volumes of source material in a highly efficient manner. Additionally, a large quantity of source material equates to more editorial decisions that might rely on your ‘hands-on’ input; you will find it much easier to edit a large project when you have open lines of realtime communication with your editor (for example Zoom or Evercast), or even better sit right alongside them while they edit!
However, if you are starting out with, say, four hours of source material—even if the required duration for the finished video is still only one-minute—it will likely take an entire day for the editor to simply view, sort, and become familiar with all of your footage. So, that is a whole day of preparatory work that needs to be done before your editor can even begin cutting your video!
The more material you provide to your editor, the more detailed your instructions will need to be. With clear guidance on your objectives, an experienced editor will be happy to be self-directing. That said, complex productions will inevitably require more rounds of feedback and alterations, and a greater amount of ‘decision making’ time— for both the editor and you.
Do you require animated graphics? Many professional video editors are also able produce sophisticated graphics (but, if you’re looking to produce a video solely comprised of graphics, you’d be wise to engage the services of a dedicated Motion Graphics Designer). However, the time required to create a minute of motion graphics could well be considerably greater than the time to edit a minute of video. If graphics sequences require bespoke artwork, or the research and purchase of stock illustrations, this will require additional time.
Are you supplying music and a narration track? An experienced video editor will have a good ‘feel’ for selecting the most appropriate library music tracks and voice artists— but again, even if the finished video is only a minute long, you will still need to allow time for the editor to locate just the right track and voice artist.
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Tom Vaughan-Mountford is an expert in TV advertising and the production of YouTube video marketing. He has more than twenty years’ experience in production and post-production for broadcasters, major advertising agencies, and name-brands. He is a regular writer on the media industry, and author of the Focal Press book ‘Managing a Video Production Company’. Tom is a senior creative at JMS Group, a Norwich video production company. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tomontv and Instagram @tomvaughanmountford