Video editing is the art of selecting, reordering and manipulating various segments of film footage, combining this with appropriate audio mixes to eventually create a visual story that takes viewers along a predetermined journey dictated by the directors final cut.
It can be a laborious task, especially when the raw footage is disorganised, as it will require repetitive scrubs through the timeline until the correct arrangement can be decided upon. This is why time-coded log sheets should always be created during filming, to help editors know where each recorded shot fits into the story-line, as well as any outtakes that should be removed from the potential shot list. This is the main reasons behind the invention of the iconic clapper board used in movie productions, along with the vital written information prior to each take, they also provide an audio cue point to match the sound to the visuals.
Editors need a keen eye to notice distracting colour or lighting shifts between takes as well as to spot any continuity errors missed by the camera crew. They also have need for a good ear, to highlight and fix audio imperfections. It is important to approach the various editing processes in the correct order, to avoid wasting time and money on colour correcting and audio editing shots that don’t make it into the final cut. For this reason, a rough cut is created for the director to approve the shot selection, before the titles, colour grading and music are added.
For smaller productions, stock footage may be an option, which can save a great deal of time over filming. Depending on the available footage and original shot requirements, sacrifices may be needed along with additional post-production work when using stock material.
Once the edit is complete, and the final cut is ready to be exported, it is important to use the correct encode settings. These are usually determined by the platform on which the video will be used, for example dvd, web or television.