Post editing can be high speed, short deadline work, so it’s good to get into some good habits so that you can deliver a great job even when there’s a TV director breathing down your neck. These are our top five...
- Don’t just launch into editing. Find out the back story of the project as well as the where the project will be used and the audience demographic. These will help you get the style, pace and sound of the project spot on.
- Time is money, develop techniques that deliver good results very quickly. It may not be the best solution but the law of diminishing returns kicks in and it very quickly takes so much more time to make only a small improvement. Saving your client money will always be remembered.
- Be very methodical and organised, make sure you know where all your files are and name everyting with sensible names, it helps find the needle in the haystack. I use prefixes to help work with the alphanumeric sorting of the clip list. I use 'mus' for all music clips, 'fx' for sound effects, 'wt' for wildtracks, so that all the sound effects group togther. When working with drama I use a specific labeling system. For example - “ep1sc2 t3” is take 3 of scene 2 of the first episode. So when the director wants to check alternate takes I can do it very quickly. Also have all your sound effects and music fully catalogued, so that when you need a particular sound you can find it quickly. Equally know your library music stock so that when the client asks for a piece of music with a particular feel, again you can come up with the right track quickly.
- Keep calm. The audio edit and mix is often one of the last things in the post production workflow and by the time it comes round to the audio, the schedule has invariably slipped and the pressure is on to complete the project quickly to bring the schedule back on track. Therefore when in a hurry, don’t be tempted to cut corners by skipping checks. I always check more carefully when I am in a hurry, because I know I won’t have time to fix it if it goes wrong. The closest I have been to transmission was 30 secs on a Radio 4 programme. But I kept calm and I had prepared a series of options to work through as time ran out, including the last of which was playing the programme live from Pro Tools, which I didn’t need.
- Look after the client, make sure they have drinks, snacks etc. Cakes and biscuits are very cheap when compared to the job you are doing. Keep the customer satisfied, save them money and they will keep coming back to you and they will also become your best advert.
There’s just 5 of ours, what are yours?