Improve your work quality and speed in 5 easy steps March 12 2014

We all know that technology progresses more and more rapidly as the years go by.

The development of technology means that more and more NLE’s (non linear editing platforms) are being created, and as a result, its becoming more and more important for video editors to show their worth in other ways than being a master at a single NLE.

For video editors to really stand out from the rest in today’s competitive world, there are a couple of strategies to help pick up your game and prove your worth. If your craft is your currency, then now’s the time to invest!

 

1. IMPROVE YOUR SPEED

Employers like to hire people who are fast and produce good quality work. They get work done, can take on more jobs, and increase the overall output of the business. But don’t confuse “speed” with “sloppiness”. Being faster at your job can mean spending less time on performing the edits, thus giving you more time to actually think about your edits! Some of the best ways to improve your speed are below:

Keep it tidy - Keep your edits as tidy as you can - I’ve never met a video editor that was super efficient and fast, yet had their edits looking like a scrambled mess. Ensuring your sequences, bins , sound files and folders are set up correctly and neatly also means that if you have to stop a project mid way through, it will be easy for another editor to jump straight in and know where to start from where you left off. Try to keep your edits tidy as you go; it will be a lot easier to maintain than trying to tidy it all up at the end.

Organisation - To keep your work organised and improve your efficiency, use apps such as Post Haste (Digital Rebellion) to set up template folders which you can copy and paste onto your edit drive every time you start a new project.

Shortcuts - Each NLE you use will have a number of shortcut keys already set up to streamline your editing process. Learn and memorise these shortcuts - they can save you minutes per edit, or hour s over the course of a week. If you are finding you use two or three keystrokes to get the action you require, set up your own keyboard shortcuts to initiate the action on one go.

 

2. FACE TO FACE WORKS

It is easy to get into the habit of working on your edit while your director or producer talks to the back of your head.
It’s hard not to; most edit suites are set up with the client, director or producer sitting behind the editor while looking on at the monitor. If you have the habit of never turning around during creative discussions, cut it out - quick.

Face to face communication gives you the ability to be seen as a creative collaborator as opposed to just the driver of the edit. Talk about the edit, the cuts and your vision to your director or producer, and get more of an understanding of what their vision is.

It will transform you from the “desktop editor” to the collaborative team member driving the edit.

 

3. SEE MORE

If all you are watching is your own edits, how will you ever know what other methods or trends are emerging in the market? Take some time to watch some quality films, television shows and creative content and get inspired. It’s simply not enough to know about all the latest tech and software developments are. To truly enhance your skills, see what others are doing and assess what they did well, what you would change, and what new or interesting techniques they have applied.

It’s also worth going back over your own old edits and assessing where improvements could be made. You need to be able to understand when something has been done well or poorly, and apply learnings to your future work to stop it from happening again.

 

4. DEVELOP YOUR SKILLS

There are so many tutorials on the web with tips on how to use the software correctly, including tips and tricks, shortcuts, or advanced video editing techniques. 

There are also a tonne of other courses outside the direct field of Video Editing that are a worthwhile investment. Consider courses on storytelling and scriptwriting to improve the messaging in your edits; photography or graphic design to help with shot placement and flow; or even typography to choose the right font for your edit. Each field will directly improve your edits and give you a more rounded knowledge of your creative field.

 

5. EXERCISE YOUR MIND AND BODY

If you’re spending hours and hours at your desk every day, chances are you are going to be draining your creativity and motivation levels and increase your lethargy.

Make sure during your work days you get up every hour or so for a stretch, walk or even to get a tea or coffee - the break will refresh you and increase your energy levels.

Keeping physically healthy impacts every aspect of a person ; mentally, emotionally, physically and sometimes spiritually. Ensure you are eating the right food, staying fit, and staying inspired by mentally challenging yourself (whether it be through travel, learning and development, spiritual means etc).

 

By utilising these 5 tips you’ll see the results reflected in your ability to work smarter (not harder) and also in the quality of your work.