After all the footage is captured for a film/video project, the video editor holds the most powerful set of tools to set the tone, create interest, and to move the story forward in a logical format. Shot angles are chosen, bad shots are tossed or fixed, and the sequence of events are adjusted to retain viewer curiosity and build through the climax to conclusion.
I’ve found in working with editors that they bring their own sense of perspective to the table, and a director must acknowledge that. Personally, I love for each person on the set and in post-production to voice what they may see or feel. My role is to take that and to go with what I feel is the best choice. Occasionally, we’ll have to massage an edit or experiment with variations, seeing what works and what doesn’t – it’s all a part of allowing the story to come to life. This is also essential for the editor to know that his or her opinions are valued. Once the editor feels everything is being dictated the creativity stops. There’s a balancing act, here.
Just recently, we were on the set for a promotional video where the major talent was held up, forcing our afternoon shoot to move over an hour behind schedule. Being winter, time was of the essence, and, not having another set of eyes watching for continuity, some elements fell through the cracks. The wrong golf balls were somehow pulled into the shots, daylight was rapidly changing, forcing camera choices, etc. Once the footage made it back to the editing room, the troubles were clearly seen.
As a director, seeing this, you have two choices: 1) re-shoot or 2) edit what you can. Knowing that the talent in the promotional piece is difficult to get scheduled, we opted for the latter in this case. Certainly, though, you never want to cheat on quality. If the time and the budget allow for it, re-shoot the shot(s).
You’ll see one shot fixed for the edit below, a basic closeup of a golf ball being hit off the tee. Text/logo is present on the ball, which I hate, since I don’t have any endorsements for this video. It had to be removed. It didn’t take too long to fix, thankfully, with some After Effects work. A few other changes went into making the shot work, too, which I’ll allow you to watch.