7 Things Do When Hiring a Video Editor
Working with a video editor is a great experience. In most cases, the editor is a skilled storyteller, animator and/or designer. They’ve been around and know what works, what looks good and can be a wonderful ally to creating shareable content. However, for the relationship to go smoothly there is some prep work for a client ahead of hiring a video editor for the first time.
These tips will go a long way towards quick turn arounds for you, less editing sessions and an execution of your idea.
1. Understand What a Video Editor Does
Most video editors wear multiple hats. They are content creators who can take an idea and handle every aspect of a video production. This can include but is not limited to:
- Gathering footage
- Working with actors
- Writing scripts
- Creating animations
- Creating branding material such as an intro or outro
- Working with voice actors
- Editing video and photos
- Sourcing royalty free music
- Putting the video together in a cohesive product
Some editors are also skilled at viral marketing, shooting their own video and are video producers.
What skill sets you’ll need depends largely on your product. Are you simply looking for someone to put together all the pieces? That’s essentially what a professional video editor does, but it’s important to know that your editor has other skills too. It’s always a little sad to us when a client has paid someone for services, footage and videography and then comes to us at BWS, when we know we could have done everything for you all at one time.
2. Ask for Samples
Any video editor worth his salt will have a promo reel or two. (Check out a few of ours). This is a good opportunity to see if editor has the ability to pull off what you want to achieve. When in doubt, ask to see similar work. If they don’t have any to show you consider paying for a small project to see if they can match your needs. Maybe ask for a 30-second demo and offer to pay them for their time.
However, most professionals should have a promotional reel from past work. Don’t be afraid to ask.
3. Check Reviews and Testimonials
The key to hiring a video editor is to handle initial conversations like an interview. Check them out. If they have a certain pay rate, understand why by looking at their customers. Or ask why they charge that rate. Sometimes sticker shock gets in the way of understanding that the video editor is promising to do for you.
Also, check them out on their social networks to see if they know what they are doing and fit your style.
If they have a number of bad client experiences, ask them why. Ask for an explanation or move on to another editor.
4. Understand and Explain What You Want
Nothing slows the editing process down more than an indecisive client. Editing takes time and changing directions mid-project only serves to delay the process and can prove frustrating for the client. Know what you want and be able to explain it. Even if you just have a rough idea, talk about that with your editor. They can be great collaborators and resources. But, know what you want.
Many clients will say something like “I don’t really have an idea” or “I’m open to you being creative”, but after an editor spends a few hours on a project and delivers the video they respond with “Well, I was actually hoping for more of [insert idea here].” Rather then waste time (mostly yours as the client) voice any ideas ahead of time. Some clients have found it good to show an example video that demonstrates a style that they like.
5. Understand the Limitations of Your Footage
Despite whatever you see on TV shows, photographers can’t make blurry photos unblurry. Similarly, there are some things video editors can not fix. Bad audio is usually going to stay bad audio. Bad video…might stay bad video (though a professional video editor will do his best to make it awesome).
Most cameras do not handle shaky video well — meaning that it may be overly blurry or require advanced and meticulous editing to rectify. Bad lighting and coloring can be fixed by an editor skilled in color correction. But sometimes shadows will make green screen effects unusable.
Talk with the editor ahead of hiring them if you have any concerns about the raw video itself.
6. Talk With an Editor Before Shooting Any Video
This is particularly so if you are going to shoot your own video. You can save yourself a lot of time by just asking a few questions. Here at BWS we offer free consultations to our clients regarding lighting, audio recording, what equipment to buy and from where, and even video recording tips to achieve the quality you need before we get to work on be video.
Ever hear of movies doing reshoots? That’s professionals that do that. As a DIYer, how much more so should we be ready to do reshoots in the future to get that stellar video.
Gone are the days of being able to just point a camera and then upload to YouTube. With so much video being posted online, quality video is the best way to your customer’s hearts.
7. Check the Contract
A good editor will be clear about cost and deadlines up front. There should be no hidden expenses delivered after a job. Check that you understand what you are getting, for how much and when to expect it.
Do these 7 things and you’ll have a great experience finding the best video editor for your budget.
Do you need a video editor? Contact me for a free consultation.
Do you need more video ideas? Simply provide your email address and I’ll send you my free 10-page e-book The 6 Types of Video You Need To Promote Your Business