A good editor can make something out of almost nothing. Boring video? Pick up the pace in the edit and the viewer may not even notice how dull the shots are. A bad editor, on the other hand, can ruin even the best video.
I remember–not fondly–the experience of working with an editor who always cut in on the first frame of any shot and often missed the action entirely. I used to think the guy was lazy but I now believe he just had no idea what he was doing. He’d learned how to push the buttons but had never really been trained in the finer points of editing. What a shame Edit Foundry didn’t exist back then.
Edit Foundry is a blog is written by Shawn Montano of Thunderbird Media, a three-time winner of the NPPA’s Editor of the Year award. [I wrote about him in 2008 when he was let go from a Denver station just after winning his second EOY.] Obviously, he knows his stuff. For more than five years, he’s been sharing what he knows, both online and in the classroom at local community and technical colleges. And it’s not just for beginners.
For example, I wish that editor I worked with could have read the post titled “Movement in every edit (well almost every edit).” Montano writes:
I often base my edit decisions on movement. If I’m choosing between two shots, I’ll choose motion over a better composed shot with no action happening in the shot.
That seems clear enough, but it’s even clearer when you watch this story Montano edited:
Now read his explanation of what he did and why. Isn’t this a great teaching tool?
The blog is a rich resource, full of tips and examples on everything from the importance of tight shots to the logic of natural sound. I may not always agree with some of the choices Montano makes in the edit room but I’m a huge fan of the site. And you can get more editing tips by following @ShawnMontano on Twitter and watching for his #VETOTD (video editing tip of the day). How I wish I could have made these suggestions to that editor who used to drive me nuts!