10 Things All Editors Should Do Before They Start Cutting
Editing a film is a gargantuan task. Having a little bit of foresight can help you steer clear of mistakes, be more efficient, and keep your project on track.
Editor and editing theorist Roger Crittenden offers 10 editing tips that'll come in handy before you're hunched over your computer fifteen days in wondering why everything is going wrong.
- Read the script in advance of cutting.
- Become familiar with the directors previous work.
- Read the background material relevant to the film
- Meet the cameraman, sound recordist, and other major contributors to the film who might affect your own job.
- Liaise with the continuity or production assistant for documentation.
- Make yourself known to the laboratory contact [or DIT].
- Choose your assistant carefully for both efficiency and tact.
- Find out your directors preferred working hours and eating habits!
- Ensure that the cutting room is properly set up before cutting starts.
- Make sure that reliable maintenance for your equipment can be obtained.
Some of these might seem pretty obvious, like reading the script beforehand, but most of the things Crittenden mentions in his list can often go overlooked in the hysteria that is post production. All 10 of these tips will help you cover your bases, but #9, though it reads a little dated, is truly essential, since keeping your workflow organized is one of the most important things you can do as an editor. Maintaining clear metadata, as well as just keeping stuff (folders, external hard drives, notes, etc.) where you can find them (messy or tidy, whichever floats your boat) will not only save you time in the long run, but save you from the heart attack you'll be bound to have when you can't find a piece of footage you need.
What are some other things you can do to prepare for an editing project? Let us know in the comments below!