So you’re looking for a creative and efficient video editing company to edit your footage. What do you look for? Where do you start? Read on, so that you can make an informed decision.
What Makes for a Good Video Editor?
Let’s start with what you look for in an editor. You want to hire a company or individual that will deliver a creative, informative and motivating final product that will inspire your target audience to take some sort of action. That action could be to sign up for something, purchase a product or service, volunteer or otherwise take that next step that you request at the end of the video.
Call to Action
As long as we’re on the topic, yes, always have a call to action at the end of the video. Buy this, free download, go here, thanks for watching, etc. Even if it’s a feeling that you’re trying to evoke, a call to action is the money shot so to speak. It’s the purpose for making the video. Sometimes the call to action doesn’t have to even be stated. As long as you’ve produced your video in such a way that inclines people to do something such as being proficient at something after watching a training video, you’ve accomplished your goal. So the call to action doesn’t necessarily have to be explicit. It just has to move people to take action of some sort.
Good Communication is Essential
You need to make sure that communication between you and the editor is excellent before you enter the editing suite. Talk with them first and make sure that they understand what your project is about and what you want. See if they have any ideas for you. Are they willing to pay it forward and help you before they know they have the job? We do. What’s the big deal? It’s important to help people whether or not they end up being your customer. If for no other reason, it builds good will and maybe they’ll come back to you another time or for something else.
Cost of Editing
Aside from creativity and your completed video, the cost of the edit is probably your next greatest concern. Editing is generally charged by the hour. Sometimes an editor will give you a flat fee, but even then, the editor should know how many hours it will take to cut your video.
Editing being a time-based factor, the number of hours are determined by the number of edits you need, how organized the material and client are, how decisive the client is, the length of the program, if animation or motion graphics are needed and what you want them to do with the program after it’s edited.
If you want an authored DVD with certain videos in chapters, etc. that takes time/money to accomplish. If you just want an mp4 file as the final output of the edit, that’s a quick process.
How to Cut the Cost of Editing
If you are familiar with the material and have an edit decision list (EDL), that makes it easier and faster for everyone. An EDL can simply be turned over to the editor and he or she should be able to give you a price quote based on that alone.
If you’re picky and want to see how the font looks in different colors, want to see different transitions, can’t decide which shot you want, etc. editing time is churning away, as are your dollars. I realize that a certain number of decisions need to be made in the studio, but the more decisions you can make ahead of time or outside of the editing suite, the less time you’ll need in the edit and the more money you’ll save.
One way to accomplish this is to give the editor your EDL, let them do the edit, and then have them upload it to Vimeo or YouTube so you can watch the video in the comfort of your home (while the studio time isn’t ticking away) and then you can give the editor notes for a second, revised edit.
Video Samples and More Video Samples
By all means, the best way to vet an editor is to see samples of their work. If they have samples in your ‘genre’, all the better. But if you want a fire safety video edited from footage you already have, and the editor has excellent examples of other safety videos they’ve edited, you can be pretty safe to assume that they’ll do a good job with your specialized video.
On the other hand, if you need a corporate marketing video edited and all they have to show you are music videos or wedding videos they’ve edited, you may want to pass on that company because these are too varied in terms of the style they need to be.
Where to You Find a Great Video Editor?
You can search for one on Google, Bing or Yahoo. Or you can go to Productionhub.com. There’s Yelp! Or you can even look under the Better Business Bureau’s home page and search for ‘video production companies in Chicago’ for instance. Hmmm. Wonder who you’ll find there?!
Once you find two or three companies, check out their samples, see how you communicate with them and see if you can get a rough estimate of costs after explaining your project. With certain qualifiers, they should be able to give you a cost estimate or at least a range.