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Post-Production- hiring an editor?

Hey all, I've lurked on here for a while-- there's some great stuff in the archives, a shame it isn't more easily searchable-- and I posted here during pre-production of my "first" short (first one that I'd call professional, anyway).

I'm now half way through a crowdfunding campaign for post-production costs for the same film (would be amazing if you could check it out, it's only a fiver to get access to the film, and there's some stuff that could be useful to other writers/directors at a higher tier, here's the link:

It's at 66% with still a few weeks to go which is exciting and means I'll be able to hire someone for the edit- I've edited the trailer myself, but the struggle involved in handling the 4k footage on my laptop confirms that outsourcing the job is definitely the way to go.

(I'm aware the budget is still very small in the scale of professional work, but it's on the shorter side and well, I hope that it'll look like a good project to take on).

But I've no experience with hiring an editor or composer etc and was wondering if anyone had any advice on that?

Especially with working out whether you and the editor are a good fit when it comes to creativity/vision of the film? As both the writer and director I know I'm very close to it and that it'll definitely benefit from someone who can look at the footage with fresh eyes and be more objective, but how do you balance that with your vision of the film? Is it best to give an editor free reign for the rough cut to see what they come up with, or to give detailed notes beforehand?

  • Interview them to see if you are generally on the same page. Give them detailed notes and give them freedom. You do both. If it’s not working for your vision then get someone else. The more money involved the less control an editor is going to have, unless they’re very top pro’s.

    3 weeks ago
  • Let the editor produce the first pass - you're absolutely right that fresh eyes are essential. You know things about the characters and situations that will require setting up for a cold audience, for instance. They can make a project change shape, but usually for the better.

    You may also want to consider that you will likely need to shoot some pickups for exactly that reason.

    On another note, editing 4k... Almost any modern computer can edit SD or 720p without problem. You edit the story at a lower resolution, then re-attach/conform with the high res clips on a more powerful machine, and grade that. It's a huge moneysaver, and is how people have worked ("proxy workflow" if you want some search terms) up until this point. Also worth bearing in mind that the number of pixels isn't what gives a movie value - for instance "Skyfall" was shot 2k (which is more or less 1080p). Many cinemas will still project in 2k on secondary screens, even with a 4k source. Unless the project requires all 4k for, say, CGI rendering (most don't), then you can do almost all of what you need with any modern laptop. Not the question you asked, I know, but may be helpful to see the wider picture. Consider how the film will be consumed - if mostly on a web streaming platform, many of your audience will play it at reduced resolution anyway, so chasing the pixels can be wasted effort. I know on some films I've made, frankly we may as well have shot SD since their main release was DVD anyway. Just if it's helpful.

    2 weeks ago
    • I used proxies when editing the trailers and my laptop still had enough trouble handling it, but yes, the outside objectivity was the bigger reason in going to an editor.

      Anyway, I've since found someone, we're at picture lock now, and I'm very happy I hired someone rather than doing it myself, she made choices I wouldn't ever have ever thought of. I think getting someone else's perspective is even more important when you're both writer and director, I don't think I'll ever go back to editing my own work (on projects that actually have a budget, anyway).

      2 weeks ago
  • Let me know if you need any original score, I could add your film to my global campaign which you’ll benefit from including the free score.

    To hear more about this campaign

    1 week ago