- Motion Graphics Animator
- Assistant Office / Studio / Production Manager
- Video Editor
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Creating Magic: A day in the life of a Video Editing Guru and a Post Production Supervisor @ Hoods Inc. Productions
The craft of visual storytelling
Writing this article wasn’t easy. I’m no writer; I work as a video editor. Visuals instead of text. But I’m never going to make a video of a-day-in-my-life-as-a-video-editor/post-production-supervisor, mostly because I find myself more drawn to the creative process behind the camera rather than being in front of it. So here I am, trying my best to write this and hopefully, it will be somewhat helpful and interesting to at least one person reading it.
So, what does the job scope of a video editor or post-production supervisor entail? For starters, a video editor and a post-production supervisor are two different job roles. In short, a video editor edits the video; a post-production supervisor (or post supervisor for short) oversees the entire post production process, coordinating between various post-production departments and people working in post. This includes, the video editors, the animators, the audio engineers, and so on. As such, a post supervisor is more of a managerial sort of role.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Video Editors and post supervisor are also involved in pre-production and production. For example, during pre-production, a post supervisor will undertake responsibilities such as planning the post schedule to ensure that telecast dates are met, working with the DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) to ensure that all footage will be securely backed up and delivered to editorial etc.
Similarly, a video editor will also be involved during the pre-production process, working closely with the director to bring the script to life and turn the director’s vision into reality.
Well then, what does my day as a video editor/post-supervisor look like?
Let’s say, filming for a particular project has just ended. Usually, I would also be involved in the filming process - as a logger, as the data wrangler, etc. Before starting on editing, preparation work needs to be done after receiving the footage. Preparation includes copying or ingesting the footage, checking the footage, syncing the footage, and so on. Where possible, we target to start all these prep work as soon as filming has concluded for the day. Once everything is ready, it’s time to start editing!
Most times, the initial start of the editing process is rather time-consuming. The editor would first have to go through all the footage that has been shot (this means watching hours, or even WEEKS worth of footage!). Together with the script and storyboards from the director, the editor will start to piece together the story. The first few drafts of the edit can be pretty tedious - you send your 1st cut to the director, the director sends you their feedback; you send your 2nd cut, you receive comments, and so on, back-and-forth, as everyone works towards achieving the final video. It can be very trying because more often than not, you tend to not see the light at the end of the tunnel when things seem to get a little repetitive. But I guess that’s part and parcel of crafting any final product - whether it be editing a video, writing a report, or even perfecting a cooking recipe.
While the editing is ongoing, the post supervisor will have to liaise with various post departments to ensure all the different components are proceeding smoothly. Say for example, this particular project requires some animations. While the editor is editing the video, the post supervisor will be liaising with the animators to make sure that they keep to schedule, so that the editor can include the animations into the video edit once they have been completed. Afterwhich, the post supervisor will also proceed to coordinate with the colourist, the audio engineer, the VFX (visual effects) artists, and everyone else, to give the finishing touches that makes the video complete.
Of course, each and every project is unique, so the process would vary slightly from project to project, and it’s difficult to fully explain the job scope in words. Hopefully, reading this far has given you a brief insight into what a video editor and a post supervisor does. Which, in all honesty, I never really knew about before getting into this job and industry.
The Thrills and Challenges of the job
I guess, what I’m trying to bring across is that with many jobs around the world, being a video editor and/or post supervisor comes with its own ups and downs, but with hard work and effort it can become fun and rewarding. I know, cliché. But it really is true. I didn’t come from a film, or even a mass communication background. Video editing was just something I’ve always been interested in, and decided to give it a try when I graduated from university. (Because, like what all positive cheery articles always say, if not now, then when?) There is a lot of fun when crafting a story visually, and you also get to learn a lot while working on different projects that cover different topics and genres.
You get to witness everyone’s hard work and effort being pieced together, coming to life right before your eyes
This is why people tend to say (perhaps in jest) that editing is where the magic happens. However, it can also be very tedious and difficult because telling a compelling story is by no means an easy feat. It is like running a baton run. All the hard work that everyone has done thus far, from pre-production all the way to production - and the baton is now handed over to you. It is the video editor's (and also the post supervisor’s) responsibility to live up to expectations and accomplish the vision that everyone has for the final product.
Well, in a very brief manner, that sums up what I do. I hope this gives a deeper insight into what the job is like for anyone who might be interested in it. While it is not always all fun and laughter, glitz and glamour, it can definitely be a very rewarding learning experience.