Editing by the Numbers

Premiere Pro decided to crash on me a few times last night so I thought I'd use my free time while uploading and reloading the program to update you all on the complexity of video editing. People generally think that you grab a camera, hit the record button and then after cutting it up and slapping a song on in post-production that you're essentially done within 30 minutes. Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

First, let me provide you all with some context around the scope of work, for the BMW M5 Comparison shoot I have over 132GB of hard drive space being taken up by HD video, audio, Premiere encoding and preview files. This accounts for nearly 1,500 different files that I have to work with and edit JUST for this video. There are over 6 hours of footage and 4 hours of audio that need to be sifted through. So you're probably thinking, "well what's the big deal...only 6 hours? You can sit down and do it in a day." Well, here's the funny part, to find a good 20-30 second clip you need to be able to scrub the 6 hours, find your clip, scrub it again, see if there is a better one and then keep scrubbing. So finding a small clip to use can actually take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. That's where organization comes into play.

Second, organization of footage is key. I literally spent the first week after filming just moving all of those vague, automatically named files into meaningful folders...so instead of having one folder of videos, I have an E39 Exterior Stationary shot folder that has all of the videos relevant to that shot, causing all 20 clips that are named "Video1, Video2, Video3" to suddenly have more context. Once the footage is organized it becomes a little easier to navigate and pull clips.

The third thing that is difficult is post-production audio syncing. We strive for the best quality videos and one of the ways to achieve that is to capture audio on a separate track to ensure optimal audio (hence the great exhaust sounds). The downside to recording audio on a separate track is that it acts independently of the video and as a result must be synced. Tracking and documenting of shot counts and duration is key when filming so that in post-production you aren't listening to hours upon hours of audio just trying to figure out what video shot it coincides with. Still not an easy thing to do, but certainly is worth it when you hear good audio vs. bad audio!

That's it for now, back to editing!

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