If you want your post-production phase to run on time and on budget, this blog is for you! Included are helpful tips on how best to communicate feedback clearly and effectively to your production company.
1. Be specific
First, when giving notes, it’s important to be as constructive and specific as possible, so that your production company can clearly understand and incorporate your feedback. Use time codes to help you pinpoint what you think isn’t working with an edit, so that the editor can work with you to find a solution that will solve the problem.
2. Identify the cause, not the solution
Identify and describe what you don’t like about an edit. It is your editor’s job to find a creative solution to that problem. For example, if you feel the pace of your video is slow, tell your editor. The fix could be as simple as a new music track or adding quicker cuts.
3. “I’ll know it when I see it.”
Taking an “I’ll know it when I see it” approach to video editing can be very difficult for your production company. It is important that you clearly communicate what you are hoping for, even if the idea is nebulous. From there, your production company can ask questions to define your vision.
4. Fix it in post?
You may find that you don’t like something that is “baked into” the frame. For example, there might be a logo visible on the shirt of your main interview subject. To remove it will involve time-consuming (and costly) visual effects work. To avoid this, we recommend being present on set to give feedback at the moment footage is being captured.
5. Keep time in mind
If you feel like your video is missing important components of your message, communicate to the editor what is missing. However, if your edit is already at or beyond the intended duration, you’ll have to lose something else to stay at time. Increasing the duration of an edit beyond what was contracted will ultimately drive up cost.
6. Establish structure first
The first priority of any video edit is to get a cut “on its feet.” This first cut, the rough cut, will not yet resemble your production company’s other finished pieces. The rough cut is meant to establish the creative direction of your video by giving a sense of the structure, pace, and tone of the video.
7. Change direction early
If you are confused by the story presented in the rough cut, address your concerns with the production company before moving on to the next cut, the fine cut. This will avoid major structural changes down the line, which can be costly.