What IS Editing Exactly?

What IS editing exactly?

I know, it sounds like a stupid question, we all know what editing is.

But do we?

Video editing can be everything from trimming the end off a shot before posting it to YouTube, to the post production on a 4K HDR series for Netflix. The toolkit required can vary tremendously but it can all be described as editing.

It all started very simple

The whole concept of editing began by accident. Early hand cranked film cameras would be stopped and started between takes and occasionally the switch from one shot to the next seemed to flow. It seems the human brain accepts the juxtaposition of two images and this can be used to create a narrative.

So, in essence, editing is cutting together pictures and sound to tell a story. So far so simple, but of course there are many more levels of complexity.

Let’s keep it simple – NOT

The number of different camera formats that are available now is remarkable, with variations in resolution, aspect ratio, frame rate and colour depth. It is not unusual for the editor to have to deal with mixed formats from different sources, making sure that everything ends up at a common format for delivery.

Digital formats are constantly pushing the envelope (or should that be film canister?) as manufacturers strive to capture images with the greatest fidelity, highest resolution and widest colour range. The knock on effect of this is that the amount of data that is generated grows exponentially. Being able to play some of these formats requires very high specification computers, so even viewing your footage can be difficult.

Giving access to everyone in the team who needs to view content can be a nightmare, especially as the number of people who need to work with that content is growing. We now need the Social media team and the Promo department to have access as well as the main production team. There are loggers, transcribers, translators, assistant editors, edit producers and editors who all need access, oh and don’t forget the Director 🙂

Back to the simplicity

The best way to deal with this is to transcode all your media to a common format, ideally something lightweight that can be played back over a standard internet connection. That way anyone who needs access can view and interact with the content from any computer.

Forscene uses a unique codec called “Blackbird” which has been developed for this exact purpose. From any computer with a 1.5Mb/s connection or better, you can view your content in real time, shuttle at high speed and quickly identify the useful parts of your content. Using the Forscene application, content can be logged, transcribed and roughly edited, reducing the amount of content the editor has to deal with. All decisions can be passed on to the Editor as metadata so that they can link back to the full resolution media in Avid, Premiere, Final Cut or Resolve.

For a lot of the editing jobs that need to be done, the whole thing can be completed in Forscene. When there is more capability required than is available in the cloud, the edit can be started in Forscene and then finished in a more traditional editing system.

Using the cloud to allow the production team access to content makes it much simpler to collaborate on the edit and to produce multiple versions for different destinations, more about that in a future blog post.

Neil Roberts
Solutions Specialist

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