A PR pro’s guide: How to maximize your video edit time

Some tips to make your dollar go as far as it can when working with video professionals.

Some tips to make your dollar go as far as it can when working with video professionals

Here’s a common scenario: You’re busy. You have more than one client or job that is taking up your day. Your budget is always tight, but you need a video so you call a trusted video producer.

With the explosion of Web video, I’ve been getting calls from PR folks asking me to edit a two- to three-minute video story for a website about an event, an opening, a party, a gala, etc. You get the drill. As much as PR people want to make the video, cost is their overriding concern.

Here are some tips to make your dollar go as far as it can when working with video professionals.

Before the job, negotiate the schedule and billing. For smaller budgets, the process happens in four phases.

  • Phase 1: Loading footage, creating show titles, lower third supers (identification tags), choosing music, slugging together the sound bites and selecting the best b-roll shots.
  • Phase 2: Editing the show flow, whittling down sound bites, cutting to music, and laying in titles.
  • Phase 3: Review with the client
  • Phase 4: Tweaks, audio mix, color correct, Upload final, create master and Web files.

In order for this to run smoothly you, the PR professional, should do the following:

1. Have all names and titles spell checked and ready before Phase 1.

2. If you want to use your client’s font, make sure you have a Mac version of it to share with your producer.

3. Determine any show open titles, show ending titles, urls that have to be flashed, or logos that have to be shown. Again, make sure the producer has them before Phase 1.

4. Determine the genre of music you want. Give examples to the producer of what you’ve heard before that you like. Music is the easiest thing in a video not to like. But if you only have 20 hours of editing time, getting hung up on the music can kill a project’s budget.

5. Make sure you have your client’s time booked to see the rough cut and finished version. You don’t want your video post crew waiting around and billing you.

6. Where are you uploading this? Let the producer know whether this is being streamed on a client’s server, YouTube or other social media platform for distribution.

7. Content. The more you can share about what your client wants to see in the finished version, the easier it will be to hit the ground running in the first few hours of editing. At the very least, tell the producer the two essential pieces of information that have to be communicated and what emotion you want viewers to feel after they have watched it.

Christopher Ming Ryan is a co-founder and principal at Wheelhouse Communications. He blogs at The Way We Watch.

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