The world inside video editing
Video recording started years ago, after people had fell in love with the beauty of photography and started looking for more innovative and creative ways of capturing moments and stories. The beginning of video was very different from what we are used to seeing nowadays. Nonetheless, the concept has remained the same after all these years.
It all started with what we know as videotape. This format consisted on capturing frames of pictures that would be played very rapidly so as to create the illusion of video. Also known as film, the process for this was long and painstaking, and will typically require someone knowledgable and professional to handle the same. From this came the term linear editing, which essentially means editing from beginning to end on a straightforward line. This form of editing was back then the only possibility to put together films, and the operation took a lot of time and care in order to see the results wanted. The reason why this method is so meticulous, is because back then the only way to edit scenes was to physically cut and place the parts where they were wanted. If a mistake was made, or there was a change of mind, that take would be lost since it would have to be replaced by another one in order to eliminate it. In this technological day and age, this type of editing is rarely heard of anymore. However, this is not to say that it is not important (and some videographers may say even essential) for editors to understand and even practice and perfection before they get into the new form of editing: non-linear editing.
Non-linear editing is what we all know of as simply editing today. Technology has made this practice very convenient and easy for us, as now we are able to go back and forth, to change as we please and to save as many backup copies as we think are needed.
Another important factor of editing that anyone coming into this field should know of is online and offline editing. When working on any editing project, it is almost essential to understand how this process works, and why it should always be applied. It is indeed quite simple once it’s understood. When shooting content, the video is usually given to the editor as raw files. These raw files will almost always be extremely big files, which means that in order for them to be cut, trimmed, edited, and so on, they take up a large amount of space and effort in anyone’s computer. For this, editors should always make sure to downsize their files when bringing them into the editing software. What this means is that these files will be converted from high resolution to low resolution for the time that they will be played with on the software. This is done so as to give the computer a more comfortable space to work with the files. Now, this does not mean that the final result will also be on low resolution, which is why we call this the offline editing. When editing offline with low resolution files, the editor should do every single cut and trim, place all the files accordingly and finish doing this before moving on to the next part. Once all of these changes are done, then the files can be converted back into their original high resolution form. This is where the editor would enter into the online editing. Online editing should only take care of color correction, titles and culmination of the editing process, which means the exporting of the project.
Whether we are referring to linear or non-linear editing. Or whether an editor choses to work with the offline and online editing method. I believe it is important to note that video editing is a beautiful craft and form of storytelling. This job is the one in charge of delivering stories to our tv, computer and phone screens, and whomever is able to perfection is should always be recognized for this!