Posts Tagged ‘frame flash’

Even In The Quietest Moments

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment


In my life, I try to juggle a number of things. There’s the needs of managing a department, my work on shows that has me out-of-town at times, prepping class lessons…all the while making sure to have quality at-home time with my family. It’s a very rewarding life I lead, but does require some time management. What I’ve discovered is that there are some stretches of time that before went by where I could get more done. Riding the train in to work provides 20 minutes of quality writing time. Waiting for the train allows me to go through emails. Having two computers on my desk leads to multi-tasking.


The same can be said in the edit suite. There is an old axiom in television…”Hurry up and wait”. There may never have been a truer saying for the editor’s life in the non-linear world. In my previous post, I talked about being prepared before you even step into the edit suite…but what about once you’re into the project?


The beauty about the non-linear world of editing is that it IS non-linear. In the days of tape-to-tape editing, you had to wait for certain things to be completed before you moved forward. Oh sure, you could cut a story or feature on a separate tape and then dump that in once you got to that point in the show…but you lost a generation of video quality. Not exactly rewarding for you to think ahead if it compromises the quality of your work. But that’s not a problem anymore. You can start a new sequence, cut what you need to cut, and in some cases drop that sequence down on to your master timeline as one chunk without any video degradation. This allows you to keep working while waiting for an element of the show that’s taking a little longer than expected.


In some cases, even rendering time can be beneficial. It’s true that the life of the non-linear editor can sometimes be measured in progress bars. At times, it seems we watch those green/blue/black units of completion scroll across our screen more than we edit. But that “can’t do anything else” time doesn’t have to be a mandatory break. Think about what you can do that doesn’t require your editing computer. Anything from email correspondence with clients updating them on progress, gathering shots from an archive system on another computer, listening to music for the next piece in advance so you’re not wasting valuable edit time…all this can be accomplished in the time it takes your system to do a long render.


Of course, and perhaps above all else, is to make sure that you feel ready for the next part of the project. Sometimes, this means taking that 10 minutes or so and grabbing a snack, heating your lunch or simply refueling on coffee. The more alert and nourished you are, the less likely you are to make little mistakes. When I pull an all-nighter, I go in prepared…not just in having my materials in order, but in making sure I have what I like to call Edit Fuel. Have a late small meal prepared for the long renders, and some snacks for the shorter ones. If you’re tired, and you feel like you’ve been up for 3 days straight when you’re only in hour 6, you will start to miss things. This is where frame flashes, unwanted jump cuts and bad audio mixes happen…when the editor is not at 100%. It’s true that sleep deprivation can affect your hearing, so if you’re too tired to hear properly, how can you make a good mix? Take care of yourself and you’ll be better able to take care of your project.