One question that always comes up at the Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass is which editing tool should I use? There is no straight answer to this but here are my thoughts…
What should you consider when setting up your system?
1. For feature length narrative and documentary, you may go through several editors, so make sure you own the editing system and software.
2. If you are not techy, make sure your editor is. You MUST have a technologist in your team. They don’t need to be a genius, but they do need to ‘get it’.
3. Once you commit to one system, it will be near impossible to move your film to another, so be sure BEFORE you start. And don’t just go with what your editor suggests, it’s YOUR baby and YOU will live with the impact of this choice.
4. However long you think it will take to edit your film, multiply it by three. It just will take much longer than you think. This is one reason why you may work with more than one editor.
5. You will also run out of drive space, so buy the biggest drives you can afford. I am now using USB 3 drives for added speed too.
6. Consider Lightworks, it’s free. Avid also offer a student package that is very competitive. Adobe Premiere and After Effects is also a good choice, but less practical for feature length projects.
7. Don’t upgrade your computer OS, or editing software mid edit, unless you really need to do so.
8. Don’t use your editing system for anything other than editing. Unplug it from the internet too. Think of your editing system as a standalone machine and not a computer running software. You cannot risk catastrophe because of some web malware.
9. Backup your media and project regularly. This will be a challenge as media files and MASSIVE. On the other hand, the project files are small and could easily be saved to your Dropbox which would backup continually.
10. Try and get a big monitor and speakers attached to your system so you can see and hear clearly what you are editing. This is especially important in the latter stages of the edit.
Do you have any tips to add?
Onwards and upwards
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author