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The Basic Workflow

Most of the time, workflow is at least slightly different between one project and the next. Very likely, today's editor is not just doing narrative films, commercials, or corporate videos. Nearly every day a new form of the medium is being used. It's more likely that a successful career is being built around a combination of project types. So the process changes often between one project and the next. Moreover, not everyone's brain works the same way. What seems to be intuitive to one person feels counterproductive to another. Teaching hundreds of different editors over the past few years has opened my eyes to this. This chapter attempts to get you to start working the way that makes the most sense to you. It's far more important to finish a project that is successfully completed on time and that meets its goals than it is to use a certain method (or even software application) to get there.

When you are editing with any nonlinear editor, there are definite similarities between projects. You acquire the footage first, bring it into your computer using various methods, and then edit it, refine it, and deliver it. Some projects have all the source material ready to edit, and some do not. This is the beauty of a nonlinear editor. It doesn't matter in what order you edit each scene, and it doesn't matter that you have all the source footage or material at one time. Especially when you work with feature film, rarely is all the film shot before the editor starts working.


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