Videos: A new way of processing information
We, humans, are wired in a certain way. According to research, on average, our brain remembers 95% of what we watch compared to 10% of what we read. Audio and Visual catch our attention and make us remember things even if we don't want to. Because of our unique traits, video is one of the most effective forms of content. And this century is all about attention.
That is why videos are essential. And so is the quality.
A typical job profile of a video editor includes the following:
Edit and manipulate footage and film pieces in a way that is unnoticeable to the audience.
Understand the requirements and specifications of the production team.
Trim videos and put together the sequence of the film.
Add audio, graphics, and effects
Input music, dialogues, graphics, and effects
Ensure rational sequencing and smooth rendering
Continuously learn and discover new editing techniques and technology to create relevant and attention-grabbing content.
As with any other creative people, video editors are readily available. But finding a skilled, reliable, and affordable person for the job can take time and effort. So let's look at each aspect of hiring a video editor.
Before starting to find a video editor, your first step should be to set the expectations and requirements of the video editor. Most problems arise when the expectations are not communicated to the other party.
Hiring a video editor is not just about finding someone with premier skills, it’s about finding someone with the skill set to translate your ideas into a visual reality.
A clear description of the job will remove many unnecessary candidates who don't fit the criteria. After knowing the expectations, the next step will be to find the right candidate.
If you are looking for someone available on call for regular work, these kinds of editors are full-time or virtually placed. Full-time video editors are hired the same as you hire any other employee, through your network, recommendations, or the internet. While outsourced service is generally given to an agency that has a team of video editors working under them, and you directly deal with the agency.
You can also hire a freelancer by going through a brand whose work is relevant to you and pinning down the videographer through credits.
You hire a freelancer on a project basis, the contract gets completed once the project is complete. To hire a freelance video editor, there are multiple online portals available. Find portals like Refrens which are reliable, trustworthy, and can connect with quality prospects.
No matter what kind of video editor you need, there are plenty of choices out there. That is where the role of evaluating the video editor comes into play.
Most video editors who come from the same educational background will have a BS degree in film studies, cinematography, or related things. But nowadays, education doesn't guarantee skills, and skills don't guarantee that someone had a formal education in it. So ask for the education, if they have studied in a field that is around video editing, it is a bonus, but if they have not, it doesn't really matter. So education cannot be the only criterion to judge the editor.
Most video editors also learn editing on the go, from online courses, and that’s okay too!
Make sure to check their past work and projects. Have they worked on the kind of video you need? Is their working style suiting yours? A good video editor should have at least a few years of work experience as a video editor and a strong portfolio of their best work done till now, which illustrates the range of video editing abilities-patching, color corrections, visual effects, corporate syncing, etc.
Although the number of years doesn't directly translate to a good editor, it gives an edge. Someone who has been in the industry for years and still produces good outcomes, clearly means that they're adaptable and they can keep up with trends and technology.
Their portfolio will give you an idea of their editing style, creativity, and personality as an editor.
Does their sample work match your project's genre or tone? If their portfolio has a wide variety of styles and techniques, then that usually means they are talented.
Make sure they have technical knowledge of the software used. There are a bunch of software out there that is used for video editing, but most of the good ones are few. Adobe Premiere Pro, ProTools, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Composer, Avid Media, Lightworks, and Da Vinci are some of the most infamous software in the industry.
Ask them which one they use; if they use one of the above software, and with this, if their portfolio is good, then that typically means they have good clarity on the logic of video editing. If they have a strong hold on the reason for video editing, then it doesn't really matter which software they use.
Attitude directly affects the work that the editor produces. If the editor seems arrogant, there is a high chance that they won't be open to feedback and trying new things. Instead, look for openness in communication, a voice of their own, and a willingness to try out new things.
All of these things indirectly impact the quality of the outcome of the project. So, looking out for them is very important.
Ask them if they have any special access to content that can be helpful in the project. For example, a good and experienced editor will have access to stock photos, videos, and non-copyrighted music and sound. So make sure you verify their subscriptions and access to such things.
And lastly, look out for references. If they have good reviews from past clients, if they have been recommended by people, then it is a good sign. That clearly means they have delivered satisfying results before.
After judging the prospects through the above criteria, the next step is to get clarity on their deliverables and the timeline; most of these are common in a lot of other fields too:
Letter of agreement: There should be a simple, easy-to-read document, which states all the terms of the arrangement. The written document helps to avoid misunderstandings, and in worse situations, it can protect your legal rights.
Scope of work (SOW): A scope of work is very important to be cleared from the beginning. What will be the deliverables from the editor's end? Will he provide only the main video? Or will he give the editing files as well? What will be the measurable outcome (e.g. the number of minutes of video)? How many drafts and revisions will be offered by the editor? Everything clear before starting the project, makes the work much smoother and easier to execute.
Expiration Dates: This includes the time you are allowed to give feedback on edits. This saves the editor from clients who don't reply after the first draft, and they never get paid.
The timeline can vary from one editor to another, but it should be discussed and written in the SOW document; generally, an average editor takes around 30-60 minutes to edit one minute of basic video content.
The turnaround time varies from editor to editor, as it depends on the number of projects they have in hand, but on average you can expect to receive the first draft in a minimum of two business days.
The timeline should be clearly discussed and written in the scope of work.
Well, now you know where to find the editor and how to evaluate them. But before you go out and hire an editor, let's look at some common mistakes people make while hiring a video editor, so that you don't make them.
Refrain from falling for the bias of price: Usually, prices are directly correlated to skills and experiences. You want to avoid hiring a cheap editor and regret it later. Make sure you know what you are paying and whether it is worth it or not.
Do not look for someone who can create a replica of someone else's video: Your purpose of video editing is to create something impactful, looking out for people who can exactly make what is already out there, seems a good shortcut, but in the long-term, it will damage the brand name.
Take the deliverables and timeline seriously. Many people need more time in getting clarity on deliverables and timelines. The mistake of not getting clear in the beginning can be a big mistake afterward, once when the whole work is done.
Do not forget to take the sources from the editor: Many people don't know that they should ask for them. If they don't have the source file, next time, if and when they want to make a slight change in the video, they have to contact the video editor again, and there is a good chance that either they won't have the files anymore or they will charge extra for it.
Pricing happens in two ways in video editing. Either the video editor charges on the length and the complexity of the video, or they charge on the amount of time given in video editing.
Charges on the length and complexity of the video are easier to evaluate, and they are much more certain. INR ranges from INR 500 per minute of video to INR 10,000+ per minute. Here the complexity drives the prices; it all depends on the complexity of the work. While in US dollars, it ranges from $50 to $15,000 per minute.
Another payment module is hourly; it's tricky as it requires a certain amount of trust between you and your editor. So to save yourself from overpaying someone, you have to calculate how much approximate time it would take to complete your project.
As we mentioned before, an average editor takes approximately 1 hour to create 1 min of basic video-edited content.
According to the video's complexity and length, you have to assume the amount of time it might take to complete the project. It can range from USD 15 to $100+ per hour, but the average US editor charges around $25. While in India, it ranges from INR 400 to INR 2,000 on average. However, there is little uncertainty about the project's total cost in this module because no one can confidently say how many hours one has to put into any particular project.
Here is the guide to help you answer “How to hire a freelance video editor?”
Do share this article with someone who is looking for a guide to hiring a video editor. Feel free to ask any questions or doubts in the comment. If you are looking for a video editor, check out Refrens to find the right fit for your next project.