How To Be A Better Editor In 2015

3 Tips For Being a More Productive Editor

Make Lots Of Little Sacrifices.

Your goals should scare you a little bit. Good goals will require sacrificing time or money. That's what makes them worth it in the end. The value of achievement is found in the amount of sacrifice for it. (And that's freaking brilliantly worded.) However, not everyone can make the same sacrifices. While sacrifices are dependent on individual circumstances, this tends to be universal: it's easier to make lots of little sacrifices than it is to make a few big ones. Don't get me wrong, large sacrifices are exciting and sometimes necessary, but most people can't justify the risk and they end up abandoning their goals. Little sacrifices aren't felt so much in the moment but, after time, they appear no different than big sacrifices. Achieving your goals by making lots of little sacrifices is no less rewarding—It just takes more patience and commitment. Which video editors possess in abundance to begin with so yeah.

Here are 3 goals that require little sacrifices every video editor can make in 2015...

1. Wake Up Early.

Video editors who have "day jobs" or full-time work that just pays the bills, this is the most practical advice you can get. Wake up early and get working on those passion projects, even if it's only for 30 minutes. Check out this math: 30 minutes 5 days a week is 2.5 hours, which is about 12 hours a month. Do this for a year and it turns into 144 hours! That's a decent amount of time for a personal project. Do it.

2. Use Social Media.

When networking is as simple as having a twitter handle, there's no reason not to be doing it. Just remember, little sacrifices take time to add up; quality networking doesn't happen overnight, not even on social media. (@premierebro has 5 followers at the time of this post. #justsaying) It takes time to create a presence, establish a voice and make meaningful connections. But it's so simple to do, especially on Twitter. It's called a 'Tweet' for crying out loud! Nothing to be afraid of. Here are some great video editors to follow online in 2015:

Vashi Nedomansky @vashikoo
Jonny Elwyn @jonnyelwyn
Richard Harrington @rhedpixel
Larry Jordan @LarryJordanFCP
Jeff Greenberg @filmgeek

3. Watch Movies In Premiere Pro.

Import your favorite movie into Premiere Pro, drop it into a new sequence, trim to your favorite scene and right arrow through it one frame at a time. Use markers to indicate the cuts in the scene. Break out those video scopes to analyze the color. You'll probably see something new on your first pass. This is a practical exercise to learn the intangible qualities of great editing and filmmaking. This also works great on commercials! Here are some questions to help you get the most out of this:

-How many cuts are there?
-Do the number of cuts work with the tone of the scene?
-How does the scene transition in and out?
-Do you think the transitions were in the script or discovered in the edit room? 
-What kind of edits are in the scene? (L-cuts, swish pans, smash cuts, etc.)
-When do the cuts happen? (action, dialogue, composition, a blink, etc.)
-How does each cut move the story along?
-What is the main plot of the scene and how does the editing reveal it?
-How does the sound affect the cuts or vice versa?
-If you were the editor, what would you cut?

4. Edit. Duuuuhh.

Ultimately, your sacrifices should make you appreciate editing more, not resent it. Best wishes to you in the New Year!