I’ve got a new five-pack of articles in the pipeline entitled “Who’s on crew?” Today’s deals with the critical importance of bringing an editor “on staff” as a fixed, full-time crew person, as opposed to being a part-time hired gun. I make the argument that editors aren’t just below-the-line order takers, but key collaborators along the indie filmmaking journey, allies in the never-ending mission of reaching out to the public and growing audiences for filmmakers who make indie film their career.
I can’t stress this enough…having an editor on staff who serves the production and the filmmaker directly, who is not merely competent with their craft but is fast and efficient, is an asset you can’t pay enough for. Basically I’m talking about someone who lives and breathes the editing game, who doesn’t need hours of planning and exhaustive preparatory meetings before they can launch headfirst into the production of high-quality clips at a very productive rate.
Juliane Block, a filmmaker has demonstrated over the course of several clips we’ve shot thus far, is indeed this sort of individual.
There are good explanations why editors come to your rescue. For indie filmmakers seeking to engage their audiences on a daily basis in this tremendously competitive industry, here are several:
Trial & error in the audience engagement process:
Trial and error encompasses a wide range of deliverables, but the idea is that sometimes what you think works for an audience, upon observation, simply doesn’t. When that happens, you’ve got to have someone on staff who can re-slice videos you’ve already made public or who can reassemble the rough footage residing on your drives into something different, theme and variations-like. Two things bear mentioning: 1) don’t get so bent out of shape when things don’t work out according to plan, because it’s the nature of the beast in indie film (even studio marketing departments have this problem) and 2) find an editor who is well-organized and who can zero in on properly-labeled footage super fast. Keep looking for someone who can do this for you until you find such a person.
Someone who can bail you out of a jam:
The closer your film gets to post-production and eventual release – not to mention the rigors of actually being on set during principal photography – the more pressed for time filmmakers get – at least ones who I know. Who has time to trawl through endless reams of rough footage or to cut materials for bonus clips? Audiences still, however, require daily engaging, but this task should — by necessity – be left in the competent hands of the professionals expressly hired for this purpose. I’m talking about editors who can:
- read between the lines in terms of what a filmmaker truly wants, and…
- who are filmmakers themselves, even if the film isn’t necessarily their own.
These sorts of pros will anticipate what the harried hectic filmmaker needs at critical junctures and won’t hesitate to suggest solutions A, B, C, or D that can be chosen in menu format, simple as pointing, picking, and hitting the road with it.
…instead of merely responding to requests from the filmmaker. An editor, perhaps because they’re filmmakers themselves, can and should suggest footage to be shot and cut. Observe a void in the bonus materials area? Then seal it with a forward-thinking helpful approach. That’s the kind of person I’m referring to.
The overall idea here is that your editor should be a creative collaborator, as opposed to a short-order cook who merely fulfills instructions. Your editor should be on-call and available at a moment’s notice. They should also know your film about as well as you do, and should have all the scenes, sequences, and the overall tone and mood of the film firmly in mind.
If this “battery” is working properly, with zero snags in the audience outreach campaign, with social media outposts well-attended to, then you’re a very fortunate filmmaker indeed.
Adam Daniel Mezei, PMD | Producer of Marketing and Distribution
Indie Audience Engagement Services for Independent Feature Films and Documentaries
LIKE PMD-For-Hire at:
TWEET PMD-For-Hire at:
ADD US to your G+ circles:
JOIN PMD-For-Hire on LinkedIn:
EMAIL PMD-For-Hire at:
SUBSCRIBE to PMD-For-Hire’s YouTube channel:
SUBSCRIBE to PMD-For-Hire’s Vimeo channel:
SUBSCRIBE ON FLICKR: