When you’re editing video content, chances are something in your process is slowing you down or causing a creative block. Creating a video editing process and system takes work, fine-tuning and tons of trial and error, but once you’ve dialed in exactly which procedures and organizational tools you need to implement, it will become second nature. To help provide some tips for creating an efficient workflow, we reached out to our friends at SLR Lounge. They create multiple videos each week for their own YouTube channel, partner YouTube channels, wedding videos for our clients, and comprehensive workshops for Premium Members. To get this all done with a small team of 3 editors, efficiency is critical.
They’ve summarized five of our favorite tips for video creation efficiency for content creators, educators, and filmmakers.
1. Create an organized file structure
It's imperative to organize your projects to not only promote efficiency but to make it easy for the project to be worked on by multiple people. The main objective of folder organization, especially if working with other editors, is to make sure the structure of the folders can be understood by just about anyone touching the project.
If for any reason the original editor or you as an editor drop the project, it can easily be navigated and carried through by another editor, as long as it's clear as to where things should be. The above screenshot shows a typical structure for projects with 1) Assets, 2) Projects, and 3) Export. These are the essential main folders that branch out into subfolders. ‘Assets’ branches into RAW audio, graphics and audio (songs, etc). Feel free to adopt this flow or create your own. The important thing is to set one up and strictly follow it!
2. Design a storyboard to help the flow
Whether it's a shot list or a standard image-based storyboard format, make sure you have an idea of what shots you need prior to filming and anticipate what you will need to tell a complete story.
For our wedding videography company, we equip each shooter with a starting list of necessary shots that all clients want and then ask them to get creative with the location and lighting to tell a stronger story. This helps immensely in the post-production process because you can eliminate wasted time scrubbing for footage you know doesn't exist.
This also prevents overshooting, especially for when you are running on a tighter budget and can cut unnecessary filming time.
3. Organize your Music using Artlist’s ‘Save’ and ‘Collections’ features
Everyone has been there at some point: scrolling down a long list of songs, listening to snippets, forgetting which ones you liked or not, and finally finding the exact right song to fit the scene.
Artlist has solved this issue with their ‘Collections’ feature, which allows you to make (and share) a list of songs or sound effects you think could fit a project.
Essentially, you can create a separate collection for each project you are working on and go over the songs once you feel you’ve finished browsing. You can also share that collection with a client or a fellow creator to get feedback from them. This saves a lot of time and keeps you organized when working on multiple projects for different clients or for yourself.
If you don’t want to create a collection, you can just save a song, a sound effect, an album or an artist when you come across one you like and then go back and listen to it after you’ve finished your search.
For those that create YouTube content inserting clips from past videos that apply to the current video and making a call back to a previous YouTube video (using YouTube Cards) is a great way to engage viewers and show them the other content they may have missed. For educational content this is key for viewer retention of the information you are trying to teach, the more they see it the more likely they are to remember it when they practice it themselves.
4. Incorporate images as B-Roll
A great way to add dimension to your content is to include still photos mixed in with your video footage. This is key for content creators that also double as photographers to give viewers visible proof of experience and skill.
See an example here:
For maximum efficiency and consistency in your video creation, make sure you edit your images in Lightroom. We also recommend editing your images by lighting conditions so that you can easily batch process the images. For example, edit all of your images shot in window light with similar settings, then move on to your images shot in the open sun, then move on to your night photos and so on. If you follow this process, then syncing the settings on your images will result in much higher accuracy. For added efficiency, consider presets like SLR's Visual Flow Lightroom Presets, a system we designed to help us batch edit tons of images within minutes with a patent-pending lighting condition-based development.
5. Reuse B-Roll whenever applicable
It can be difficult to get a variety of shots depending on your circumstances, and this forces you to get a little creative when it comes to editing your footage. If you are looking to fill in content gaps or overlay talking head footage with b-roll then try and reuse clips to cut back on having to refilm footage or cut out important talking points.
inserting clips from past videos that apply to the current video and making a call back to a previous YouTube video (using YouTube Cards) is a great way to engage viewers and show them content they may have missed. For educational content, this is key for viewer retention of the information you are trying to teach. The more they see it, the more likely they are to remember it when they practice it themselves.
Remember that everyone has their own video creation process and system for editing, what’s important is finding which part of the assembly line isn’t working out seamlessly and finding a possible solution for it. For more tips on how to edit faster in Premiere, check out this video. For more gold-standard education for portrait photography, be sure to join the SLR Lounge Premium Membership which houses a library of over 30+ courses ranging from posing, lighting, and so much more!