Film festival editor

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Film festival editor based in Central London

Working as a film festival editor I was commissioned to edit a trailer promoting a London film festival. With over 15-years experience of working as a video editor, I have always edited short promotional trailers including those for BBC broadcast.

Editing a film festival trailer

I was commissioned to edit a 90-second trailer for the 2015 FRINGE! Queer film & Arts festival that took place around Hackney in London during 2015. At the start of the project, I was sent a selection of individual film trailers and film footage from both the short films and longer feature films that were already programmed into the film festival. Once I had received all of the content I watched and listened to all the media and then selected the best clean audio sync that could be used in the trailer. At the same time, I selected the strongest and most unique shots from each of the films.

Building the edit

After watching and listening to all the footage I laid down all the vision and sound elements that I had selected into a long rough edit that I could reference in my timeline. My plan was to build edit the 90-second trailer using sync clips and to tell a story that helped illustrate the queer film festival programme. I believe that spending some extra time to edit together sync lead trailers (as opposed to the more straightforward vision and music only trailers) makes the end product more engaging for the audience and therefore hopefully more effective in increasing festival attendance and revenue.

Representing diversity

It was important for me to ensure that the many different categories that identify as queer were represented in the trailer. As I edited together some semblance of a story I spent quite a bit of edit time adjusting the gender balance of the content so that it represented all groups fairly. Initially, I worked on editing the audio together to build the story down to time, always keeping its associated vision in sync with the audio. As part of my work, I needed to ensure that the trailer was safe to view for all ages and that it would equally work online and in the cinema.

Film festival editor audio and fx editing

Once the audio story had been constructed I edited on the opening and closing graphics and laid down the composed music track. I applied a time warp effect onto the graphical animations to make their transition faster and then selected my favourite frame to start the trailer. I left a brief ‘music only’ gap at the start of the trailer to help ensure the audience was engaged with the trailer before the fast-paced sync audio started. Once the audio was neatly edited I started painting the video images with the best selection that I could find. The final job was editing on the end animation and closing titles and then balancing the sound and picture grade. I sent off the edit for the festival team to approve and was very pleased that they signed it off with no changes.

Delivering the edit

The final delivery involved creating a 1920×1080 ProRes444 (which got converted into a DCM file for the cinema) and a 1920×1080 .mp4 for uploading to YouTube. I also edited together a shorter 15-second version for Instagram. It was great to see the final trailer shown on the big screen at the Rio in Dalston. If you would like any help with your video project please get in touch.