Explaining one way to approach the editing of a music video.
My most recent editing commission was to edit the music video for ‘All I Need’ by Tony Momrelle. The video was Directed by Colin Platt with Director of Photography Jason Shepherd. Filming took place within a converted church in Crouch End, London. It’s the same studio that was used to record the Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’ album. Thirty different camera takes, most using camera track, had been recorded during the filming day. It was all filmed on a Canon C300 MkII with a range of prime lenses. The total duration of all the studio filmed footage including re-takes was just under 2 hours.
How to start the editing of a music video
In order to start the edit, I first synced up each of these different camera recordings to the master audio recording track. To help ensure an easy syncing process, the director had edited on a click track to the front of the music track which was used to guide the band’s filmed performance. This click track was very helpful with the edit as it made it much easier to sync up all the camera recordings to the same point.
Editing out any unsuitable footage
Once all the camera recordings had been synced up, I then played through each take and edited out any of the footage that would not be suitable for the final video edit. This exercise helped me to gain a sense of how the video had been filmed and the realisation of how great the footage all looked. I then had a timeline of all the best footage. The Avid Media Composer editing timeline only allows a maximum of 24 video tracks so I had to edit the additional camera angles into a second timeline.
Editing for performance
The next part of the editing process was to edit the music video for the lead singer’s performance. I made sure that the singer’s camera shots were at the top of the timeline so that I could keep all the other different takes, like the close ups of all the other musicians, still in their correct place in the timeline.
Getting the Directors input
At this stage, before I could continue with the edit, I had a viewing of the rough edit with the director. Colin then gave me some feedback on what he saw as the direction for the edit for the video. I then continued to edit the video with this direction in mind and then had a second viewing with Colin. Colin also suggested a mysterious build-up, before revealing the lead singer, which works really well and the opening shots are stunning. After some further changes, the edit was sent to the singer Tony Momrelle who then requested a few minor changes to the edit.
Grading the video and delivery
Once all the edited shots had been viewed and agreed, I then proceeded to grade the shots as directed by Jason, the DOP. The final completed graded version was delivered to the client as a broadcast standard digital file and also for upload to You Tube. Shorter 15-second and 60-second taster versions suitable for sharing on social media sites were also edited.
From my own perspective, as a BBC editor with over 15 years experience, I have to say that the studio footage is some of the most beautifully shot footage that I have ever edited. Seeing that the footage was so well shot, invested a great deal of extra time to make sure that the quality of the edit was as beautiful as it could be.