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Tag: video editor tips (page 1 of 11)

How Video Editors Stay Productive

Image of Calendar with text saying How Video Editors Stay Productive

Thursday 6:24PM.

There are 4 things I’ve blown off doing this afternoon/evening that were marked on my calendar. That’s a problem. A calendar should be a sacred thing. Something shouldn’t go on your calendar if it can move. Once you put it on your calendar you execute whatever it is no matter what.

It stems from me not doing my weekly review this past Sunday or the Sunday before then for that matter.

The first thing on my calendar for this afternoon was to do my weekly review, even though it’s not Sunday. I know that the weekly review is my way of getting organized mentally and digitally for the upcoming week. Without it…not much gets done. I’m lost. There are too many uncompleted tasks sitting in the tool I use to organize everything. My calendar is as strong as a wet paper towel.

Okay, so what’s a weekly review? Without going too far into the weeds, I roughly follow the “Getting Things Done” method of productivity/organization. And the tool I use to organize it all is called OmniFocus. I have both the desktop and mobile version because I’m a psycho.

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The only thing you need to succeed in 2019

(Sorry for the clickbait-y title… I’m rusty at writing good, catchy titles)

It’s early in 2019. The confetti is still falling. Most of us are back to the office. Ready or not it’s time to begin another year in our careers. Another year of our lives.

Looking back at 2018 maybe there was something you didn’t do. Something you didn’t learn. Or something you didn’t accomplish. A project, a habit, a new NLE to master, a documentary to edit. So we look to 2019 as our saving grace. We have a whole fresh calendar for us to get X done. And that fills us with a glimmer of hope. That we can make that change this year. Heck, we have 12 whole months.

As the confetti is swept up and the hangovers from NYE are cured, we head back to the edit bay or cubical or home office. We got this in 2019. Then…we check our email.

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Locked vs. Unlocked Tracks in Avid Media Composer

What is the difference in locked and unlocked tracks in Avid Media Composer?

This video explains locked and unlocked tracks in Avid Media Composer. It is a companion tutorial for Lesson 4 of the Mastering Avid Media Composer’s Keyboard Shortcuts Series. Knowing this concept will keep you from knocking your clips out of sync. 👊🏼

(all of this ⬇️ is explained in the video ⬆️)

You have the choice to lock or unlock a timeline track. I highly recommend locking your tracks. In fact, I pretty much only edit with my tracks locked. There are a handful of times where it’s more useful for me to unlock them but 99% of the time they’re locked.

When you “lock a track” in After Effects or Premiere Pro it means you cannot make any changes to it. That’s not what this is in Media Composer. Locking tracks syncs the given timecode for all locked tracks, locking them together so if you make changes (i.e. adding or removing time to a track by editing in or editing out a clip) to one then you make changes to them all.

Here’s a scenario: You have clips on V1 and V2 and the tracks are locked. Both clips begin at 01:02:20:14 and end at 01:02:24:14 – they’re 4 seconds long. If you have V1 selected and you extract from 01:02:21:10 to 01:02:22:10 (1 second) then the clips on V1 and V2 shorten by a second. Both clips would end at 01:02:23:14. If the tracks were unlocked however the clip on V1 would shorten to 3 seconds and the clip on V2 would remain the same.

I find that more times than not I want everything on the timeline to react together. If I shorten a clip on V1 at 01:03:00:00 I don’t want to have to think about the rest of the clips further down the timeline that are synced up with clips and audio on other tracks getting knocked out of alignment.

Locking tracks keeps you from unintentionally knocking your timeline out of sync. It takes some time to wrap your head around it but IMO it’s the safest, quickest and best way to edit. Leave me a comment if you’re confused about anything.

Music used in this video, “Endless Summer” by Mikey Geiger, was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link). For 10% off a subscription use the code EVF at checkout.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Premiere Pro Crash Course

This video is a crash course on Premiere Pro.

I’ll take you through creating a new project, creating and organizing bins, importing footage, creating a sequence, different methods of editing clips into your timeline, basic trimming, keyboard shortcuts, adding graphics, adjusting effect parameters, creating titles, keyframing, adjusting audio levels, adding music, adding effects such as gaussian blur, color correction, the Lumetri Color panel, the Lumetri Scopes panel, how to export and much, much more!

Phew. Did you catch all that? All of that is jammed into one Premiere Pro crash course. If you’re new or newish to Premiere Pro or just want a refresher in case you missed something along the way this video is for you.

Recommended Viewing: Watch Me Edit in Premiere Pro

There is so much more to Premiere Pro and this crash course just scratches the surface. I hope these 22 minutes can get you started (or refreshed) in Premiere and give you a fighting chance on your first project.

If/when you get stuck, reach out. Let’s figure this thing out together. Also check out my friends at Premiere Bro — they have a ton of resources, tutorials, and news about Premiere Pro.

The music used in this video was “Hey Hi Hello” by Mikey Geiger. It was purchased and licensed through my friends at Soundstripe (affiliate link).

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Increment and Save in After Effects

This tutorial explains how Increment and Save works in Adobe After Effects. It’s a simple method for backing up your projects as you work without having to quit out of AE.

Keyboard shortcut:
Mac – Cmd+Opt+Shift+S
PC – Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S

Increment and Save Tutorial Recap

Increment and Save in After Effects takes your AE project file and adds a number to it. Let’s say your project is titled Sample Project 01. When you use Increment and Save the project file becomes Sample Project 02. Do it again and it becomes Sample Project 03.

This is super useful whenever you’re doing something complex or anything you aren’t completely sure if it’ll work. It allows you to iterate without fear of having to do too many undos.

You can repeat this as often as needed. I typically do this every 30-40 minutes. When I was first getting started with After Effects I was doing it like every 5 minutes lol. AE project files are typically pretty small so I don’t ever find file sizes becoming an issue. In a worst-case scenario you can always delete some of the really old iterations of the project.

Finder folder showing Increment and Save of After Effects projectsYou can perform an Increment and Save either by going to the File menu and choosing Increment and Save or using the keyboard shortcut (see above!).

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh

Finding Your Path from Student to Professional Editor with Grace Novak — Command+Edit Podcast Episode 86

Hey there!

This is a very special episode of the Command+Edit Podcast. I interview Grace Novak. Grace is in the midst of one of the scariest points in her life — trying to figure out how to make the jump from student to professional.

Our discussion focuses on topics such as networking strategies, how to make the most of internships, how to adjust to the professional world from student life, and how to market yourself with your website and demo reel.

Some items mentioned in the episode include:

If you enjoyed this conversation and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 🙂

– Josh

Music in this episode was from Soundstripe. Use the code EVF for 10% off!

Please note some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you purchase something through them I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Side Hustles for Video Editors — Command+Edit Podcast Episode 85

Hey there! In this episode of the Command+Edit Podcast Nick and I discuss ways to earn income from side hustles using your post production abilities. Side hustles for video editors has never been more important. Nick and I give our insights from the past decade we’ve both been freelancing full and part-time.

Topics Covered in Side Hustles for Video Editors Podcast

We cover topics such as is it realistic to make money from YouTube and blogging, is selling stock footage still “a thing”, finding one-off work from online job market sites, approaching local businesses for work, what size companies to go after for work, and much more.

Listen to the Episode!

Josh’s Main Advice When Approaching Companies You Want to Have a Side Hustle With

One of my main pieces of advice is to go after companies that aren’t too small but aren’t too large. I recommend companies that are approximately 7-30 people. In this range most companies won’t have a full-time video team or team member. And can afford to pay realistic rates for video services. Companies that are 1-6 people generally are less likely able to pay the rate you are looking for. The companies that are 31+ people very likely could have staff already on board or that they frequently use for video services. 7-30 employees is the sweet spot from my experience.

Some items mentioned in the episode include:

If you enjoyed this conversation on side hustles for video editors and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post, podcast, video, newsletter, etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff.

– Josh

Music in this episode was from Soundstripe. Use the code EVF for 10% off!

Please note some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you purchase something through them I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Revealing My Freelance Video Editor Rate

Let’s cut right to the chase: My hourly freelance video editor rate is $65. $65 an hour buys you whatever professional services I can provide — video editing, producing, project managing, coaching, QCing, media managing, voice-over artisting, sitting in meetings, etc.

If that’s all you wanted to know you can stop reading. But if you want to know why, the history behind it and why that number fluctuates I’ll try my best to explain it below.

When I first started freelancing I was charging $20/hour. That was in 2009 and it felt like SO MUCH MONEY. It kinda is when you’re 22 years old post-grad paying $550/month in rent for some sh**** room in a duplex with your college buddies.

How did I land on that number? I have no idea. $25 felt like too much and my first client said yes to $20/hour.

Over the years as the confidence in my skills grew so did that number. $20 became $25. $25 became $30. Then it stayed there for awhile. Freelance at that point was only part time and was extra money on top of my salary (even though that salary wasn’t much). I felt good about what I was charging and so did my clients because they were getting a bargain and still are.

Once I took the leap into freelancing I had to bring that number up. So I bumped it to a range of $35-$55/hour. I’d start by asking for $55/hour but knew I could be negotiated down to $35 or $40 for most projects. If they said yes to $55/hour then sweet! Otherwise I was still happy with the haul I was taking home.

Then once I had been in the #freelancelife for a few months I realized I needed to raise that number. The extra taxes you pay as a freelancer are killer. There is no way I could have charged that much and maintained my lifestyle. Also there is absolutely no way I could have done full-time freelancing if I wasn’t married. Seriously all you single people freelancing paying for your own health care are so courageous. Hats off to you because I do not have the balls to do that.

BTW here’s a conversation Nick and I had on getting charging for jobs and getting paid

Where was I… Oh yeah. Raising my rates again.

I realized I needed to raise my rate so I did. $65/hour. And at that point my range jumped to $45-$65. However I’d be hard-pressed to say yes to anything below $55. I made up my mind and had to stick to that range. Even if you need the money you can still say no and ultimately make more. More times than not my freelance client was willing to come up to at least $50. That $50 fit in my range so I’d take those jobs.

Plot twist!

Several months ago I ended up taking a full-time job. But I had all this freelance work still coming in. In order to justify taking more work and jamming it into an already packed schedule (thanks to this site, Command+Edit, trying to have a somewhat normal social life, etc.) I had to raise my rates again. Now my rate is a firm $65/hour, no matter what. I will not take any less unless there’s a crazy reason like it’s for a non-profit and I’m 110% behind their cause and feel the urge to help. Otherwise…$65/hour. For everything.

If I can get more, of course I’m going to try. But 99% of the time all I’m looking for is $65/hour. That’s the sweet spot. That’ll get me to forsake happy hours and Netflix and podcasting so I can bring in a little extra coin.

My freelancing situation is more than likely different from yours. My rate works for me and it took a very long time to figure out and become comfortable talking about. In all honestly I probably should and could charge more. I know in the next year or so I’ll raise my rates again because my time will become more valuable. And in a year or so I’ll raise it again. Put this cycle on repeat until I retire.

Talking about your freelance video editor rate is something we editors do not do enough. That’s why I was only charging $20 an hour in the beginning. I didn’t know what I could charge. I had no one to talk to about this. My advice is charge as much as you comfortably can. Negotiating what we get paid is the most difficult part of our job but literally it is the #1 thing that matters because it is our job.

If you want to share your freelance video editor rate and start more conversation around rates please do so in the comments below.

If you found this article helpful could you do me a favor and share it with an editor or freelancer who could use it? Thanks.

Cheers,
Josh

PS: If you’re new around here and want to be notified whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 👊🏼

Black and White Video Tutorial in Avid Media Composer

This tutorial shows how to create black and white video in Avid Media Composer using the Color Correction tool. It also teaches how to keyframe the saturation of a clip so you can change from full color to black and white over time.

Recapping the Tutorial

Make Video Black and White

Place the time position indicator over your clip. This is the blue bar in the timeline. Make sure that track is selected. I tend to turn off the other tracks. You can use the keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+A (Mac) or Control+Shift+A (PC) to deselect all tracks. Then use the appropriate track selection keyboard shortcut if there is one to select the track.

In the Windows menu, find Workspaces then select Color Correction. This will open up the Color Correction Tool. Under the HSL tab, select the Controls panel (I think this is called a panel? Maybe not. Just hit the Controls button 😅). Now find Saturation and make it a value of zero. You can drag the slider all the way to the left or type in 0 in the space under Saturation. This clip is now black and white! You’ll see there’s now an effect icon on the clip in the timeline.

Keyframing Black and White Video Effect

Let’s say we want to keyframe this effect so we go from color to black and white or vice versa over time.

Open the Effect Controls Tool. There’s an icon for it in the Color Correction Tool. Move the time position indicator to the part of the clip where you want your effect to start. I find it easier to move it inside the Effect Controls Tool and in the Timeline in this instance. Next in the Effect Controls Tool twirl down HSL, Controls, and Master. Find Saturation. Now right-click in the space to the right for Saturation in the Effect Controls Tool (see video above if you need help finding this!) and choose Add Keyframe.

Next move the time position indicator to where you want the video to go to black and white. Right-click in the space to the right for Saturation in the Effect Controls Tool and choose Add Keyframe. Then change the Saturation amount to zero (0). Go back to Source/Record Mode and playback your masterpiece. That’s how to create black and white video in Avid Media Composer!


Suggested Viewing: Fixed vs. Elastic Keyframes in Avid Media Composer Tutorial

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post, podcast, video,  newsletter, etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 😀

– Josh