In the Edit

As part of our development work, we also put together teaser trailers for some of our stronger ideas. This involves writing a voiceover script (VO), matching it with suitable clips (sourced from YouTube) and hiring in an editor to help put them all together. So to do this, you need to have a good understanding of the show, the ability to say what the show’s about in a two-minute voiceover explanation, the vision to think of suitable clips to put underneath it that can be sourced from the public domain, and the patience to trawl through YouTube to find them.

Last week, I was trusted with putting together the teaser trailer for a show idea for which I’d also written the treatment. I was so excited to be given this responsibility – and keen not to let them down. So I wrote the script, trawled YouTube, found the clips and sent them to the edit team to be ingested well in advance of the edit date. And when it came to the day of the edit, I went down to find my editor (a lovely guy called Gerry) and we put together my little vision.

But as always happens in the edit, everything changed after the first draft. I was given a little feedback from one of the other members of the development team, and suddenly we had a whole new VO script, which made the whole thing much longer, so we had loads of gaps in the clips. I enrolled the help of one of the work experience placements, Alice, and she and I raced through the afternoon finding suitable clips and sending them in to be urgently ingested. But by 5:30pm, we were nearly done! I invited Alice down to see her handiwork, and then a few tweaks later, we were ready. Gerry and I watched it through a couple of times, saved it, and congratulated ourselves that despite the hiccup, we’d finished exactly on time!

Thinking back to that edit, I can draw three useful tips from it:

  1. BE ORGANISED. Even if your original plan gets thrown out of the window, it helps to have one in the first place. No one likes being pushed for time, whether it’s you, the technicians who have to ingest the clips, or your patient editor. So be really organised.
  2. HAVE A CLEAR VISION. Make sure you know exactly what you want your teaser trailer to say, and how you want it to look. If you want it to be a certain style, a certain genre, choose clips and effects and language for the VO script that reflects that.
  3. THINK FAST. Inevitably, you will have to deal with a crisis in the edit. It literally always happens. You need to be able to stay calm, think creatively, and solve the problem.

And that’s it! Hope that comes in useful. Remember, edits are fun if you make them fun. And you make them fun by being organised. And maybe by bringing some chocolates for the editor…

In the Edit