February 20, 2017

Efficient Recording Cutting Down on Junk Footage and Editing Time

It’s all too easy to just press that record button and let the camera roll non-stop while going from interview-to-interview or scene-to-scene, but recording in this way will inevitably create a lot of useless footage that YOU will have to spend time editing it out later. Not only does this waste time during the editing process, it also wastes space on your hard drive, which could be better used to store things you actually need to work with.

So, what’s the best way to go about cutting down on all those wonderful shots of your feet as you move to get your next shot? Simple! Once you feel that you’ve got what you needed out of a given recording, STOP, RECORDING!! It seems like common sense, but outside of attempting to capture outtakes or any other unexpected, unplanned or spontaneous events, there is really no reason to let the camera continue recording.

We call this little technique shooting with editing in-mind. To shoot with editing in-mind just means that while you’re out recording, whether it be an interview or getting B-Roll, you want to try to be conscious of what exactly it is that you NEED to record, and then STOP recording once you’ve got it. Using this technique effectively will eliminate all those shots of the ground, the sky, yourself or others prepping, setting up or chit-chatting moments before and after a segment, etc.

Once you’ve finished, transferred your footage to a computer and are ready to begin editing, the result will be a series of complete clips that require little to no editing at all. You will have essentially already done that editing while you were out recording (and NOT recording)!

Understandably, it may not be easy to learn this technique as it does require you to be thinking ahead to the editing process while at the same time dealing with the people, places, and things that you’re recording. You’ll be multi-tasking as it is and this will be one more thing to keep in mind on top of everything else, but when put into practice, it’s a technique that will contribute to saving you hours in post-production and help get your show finished and on the air sooner!

How do you save on time spent editing? Let me know your tricks in the comments below!