An editor friend of mine asked me this question:
If you could recommend one thing to do/buy to be a quicker editor, what would it be?
What would you have said?
I ended up chewing on it for a while, as there are a ton of different ways to 'work faster' as an editor.
In this issue of Cut/daily I'll share 5 of my favourite ways to go faster as an editor, but first...
Speed at the macro-level
Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
— Mark Wahlberg, Shooter
Zooming out on the editing process, speed will be generated by understanding and imposing a solid story structure from the get-go.
Speed comes from the disciplined organisation of staying tidy, so you can instantly find what you need whenever you need it.
Speed comes from taking the time upfront to do the laborious preparation required to make changes and show alternatives rapidly at the end of the process. (Editor Simon Smith talks about why he always Script Syncs for this reason, here.)
And, in many ways, your speed with other people in the room is twice as important as your speed when you're working by yourself.
If you can appear fast, everyone will think you're a quick editor, even if it's actually because you took a long time getting stuff sorted before they walked in the door.
Speed at the micro-level
As editors so much of what we do is very repetitive. Organising, selecting, moving, trimming, etc.
This means speed as an editor also comes from the microscopic workflow improvements, incrementally saving time, that all add up during the course of the day.
In and of themselves, none of these are mind-blowing but in aggregate they will make you a faster editor.
What kind of things am I talking about?
- Memorising keyboard shortcuts
- Creating macros
- Finding faster methods for everyday tasks
The more you double down on these simple things, the more exponential your speed growth will be.