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Good questions to ask a video editor in an interview

 
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Let's say I wanted to hire a video editor and didn't want to waste hours doing hand holding. What would be the questions I would ask a candidate at an interview? What would I look for in a portfolio?

Edit: (Trying to help paul with this http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/52464#424709)
 
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hey adrian and paul ....

i hope, this might help a bit. i work in recruiting and my wife and me are doing some of our own video-editing for our own online-projects. maybe these ideas will help somewhat.


at first you need to be clear what you re looking for. what level of professionality, expertise and equipment. what style.
you will need to have a clear list of "must-haves" for that person and of "nice-to-haves".


you should check the whole portfolio of that person before. probably stuff the person has done over some years. has that person evolved over the course of years? is there a kinda a string in the works? (hard to explain) like one work leading to another? something that shows a bigger pattern, a bigger view of that persons personal path, course of life, learning processes, views ... is there a "bigger picture" evolving?

do the projects fit to the style of your stuff?

what equipment and software does that person use? versions? ... then look up how up to date that is and how much $$$-it costs.

what are the persons passions? what s in his/her heart? is that compatible with your stuff?

has the person some kind a relationship to the topics of permaculture?

is that person willing to submit or will he/she try to force own ideas?

what s the persons background? corporations?



but ... most important ... you need to get well along with that person. you will have to work together closely and to communicate a lot. you would not want to have a person that feels like a "pain in the backside" most the time. you want a person that gives you a happy belly feeling when you work with her. this kind of working together over a video can be extremely stressfull and lead to hours and hours of discussions. so it would be best to have a person that shares your vision and will be able to adapt your style.
most technical stuff (new functions, new software etc.) can be learnt within a few hours or days ... but this personal stuff can´t.


you should try to test that person with a small project.


good luck. and trust your heart and belly!

 
Adrien Lapointe
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Thanks for the reply Tobias!

you should try to test that person with a small project.



That's an idea I had. Put some raw footage on a server, get the candidate to download it and see if he/she can get a rough cut done without too many directions.
 
Tobias Ber
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what i ve been thinking about....

you ll need a somewhat unique style to your products. like a coherent brand.

there you ll have certain elements that will mostly stay the same in all videos. stuff like logos, color-styles, text-styles (fonts), intros, out-tros etc.
you ll need to have some style-guideline. they ll make decision making a lot easier, because you ll have aready decided on some layout parts for future products

so watchers will instantly KNOW and FEEL that they re in the permie stuff. it s like trying to pull watchers (espc. the ones that have already watched some stuff) into IT. i think, the term for this is brand tonality http://smallbusiness.chron.com/tonality-marketing-33557.html

it would be good to have some "natural musicians" (like ancient stuff, flutes n stuff ...) for intro, jingles, background. something that fits to the overall style and watching-experience. it helps to draw ppl in...

i like the style of this series:


 
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I kinda feel like you are looking at maybe two options:

1. An experienced video person/team with a huge portfolio, but generally expensive and reliable

2. A hungry less experienced video person/team with a small portfolio, generally cheap and reliability unknown

I think the raw footage idea works for the second option but not the first option. The first option is likely fully scheduled, and takes on the work they want to do or projects that pay the best.

Option 1 will have stronger portfolios than the second option, and will reject the request to do an unpaid sample project.

I think you need to decide if you want to spend a little more for results that are nearly guaranteed (option 1), or maybe take a risk at a chance for a better value (option 2). I imagine you could try two different second option for the same price as a single video from the first option.

It is my experience that one person is generally not exceptional at the three items that go into making a video:
a. recording footage - camera man
b. editor - editing the footage into a coherent story
c. audio - voice-over and music are an art to themselves and really take a video to the next level

That is a bare bones team. Occasionally you will find a person that can do all three, but the skills required to be exceptional at each are quite different, often preventing all but a special few people from being exceptional at all three. I have run across a few people good at two of the three skills, but never all three so far.

Are there any colleges nearby or even high schools with a/v programs? You might find a teacher willing to force an entire class of students to do videos for you to help build their portfolio. You may not be completely happy with the results, but the structure of needing to get the video done for a grade nearly guarantees a completed video out the other end. Most likely at least one student video will be awesome, most will be meh, and a few will entertain you with how bad they are Unless you know someone, finding the teacher and coercing them may be more trouble than it is worth.

Consider the local tv channel advertising departments. They often produce the best quality video for the cheapest cost. They would likely relish the chance to work on something different than tv commercials, with the added value of knowing how to convey a clear message in a direct/concise manner.
 
Tobias Ber
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i think, most material will be recorded from workshops or interviews. so you ll have the stuff. that stuff needs to be put into a story which does what you want it to do ... teach people, inspire people, motivate people etc.

that does not require skills (with special-effects, animations etc.) at hollywood level. it needs to be solid and to tell the story how you want it to be. the technical stuff could be quite simple/basic. modern software can do so much for an editor. but even the best software can t tell the story. we have to tell the story. we have to sort out which bit s and bites of our (pre-recorded) material we want to see in that story. we have to decide on what to put into the video and (often more difficult) on what to put NOT into the video.

so the person doing the video editing must be able to get (pauls?) vision and style on the product. the person must be able to relate to his way of storytelling and then just edit the bits and pieces together to form that story. that s most important.
the fancy, artsy, technical-effects tec. stuff is just a minor part. designers can be caught up into the effects and design stuff ... and loose the vision for the story.

it s about how the style of the video-products fits your market/niche/target-audience ... and i just think, that most permies-folks are looking for solid teaching and inspiration.... not for entertainment through special effects
 
Rick English
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I feel like this might be diverging from the original question, but hopefully it helps.

The 3-skill team I mentioned above is far from a hollywood production. You would be surprised at how many people are involved in even a local business video or tv commercial.

I feel that recording video is a skill and in many cases a profession. A video recorder is a tool, and there is a difference between an elementary school kid using a hammer and a master carpenter using a hammer.

When using photography or video to produce something, there is a saying: garbage in, garbage out. Photoshop allows you to overcome some flaws in a photograph, but at the expense of time. Time costs money for anyone who provides a service. It is nearly always more cost-efficient to pay for a better photo, than to pay for fixing a bad photo. Videos are generally 30 photos per second, so it takes even longer to fix bad video than a bad photo.

If the plan is to ask an editor to try to fix garbage footage, it will either cost a lot, or the final product will not be very good.

I guess the real question is what is the quality you are trying to achieve? Are you to create a bunch of low-quality videos, or maybe create a smaller number of high-quality videos? Maybe the answer is both. I am not sure how I would answer that question with the goal of creating more forward momentum for the empire.

If done well, a mass of low-quality videos can create a mass of views, but the question is if the videos are good enough to be shared and become viral. A few well-produced videos will probably generate less views, but maybe they are more impactful and generate more viral shares. My guess is there is a place for both, but you might need two different resources for each type of project. A flat screwdriver can turn a phillips head screw, but there is a better tool...
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Thanks Lazlo and Tobias for your replies.

It is a pretty big video and as far as I can tell, the footage is of high quality.
 
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