Five Tips To Speed Up Your Editing Workflow

The saying “time is money” applies to all professions, but perhaps none more so than filmmaking. Falling behind on just one project can have a catastrophic domino effect that takes weeks, sometimes months, to claw back from.

Naturally, the best defense against this is to not ever let it happen in the first place. And with these five workflow strategies, you should be able to achieve exactly that!

Rough Cut, Fine Cut, Final Cut

Chances are you’re already familiar with the golden rule of editing. But the question is: do you follow it? A lot of editors tend to get caught up with final edits far too early in the piece which ultimately ends up throwing them off path and down a rabbit hole of color corrections and audio mixing when really, what they should be doing is getting their timeline sorted.

While these fine edits are important, the reality is they can wait. Doing them any earlier is akin to icing a pile of unbaked cake batter—pointless and downright loco. The bottom line is: your priority should always be rough cut first, fine cut second, final cut third. No ifs, buts, or pffff whatevers.

Subscribe To A Royalty Free Music Library

Instead of hectically scouring the Internet for new royalty free music and sound effects at the end of every project, you are infinitely better off having a running subscription with one royalty free music library that you can go directly to anytime you need audio.

Obviously, deciding which library to “go steady with” is a big deal. You’ll definitely want one that offers a solid range of products and at a reasonable price. And if, like most editors, you’re often in need of motion graphics templates or stock footage, then you’ll ideally want a library that stocks these kinds of items as well (as to avoid paying multiple subscriptions for multiple different services).

One website that ticks all these boxes is Motion Array. With 30,000 audio files you’re pretty much guaranteed to find whatever song or sound FX you’re looking for. And as far as subscription fees go, Motion Array’s are pretty generous. With a free one-month membership option as well as paid memberships starting at $24/month, it’s a drop in the ocean compared to some of the other libraries out there. And on top of this, members get free access to Motion Array’s kickass video portfolio builder, as well its cloud-based video review system.

Start Using The Pomodoro Technique

As an editor, your ability to focus can either make or break your productivity. To help you remain heads-down-bum-up, try to integrate the Pomodoro Technique into your daily workflow.

Essentially , the this is where you break your work into 25-minute segments and take 2-3 minutes breaks in between each one. Once you’ve done this four times in a row, you score a 20-minute break, after which you repeat the entire process on loop until it’s time to pack up and call it a day.

Regularly refreshing your mind like this is a great way to compartmentalize your work, avoid distractions, and stay focused for longer. And, thanks to the abundance of online Pomodoro timers, the technique is super easy to follow!

Keyboard Shortcuts

I hate to sound like a broken record but keyboard shortcuts are the KEY to a better, faster workflow. If you haven’t tried your hand at using a KB Cover then you should definitely give it a go. And the best bit about them: they’re not that expensive (a Premiere Pro keyboard cover will only set you back $29.95)

Alternatively, you can just go full Rain Man and try to memorize ALL the shortcuts with this handy-dandy list. Or if that’s not your style, there’s always this quick video tutorial detailing the top time-saving shortcuts to speed up your workflow!

Last But Not Least…Get Comfortable!

You’re going to be sitting in your editing bay for hours on end each day. Attention spans will wane. Bums will get sore. Food cravings will be rife. So to ensure that you stay put and maintain focus, you’re going to need to turn your office into a post-production oasis.

What does that mean exactly? It means get yourself a solid ergonomic chair, arrange your workstation in a way that channel those all-important feng shui vibes, and eliminate all distractions—by which I mean, check your phone at the door.

Studies have shown that comfort in the workplace boost productivity. So if you foster an environment you feel good in, you’ll soon see your workflow going through the roof.

In Summary…

Chances are, you’ve already heard some, or maybe all, of these tips before. But what it really just comes down to whether you’ve had the discipline to stop and fully embrace them.

We all know how hard it can be to carve time out of a busy project schedule to stop and make improvements to one’s workflow. But the consequences of not doing are costly. It’s just like we said up top: time is money. And investing just a little bit of effort in streamlining your editing routine will definitely pay off in the long run.

[source: Motion Array]


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