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Everything You Need For On Location Editing

Posted by Brad Spinsby on September 13, 2012

“What’s the turnaround time?” This is one of the most dangerous questions in the editing community. Clients and Producers are now requesting location editing more than ever and it’s not just the news that is under strict deadlines. Now corporate clients request location editing with their video crews so they can upload a final edited piece in a couple of hours. Whether it’s editing a package from an event or just trimming up a news conference, nothing is easy when you are editing onsite. Location editing packages should come with the following programs:

  • Editing Software: There are three major options: Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, and Adobe Premiere Pro. There are many other options out there, but these are the three major programs I will be discussing.
  • Audio Suite: This will help edit, mix, and add effects to audio. The editing program will have audio suite built into it, but it is usually limited in what you can do with it.
  • Compression Software: Raw high definition video files are large in size. To get that final edited and uploaded to the website you need a compressed file. Popular compressions are H.264, .FLV, .mp4.

Here is what the Final Cut, Avid, and Adobe suites will provide if you choose to purchase them.

Final Cut Pro: (Only Available for Mac) Final Cut Pro 7 Suite has Soundtrack Pro (for audio), Motion (for motion effects), and Compression to cover all the bases. However Final Cut Pro X has stripped and combined Motion and Soundtrack Pro within the Final Cut editing program and not as additional software. Compression is still available for Final Cut Pro X as an additional software program.

Adobe Premiere Pro: (Available for Mac & PC) Adobe Premiere Pro is available as a standalone editing system and as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. The Adobe Creative Suite 6 includes Premiere Pro, After Effects (for special effects), Audition (for audio), and Media Encoder (for compression) as well as several other Adobe programs.

Avid Media Composer: (Available for Mac & PC) Avid Media Composer Suite comes with Avid FX (for special effects) and Sorenson Squeeze (for compression). However, it does not have a separation audio production program.

You can also add third party programs to your location editing arsenal if you feel underwhelmed by the programs in the suite or you just need additional software. This gives you the flexibility to find the best software, or the best software for the price and its ease of use. Here are some examples of third party programs for what should be included in a location editing suite.

iStock 000016363888XSmall Audio Suite: The major player in audio production is Avid Pro Tools. It has been the industry standard for audio production software, but comes at a premium price. Another good software program with an expedited cost is Reaper. Although you don’t get near the functionality of Pro Tools, Reaper comes at a fraction of the cost. And if money is really an issue, Audacity is free program. If you need to do one specific task, like reduce noise from a single track Audacity may be good to have in your arsenal.

Compression Software: Bigasoft’s Total Video Converter and AVS Converter are the two of the more popular video conversion programs on the market. The key to a proficient converter is the inputs it will take in and the files it can output. They have a plethora of popular compressions that can get you what you need (h.264, .MOV, MPEG 4, .flv.) for a reasonable price. There are many free applications that can do compression but they are often limited in the file types they can input and convert. Some of the popular free applications are Handbrake and VLC Media Player.

In the world of video editing every minute matters, and you will typically find yourself spending time on tasks you could have been done remotely. Having the proper editing and post production tools on location can make the clients finished video appear as if it was done over weeks of editing. The location editor and his suite must be prepared for many different environments so each package is built differently. Do you have an editing on the fly story or solution that impressed your client? Please share it with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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