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5 Tips for Project Managing a Video Edit Remotely

Jourdan Aldredge

From planning your storyboard to collaborative editing apps, here’s a guide to navigating the challenges of managing a video editing project remotely.

Let’s face it, video editing by itself is hard enough. It takes a brain that can handle very specific, mechanical structuring, as well as one that can creatively think outside the box to present information and tell a story in a way that is unique, fun, and interesting. What usually makes video editing a thousand times harder are the added complications from having to do collaborative work within a team. Contributing individually to an overall comprehensive whole isn’t always easy.

For anyone who’s had to manage an editing project, it definitely feels like something that needs an on-the-ground and hands-on approach. However, that’s not always an option. So, for video editors, video editing supervisors, and project managers, let’s break down some solid practices and tips for managing a video editing project remotely.

Plan, Outline, Script, and Storyboard

5 Tips for Project Managing a Video Edit Remotely — Video Timeline

When working from home, it’s important to be organized with your time and process. Image via BoxBoy.

The concept of supervising a video edit is nothing new. If you aren’t familiar with the term, here’s a great primer on the role of the Video Editing Supervisor. The most important trait for the role — and doubly true remotely — is to run a tight ship and be rigidly organized. And, the more people involved, the more important this becomes.

A good analogy for managing a solid video edit is to compare it to going into a video shoot. You wouldn’t start without a plot outline, a script, and a clearly defined shot list, would you? Video editing is the same concept, except the video editing project manager is the producer, director, and DP. It’s their job to both have the vision and to clearly define how to get there.

Keep a Single Point of Contact

A good quick tip to keep in mind when diving into managing a video editing project is to try your absolute best to keep only one point of contact between the “management” and the “editors” —  no matter if you’re on a large or small team. And, regardless of the number of producers, directors, or other parties who will provide input and feedback, it’s the project manager’s job to keep the sides separate.

This requires a great deal of project management, in both directions, to consolidate feedback coming in, synthesize it to make it as clear and defined as possible for the editors, then shielding your editors from getting bombarded with new — and often conflicting — requests and revisions.

Utilize Collaborative Editing Apps

5 Tips for Project Managing a Video Edit Remotely — Nokia Remote Software

Make use of the numerous options concerning cloud-based collaborative editing platforms. Image by Leonel Calara.

For those currently working remotely, we’re luckily living in the golden age of cloud-based collaborative editing platforms. From internal integration with Adobe Team Projects in the Adobe Cloud to third-party platforms like Frame.io and CineSync, there are numerous options available that allow for real-time collaborative edits, as well as many other resources for streamlining communication and tasks.

Here’s a great article breaking down some of the best platforms to consider for remote collaborative editing.

Save Color and Effects for the End

Another solid, quick tip in managing remote edits is to always try to save both color correction and grading for the very end. Try to hold off on the majority of your motion graphics, effects, and animations as well. Reserve the first stage of your video editing project for working with ungraded rough drafts until you can get a picture lock. Only then should you start on your colors and effects.

Daily and Weekly Check-ins

5 Tips for Project Managing a Video Edit Remotely — Regular Check-ins

Schedule a daily check-in to keep everyone informed and on task. Image by diignat.

Speaking personally as someone who has been on both a video editor and a video editing manager, checking in is always important. Sure, no one wants to be bugged every hour. However, especially when working remotely, having a daily check-in to make sure everyone is on track and to handle any issues is key. If you’ve outlined your project well from the beginning, this will help keep everything on schedule.

Cover image via FrameStockFootages.

For more resources, guides, and quick tips for video editing, check out some of these articles below:

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