The “lights, camera, action” is over … so now what? Production Manager Rachael Shaw takes us into the editing suite to reveal what gets a video broadcast ready.
One of the most important steps in creating a professional TV commercial is one that is often overlooked: the online edit. This is when the editor adds visual effects and titles, color corrects to amp up any dull hues, creates a visual style, meets all broadcast standards and/or completes any final tweaks to make the spot look pristine.
It happens after the editor has made the scene selections, put the footage to music and voiceover and created a visual story. After the production team has weighed in on the edit and final story, it is the next critical step to the process. You’ve spent all this time and money to shoot the spot, put together the story and master the audio, so you don’t want any detail left undone.
(Roll over the photos below to see the “Before” shots.)
A dull afternoon is given new morning light by a subtle color correction.
During this process, the editor will go into individual shots and make sure there is no dust, scratches or distractions in the frame that could take away from the image. We want all the focus to be on the story we are telling.
Color correction and painting out distractions in the frame were techniques used in this shot.
This old window and metal sign had distracting dust and scratches that were painted out.
When a TV spot is going to stations for broadcast, there are many rules and technical specifications the file must meet to ensure it is broadcast safe. You know that used car ad that buzzes loudly? That’s a side effect from skipping the online editing process. There are also video color levels that react badly if they are too high or too low, and they can make a TV spot that seemed fine on a computer screen look and sound awful when aired.
Don’t worry, the editor makes sense of this confusion to ensure your video looks and sounds great.
Have you ever seen an ad where the titles are cut off? That’s because the titles weren’t in the safety area or the file wasn’t made to the channel’s strict specifications.
A lot goes into making sure your finished spot looks as great on TV as it possibly can, so don’t shorten the process. Take the time to focus on the details, and it will show in the end results.