How to provide constructive feedback on an edit
July 10, 2019 by SARAH HICKEY
Keeping a project on track throughout the edit is the responsibility of both the production house and the client, by keeping communication channels open throughout the feedback process. There are some very simple things that you can do to ensure that your feedback is not only constructive, but also actionable.
Be specific (if providing written feedback).
When you leave feedback for your project, comments like “Do you think it feels a bit…?” is not necessarily useful for an editor who may have a long list of considerations at hand. So, although it may be difficult, try to be decisive where possible. I.e. “Please reduce the length of this shot to avoid the moment where she turns her head.”
Try to keep an open mind.
Sometimes it can be confronting to see someone else’s interpretation of your brief or your footage for the first time. After the excitement of a shoot, most people start to conjure a version of the edit in their head prior to seeing the first cut. If it’s not exactly what you had in mind, be sure to watch it a few times, let it sit for a night, and get a few other people’s perspectives on it as well. Sometimes, a new spin on a project can be for the better!
See past the unseen elements.
Another thing to consider when viewing early stage edits is that they might feel a bit ‘flat’ or ‘naked’ - don’t fret, that is perfectly normal. The first initial cuts will be focused on establishing the overall structure of the piece. In terms of feedback, the first question we’ll ask you is how the general flow of the edit is feeling. Once that’s locked down, sound design, VFX, and colour grade will build upon that initial structure, and the video really starts coming to life.
Meeting feedback deadlines is important.
One last tip to ensure your project stays on track - missing deadlines that have been laid out by the production house in the production schedule can have a bigger effect on the timings than you might think. Because post-production requires the careful curation of many resources, and because your project might be co-existing with those of other clients of the production house, a one day delay might result in a delay of several days by the time we can schedule in the next iteration of the project.
We hope that this has given you some insight into the wonderful world of post, as well as how we work. There's a lot to it, but man, we sure do love it!
If you have any questions at all, or just want to dive in and get our experienced team involved in your next film project, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We love building new relationships and collaborating with people who want to harness our passion and drive for the moving image.
And remember, as Abel Ferarra once said, “filmmaking is about shaking hands and just starting”.