Editing with a popular track as a temporary music bed can cause unnecessary distress for you and your team. Here's what you need to do:
Video editors, we need to talk a little. It's about music. I know you are busy, have tight deadlines, and need to get something to your client or manager asap. This first draft needs to look dynamic, be a bit polished, and achieve the perfect sound mark.
Of course, you grab your favorite favorite track to edit. You say to yourself, “This is only temporary. We'll replace it later, no problem. "You love this song, you know it will set the mood, it will impress the team, and most importantly, it will make editing a breeze. Here I want to throw in – WATCH OUT THE TEMP TRACK.
While editing with a popular track as a temporary music bed is useful from the get-go, it can cause unnecessary heartache for you and your team. Here are a few things to consider before you step through the minefield of editing with temporary music.
Explain that it's just a temporary track – again
Communication with customers and higher-level companies is difficult enough at first. While keeping the team informed is important, presenting an early draft of your work requires that you take clear and concise notes at each step – including constant reminders that this is not the end product. Editing and presenting a draft with temporary music just adds one more annoying limitation to you that you need to explain.
Even if your customer gets it, deciphering your process just isn't their job. They just want to know that the project is going well before they move on to their next meeting. If you have to explain that the music you are editing with is only temporary, then at best forget about that detail and at worst have trouble wrapping their heads around it. If you really want to present an object with temporary elements, you are warned that you will have to jump through some frames.
Falling short of customer expectations (which you have defined)
So you have successfully managed to "temporarily" explain the concept to your customer. Well done. However, your team must now face a new challenge – the specific expectations of the customer.
If you showcase your cut with temporary music, maybe your client will really love it. They see your vision clearly and have approved everything you showed them. Then when it's time to showcase the final product, they are suddenly less impressed. Sure, they understood that the music was temporary, and they know the final music is just as high quality, a team effort developed and composed by your killer audio professionals. However, it just wasn't what they expected.
Keep in mind that when editing a temporary track, your client may feel married to the track they first fell in love with, which detracts from the sum of the great work you and your team have put into this project.
Don't sacrifice flexibility
It's great to have a finished title to edit. You can easily block your segments by measuring the tempo against the tempo of the track and adjusting the energy of the music. Even so, you can inadvertently tie your hands. If you know the music is going to change then why tie the tempo and energy of your editing to it?
If you still insist on working with temporary music, take some time to study your editing with the audio muted. This is a great way to judge whether or not your editing is customizable. If the editing works well without music, it works great with music.
Also, think about what you might be passing on to the rest of the team. If you give your editing to a composer or sound designer with temporary music, you are again arbitrarily introducing specific expectations that need to be met. When presenting temporary music to motion designers or visual artists, you are effectively asking them to adjust the mood or energy of the music, which may not go quite as well with the final product.
Choose the path of least resistance
When you know you will ultimately buy music, use that title's watermarked sample. Personally, I would rather explain to a client that the track is watermarked than explain that what they hear will change overall. Once you find the perfect music, you can buy the track and finish the project.
If your team is creating original music, try working with your composer. Start with an idea and start editing with one click track. You and your colleague can work at the same time, share progress and graduate the music – from the click track to the rhythm section to the demo – until you reach a final product. In the past, I've found this process to work quite well and allow for more robust communication between the editor and the composer. In addition, the composer can make a greater creative contribution. Why force a talented musician into a corner when you can make space for each other together?
It may be tempting and certainly useful, but editing with temporary music can get harder than it's worth. If you insist, think about the challenges. That is, just not.
Here. Have more video editing content. Enjoy:
All illustrations by Enrique Echavarria.