Got a great email this week from a young editor who asked a very honest question. “Does the editor have to get ALL the raw material from the shooter or should they expect the footage to be trimmed before receiving it?”
In other words, should the shooter trim out all head / tails / extra roll material so the editor can just get the meat and get going quicker. Now for those of us who have been around it’s obvious we get EVERYTHING. But in this age where the tools are completely accessible to all, not everyone goes through traditional editorial training, thus very simple questions like this are not encountered.
The simple answer is “Yes you do want ALL of the footage” because you never want that videographer making decisions that could hamper you in the edit suite. For one thing, while the video may not be useful when the camera is swinging around the photographer’s waist, there could very well be some useful audio that you’d never get if the photographer trimmed the shot based on video.
And in today’s very dynamic style of editing, those swishes, tilts and everything else that happens when the photographer is carrying the camera are often very useful transition elements. Heck I’ve used shots where the camera was literally dropped because it made a great dramatic change between scenes.
So don’t ever let a photographer trim the raw materials before you get them.