The Paper Edit

Why Use the Paper Edit?

The Paper Edit is an important part of your editing process and one that should not be ignored – especially if you are just starting out. The Paper Edit is just what it sounds like – you create all the edits on paper prior to ever going to the video editing software.

Where the Paper Edit is especially useful is where you have multiple hours of  material – an Interview, a corporate AGM, Panelists at a seminar, conference b-roll etc. – that you need to pull soundbites (clips), or background shots (b-roll) from that will edit together into a cohesive package. The Paper Edit is also very valuable if you have many people who need to give their input into the final product. (i.e. Lots of Chefs in the kitchen!)

You can have your editor do this – if you are not the editor – but the cost of editing will churn upwards with every hour it takes the editor to go through the footage. As a professional editor, I remind my corporate clients that they know the material better than I ever could and that they should choose the message that matches their corporate marketing and advertising, or the message that promotes how they wish to engage with their social groups.

Create a Timecode Burn on the Video

Within your editing program, usually to be found in the “video effects” tab, you will see a video generator called “Timecode”. When you drop this onto your footage on the timeline, you will see numbers appear on the footage that scroll with the video. These numbers echo the burned in timecode that your camera recorded, and are absolutely linked and unique to each moment of your footage.

When you export this low res “Timecode Burn” video, you will be able to play it back at your convenience on your computer, share it with others in your organization,  and specifically pick out the exact start time and end time of each bit of footage that you wish to keep in the final edit of your video.

This is called a Paper Edit. Now when you go to complete your editing, you are not bogging down your workflow searching through hours of footage. Referring back to the Paper Edit selections that you made from the Timecode Burn, you can go straight to the Timecode of each clip you want, set your in/out and presto! Just don’t forget to remove the Timecode effect before you export. Creating the Paper Edit will reduce your editing time by 90%.

The Paper Edit can save your time, save your money, and allow multiple people to search the footage for specific clips simultaneously. As a workflow tool The Paper Edit is an exceptional tool in your editing arsenal.

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