Guest Speaker – Dilseh Korya (editor)
Dilseh Korya is a Freelance editor based in Bristol, he came in to give as a talk on how the industry works in general and how he manages his workflow when editing. I was really interested in this talk because I’m a keen editor and am interested in the job as a whole but more importantly as I imagine myself setting up a small company that takes on a number of jobs witch involve both filming and editing footage i’m interested in any ways I can be more efficient when editing footage.
Timescales for Edits and cost
Dilseh works mainly on Documentary and Factual programmes, he explained to us the normal turnaround times for different to give an example of how long you might work and how it differs between genres. Dileshs’ projects are typically 1 hour factual television programmes which include a mix of interviews and observational footage. The timescales for these projects are around 6 weeks for a prime time TV show and 4 Weeks for a daytime TV show, this is actual full editing days where the rushes and sequences have already been setup by an assistant. Wildlife factual television gets a lot longer editing time due to the complexity of the story and these editors generally get 16 weeks to complete a 1 hour edit. The rates for a 1 hour television edit will vary from between £1000 to £1500 per week (5 days) and a ball park figure for a typical prime time factual TV programme is £1300 per week.
Although the rates sound attractive it’s important to note that working freelance does not guarantee you a constant flow of work so when working we should consider how this money will have to tie over periods when you might be out of work for a while.
The Editing Process
Dilsehs’ editing workflow is something i’ll really take away from the talk, traditionally when editing I will go through all my footage in the ‘bins’ and select nice shots I want to use. Dilsehs’ approach to editing approach allows for a much faster workflow.
Dilseh doesn’t browse through the footage in bins, instead he makes sequences on his timeline and drags all of the relevant footage into them. Once the footage is all in the timeline it can then be scrubbed through very quickly and shots that are bad or not relevant can be culled. This process goes on, refining the shots and sequence interview, timing clips and organising them so they relate to audio. Dilseh is skimming the shots, thinking of beginning, middle and end images that are conventional with the audience.
Once all the sequences are complete then they are transferred into a new timeline where they can be moved about to create the story. Dilseh uses post it notes and colour tags for relevant threads of interview. Using these tags Dilseh can then shuffle the content around to create a basic narrative. The new time line is the first proper assembled edit.
Once the basic assembly is complete Dilseh duplicates the timeline and creates a new one, further trimming is completed and the structure is refined. This process happens another 4 or 5 times, each time further refining and adding different elements such as voice over commentary and a sample audio track. Voice overs are generally simple recordings made by the editor directly into the edit, this helps with image placement and storytelling and the script decision is a collaboration between the editor and the director/producer. Using sample music and voice over saves costs at this stage and makes things more efficient. Once the edit is complete a professional voice over can be recorded as well as a suitable soundtrack.
By week 5 There will now be a fine cut, with the project now trimmed to the correct overall length. It is then sent onto to the offline edit where the titles can be added, commentary re-recorded and the soundtrack replaced.
I found Dilsehs approach to be much more efficient and effective than my own, he is working through the project methodically and trying not to waste any time. He added some valuable lessons including the need to duplicate timelines before changing them (so that you have a back up copy) and the need to take criticism on the chin and not get to attached to what you’re working on. The idea of recording your own commentary was very interesting to me and I think doing this would enable me to structure my work a lot easier rather than writing down and imagining what will be in the final cut.