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Creating Creative Momentum In Your Timeline

By Chris Munch on September 21, 2017

Ever gotten bogged down in the details of an edit? Or maybe you oversee an editor and really want to know if the story is going to work, but you don’t have time till they’re done to figure out.

As an editor and now as a supervisor of editors I’ve been on both sides of the fence with this issue.

As a supervisor I want to know as quickly as possible if something that was shot is going to actually work. We’ve all gotten back from a shoot before only to realize what we have is not as good as we thought it was. I get it, stuff goes wrong and it doesn’t go the way you planned. I happens, so, I want to fail as early as possible to give us enough time to find a solution. Waiting three days before I see what one of the editors is working on is not an option.

This can be challenging though, as an editor there are few things more frustrating than being asked if the story works before you’ve actually EDITED THE VIDEO! How am I supposed to know?! Here’s a little trick we picked up along the way that has really helped us bridge that gap. Now, I ask the editors I work with to edit Lynchpins. Lynchpins are like extended highlights. It might be the darkest part of the story, or a point of emotional break down, it might be the turning point of the story, really what I’m looking for is the most interesting parts of the story that we have. Show me the best of the best. No need for it to be polished with color effects and posted audio, this is NOT a complete edit, it should be rough and something that you can put together very quickly.

The benefit is two fold, one it’s giving your supervisor a feel for the story, what this person sounds like on camera, and the emotional depth of the story, helping them see if this story is actually gonna work. The beauty is that it also helps the editor as well.

As an editor it’s very easy to get bogged down in the details of a story. Maybe you are working on the introduction or the inciting incident and you’re feeling like you don’t know if this is working. It helps to have some tent poles to work toward, to remind yourself of where the story is heading. The Lynchpins can become the mile markers you build your story around.

Whether you’re a supervisor or the one editing the story, Lynchpins can be a powerful tool to help you tell better stories. Give it a try, see what you think!

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