In today’s era of modern video production, with crazy camera rigs, superstar talents, and massive film sets, it’s easy to overlook the importance of a good video editor, who has ultimate control over the overall pacing and audience’s perspective on the film.
However, going unnoticed can actually be desirable when it comes to video editing. According to veteran editor Billy Fox, the hallmark of a good edit is when “the audience is totally in the moment and totally in the story, and never notices your work at all”.
Video editing has come a long way from the old linear video editing method (where tapes from different sources were recorded onto one master tape) to the more common non-linear editing (NLE) systems used nowadays (digital software that grants instant access to video clips, random-access editing and non-destructive edits).
Examples of NLE software include Avid Media Composer, Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple Final Cut Pro, but here at Big 3 Media, our weapon of choice is the Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve (DVR).
In this article, we’ll be unveiling the curtain on video editing, as well as explaining why we prefer using DVR over other NLE software to edit our videos.
Let’s face it - video production is costly. If you’re a video editor on a budget, you’ll be looking to cut costs wherever possible. DaVinci Resolve 17 is great because it’s completely free and comes with a ton of features (editing, visual effects, motion graphics - more on this later). If you’ve got the budget, you can pay S$425 for DaVinci Resolve Studio 17, which is the “premium” version of DVR with more advanced features like stereoscopic 3D sound, up to 120fps, up to 32K resolution and more.
So, if you’re a starving artist trying to make it in the film industry, DVR is the preferred choice, but having said that, many professional video editors in the film industry still use DVR - even when working on large-scale video productions.
So what is it that keeps the pros coming back for more? We sat down with Jovin Chiang (Video Editor @ Big 3 Media) to talk about some of his favourite features on DVR, as well as any gripes he has with working on the software.
Ming: What are some of your favourite features that you use in DaVinci?
Jovin: I liked that they incorporated the different "stages" of post-production into one software. Aside from the regular “Edit” page, DVR recently introduced a new “Cut” page that greatly streamlines the editing workflow, and it’s great for churning out express edits on a tight timeline. DVR 17 also comes with new “Viewer Wipe Modes” and split-screen modes, which offer greater flexibility in comparing multiple clips or for different frames within the same clip.
The “Fusion” page contains a variety of VFX tools like compositing, painting, creating particle effects, keying, rotoscoping, adding text animation, tracking and performing stabilization.
DVR is also a great tool for audio post-production. The “Fairlight” page lets you work with up to 2,000 audio tracks, with a user-friendly interface that lets you control everything with just a keyboard and mouse. Fairlight’s transient detection tool automatically detects speech/music cues and creates markers on your audio clip - making it easy to detect specific parts and remove unwanted sections.
Aside from the usual colour adjustments, DVR’s “Color” page has some interesting features like Magic Mask (available on the paid version of DVR) that can isolate a subject from the background of a video clip.
Ming: If you could change 3 things about DaVinci to improve workflow, what would they be?
Jovin: Wow, this is a tough question! I really like how DVR’s workflow is inbuilt inside the software and how it comes with a lot of good features. If there's a specific video editing tool that you’re looking for, chances are that DVR will have it somewhere!
Okay, but if I had to change anything, it would be their user interface (UI) - when you first start using DVR it takes awhile to figure out where all the tools and features can be found. It might take you a couple of Google searches before you become fully familiarised with DVR’s UI.
Ming: If DaVinci ceased to exist, what alternative software would you use and why?
Well, I would go back to Premiere Pro, since it was the first video editing software that I started on (self-taught) before switching to Final Cut Pro when I got my MacBook.
While there’s no doubt that we lean towards DVR, ultimately the best video editing software is the one that you’re most familiar with and know best. Here at Big 3 Media, we have a suite of services to market your business during these challenging times:
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