It's Only Edit Time...
Lots of times, when I work with a client that needs production costs cut...the only place for us to cut it without a complete re-write is to cut edit time.
But what does that mean? Does it mean we just have to make our cuts faster and not look at extra takes? Sometimes...but cutting edit time can be a big difference between your commercial looking good and looking great!
It's also hard to imagine since time is intangible...so here are some comparisons on a spot that we cut edit time and one that we didn't.
Below is an example of a commercial we did for a client. This particular version is the "Basic Version" where we cut edit time to a bare minimum.
It's definitely not bad. The video messaging is clear, the graphics are clean, and everything came together nicely.
Now here is a version of that same spot, but with an extra couple of hours of edit time. As a disclaimer, this is version the client wanted from the beginning!
What a difference, right? In this version we were able to step up the graphics and pacing of the commercial to make it more engaging with the viewer as well as set apart the spot from other restaurants.
So let's take a deep dive into the differences of these two spots.
The End Screen
For this spot, we started with the stylized End Screen. As you can see, both versions have the same exact information. The Basic End Screen is easy to read, matches the color theme of the client and his logo.
The Upgraded End Screen is stylized with the wood paneling background and water drips. It looks a lot more interesting than just plain white and grabs the attention of the viewer. The "Grand Opening" looks like a sign versus just the text and we were able to animate the water droplets coming across the screen and add movement to the elements. All of which combines to draw the viewers eyes to the screen and engage them with the information on the screen.
The Lower Third
We then worked off the theme of the End Screen to match the other elements of the commercial. In this case the Basic Lower Third matches the basic End Screen. The color scheme is the same and the overall look is the same. It takes up the bottom third of the screen completely (hence the term lower third!).
For the Upgraded Lower Third, we did a Lower Third Bug, which simply means that the lower third does not come across the entirety of the screen, but sits in the corner. We were able to spend more time on it to make it more dynamic as it animates on screen, where the Basic Lower Third cuts on screen during a transition.
All the Extras
The End Screen and Lower Third are definitely styled different when you compare the two versions, but additional edit time allows us to do a little more nuanced work as well.
As you watch the spot below you can see Victoria and Brian enjoying their meal. The voice over says "Its time to grab a bib and gloves, because it's time to get your hands dirty!" The video in both spots show exactly what the voice over ("VO") is saying...both have a bib and gloves and they're getting their hands dirty! Its an interesting shot that backs up the voice over...but how can we make it even more engaging?
With more edit time, we were able to add graphic text of the VO over a red grungy backdrop, as well as animated a crab claw clicking around. Now that is attention getting and definitely more dynamic than just a simple shot.
Who doesn't love delicious looking food shots on TV? Greg did a great job of shooting all the food baskets to show off exactly what Mr. Krabs' Hut has to offer. Same as above, the visual images match the VO. For this client, they have a lot to offer and wanted to make sure that came across in the commercial, so we went the VO mentioning a good amount of their menu as we show it on screen.
One problem that can occur when doing any list in a VO is having a lot of info in a short amount of time that goes in the viewers ear and out the other. We want to make sure that information stays with the viewer so we showed images of the food in addition to the VO. With the Upgraded Version, we were also able to add dynamic text that animates on screen so then the viewer can read, hear, and see the menu which will help them retain that information even more.
Wrap It Up!
So hopefully this will help you understand what we mean by "Edit Time" and that the more time we can spend with this in Editing, the more effective we can make it. Each spot is different, so what works in this one, may not work with yours; but, each spot has its own story to tell and we'd love to help your business tell its story!
tl;dr - Lots of people cut edit time when trying to save on production costs. That may not be a good idea!