- Commercial Editing is the interesting and challenging combination of part art, part sales. Commercial editors have a very unique job. They must tell a very concise story that sells a product in a compelling way. Every single moment counts in a commercial spot. If you lose your audience for even a moment, the prospect of sending the appropriate message can drift away. Commercial editing is also unique in that it is often one of the most collaborative positions within the post-production industry.
In many situations, you're working with an entire team of people to create the brand and craft the message, and ultimately, gain approval as you deliver multiple rough cuts, getting many levels of feedback as you complete the spot. Seldom do commercial editors work in a complete vacuum. In some cases, you might be working directly for a client that needs your services, and in other cases, you'll be working with an ad agency that has been hired to create the spot, and in those situations, you'll often be working through several layers of creative professionals in order to reach approval for your finished product.
Many times, this type of collaboration occurs within the same room with your clients or creative team sitting along side you as you try different approaches, and other times, you're working with others remotely, getting feedback, taking notes, and trying new things to try to please all parties. In this way, the commercial editor can perhaps best be thought of as the master designer that controls the roadmap of how the spot will play out, bringing together many ideas and elements that come from the writers, director, agency and client.
Commercial editors must be adept at managing expectations. They should be comfortable with having curveballs thrown at them, and they should be able to think on their feet to come back with something really terrific in the face of the great challenge of cutting a 30-second spot. Commercial editors have many tricks to help sell a message in as short a period of time as possible, but no commercial contains the same set of strategies. Often it's just a matter of trying several approaches, then tweaking it until it's perfect, and indeed, having a very solid set of editing skills is paramount.
As a fast-thinking commercial editor, you never want to think about the editing. You just want to think about the story, and be able to very quickly pull solutions together. Over the course of this training, we're going to be figuring out the best way to make a commercial about a sports drink called h+ sport. Before getting started with the editing though, we'll need to start learning a lot about the product message and brand.
Note: This course was updated to reflect the changes to Final Cut Pro X v. 10.1.x. Although the course was not re-recorded from scratch, we updated the applicable movies by adding text overlays to guide you through existing changes. We also updated the exercise files to work with the most current version of the software. Please watch the "Understanding this update and using the exercise files" movie to learn exactly what to expect from this updated course. Working with an earlier version of Final Cut Pro X? Watch Commercial Editing Techniques with Final Cut Pro X v10.0.9.
- What is commercial editing?
- Understanding the product's audience and intent
- Marking the best shots
- Laying out the visual structure
- Building an audio foundation
- Manipulating speed
- Adding transition effects
- Adding graphics, music, and voice-over
- Delivering the project and receiving feedback