Freelance Creative


Blogs and process for editorial by Creative Editor Josh Hamester.

The Do's And Don'ts of Montage Editing

Here's a few simple suggestions of what to do and what not to do when cutting a montage by freelance Creative Editor Josh Hamester

The Do's

  1. Motivated Edits
  2. Spread Content Equally
  3. Contrasting Visuals
  4. Establish Themes
  5. Build communication with your client
  6. Take editorial risks
  7. Kill your babies

The Do's Explanations

  1. The edits should be given a purpose.  They need to resonate with the mood, music and composition that you're crafting.
  2. Content should not feel overtly repetitive.
  3. Think compositionally with the shots you're using.
  4. Giving story to a reel can give it more value.
  5. Listen to your clients wants, needs, likes and dislikes.
  6. Refer back to #5 and be able to divert from the set path to create editorial jumps.  You might create a new edit no one envisioned.
  7. Do not be attached to what you create.  If the client says it doesn't work, throw it out or demonstrate why it does however if you have to explain then you either didn't do your job or you have a bad producer.  Play it safe.

The Don'ts

  1. Throw picture over sound
  2. Overuse retimes/speed ramps
  3. Rewind clips
  4. Overuse one piece
  5. Ignore client notes
  6. Follow a strict formula
  7. Take notes personally
  8. Love your edits

The Don'ts Explanations

  1. Avoid making a slideshow, refer back to The Do's #1 #3 and #4
  2. Retimes can be distorting.  Use these only when appropriate.  Less is more in this case.
  3. Rewinding is repetitive.  Find another shot that motivates the edit.
  4. Avoid showcasing one project or it comes across as the only project.
  5. If you disagree with a change, do it as a proof of failure but also create a separate edit and explain why it works better.  Do not make them feel bad but instead show them "option 2"
  6. Having a good formula to creating reels can be effective until the pattern becomes stale.
  7. Notes are not addressed to you personally so don't think of it as such.
  8. It's good to have a passion for your work but refer back to The Do's #7 and do not get attached.

Hope these suggestions help in creating your next great montage!  Here's my latest example of following these rules for my friend Dave Levine who is a flame artist in Los Angeles.  You can see more of his work by clicking here.