Day 73: Why Is Workflow So Important?

It’s a lovely sunny afternoon in Kelowna, BC as I edit over 10 hours of wedding footage. Sunday night I decided to head out with some friends for a spontaneous vacation up here in Kelowna Albeit, I do have some work cut out for me as I have to assess the footage from this past weekend.

However high pressure a wedding shoot might be, I must say, I do enjoy the layover that comes after. Editing is a task that can really be done anywhere as long as you have a computer, possibly a mouse, and a healthy supply of caffeinated beverages. If not for the portability, I probably wouldn’t be enjoying the Okanagan sun right now.

Workflow Helps Bring Rest

Considering I have a lot to do, this is one of the first times the idea of a healthy workflow has come to mind. Many creatives tend to just get right to it. You sit down, start cranking out some photos or videos, and call it a day. But you just can’t do that with 10 hours of footage. Getting up from an editing session, leaving it for the night, and then get back to it in the morning leaves no room for undecided decisions, or vaguely new approaches. You need a consistent system in which you can put your mind at ease once you leave your work to rest, along with being able to pick it up right where you left off, however long the break may have been.

Workflow Helps You Focus

One thing I’ve noticed is that I’m a sucker for colour grading. I love taking one piece of footage, and seeing how many different ways I can put it on display via different textures, filters, and colour-scales. This approach however, leaves little room for beneficial editing. One never commits, and one is never satisfied. Along with not knowing how to properly colour grade, one might never get out of the the black hole of amateur, filmmaker, colour grading, death. I’ve been there, and it sucks.

Learn a Consistent System

I’ll be looking at some colour grading tutorial on Lynda.com this week, and I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m no where near the level of a profesisonal colourist, but I do think I have a decent eye, and a good understanding of the technicalities behind it. The one thing I don’t have though, is a foundational outlook on the process, because all I’ve ever known or learned has been gained through trial and error. Taking a look into a the professional landscape of colour grading I think will benefit my editing immensely.

Along with increasing the actual quality of the content, learning a foundational (and professional) way of doing things adds to the confidence and consistency of your workflow. Having something you know how to do, and you know will give good results is the key to any healthy workflow. If not for those two things, you’d be all over the place all the time, always trying new things; you’d never know what worked well because it’d be mixed in with all of the stuff that didn’t. So, learn a system, and get good at it.

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