When I mention the word “editor” you might think of a video editor, but there is also a copy editor. The standard job of a copy editor is to correct grammar and spelling mistakes for writers, and maybe even reword sentences or phrasings so they read better. That’s more of the type of editor I’m referring to. On a slightly higher level is the person who is simply known as an editor. This person is invested a little more than a copy editor and has the ability to make suggestions for how content is arranged or the direction a piece should go.
Something we take to heart at Igniter Media is the opportunity to use much of our staff as editors for our projects. We bounce ideas off each other from the start of a project until we hit the upload button — and sometimes after that!
Being in this kind of company culture has convinced me more and more that everyone needs an editor — if you write blog posts, video scripts, tutorials, or children’s sermons, it is my opinion that you would be well-served by having someone take a look at your work and give you honest feedback. Even for those of you who are video professionals of some sort, whether you are a producer, editor, or motion graphics artist. Take time at the various stages of your production to run your work by a few people to see what they think.
Be intentional about the types of people you ask to view your work. Certainly refrain from asking people who have no time or interest in the project. You’ll likely get disinterest or questionable feedback. However, you don’t necessarily need to ask people who are video professionals.
If you’re working on theological content, ask your pastor — or a pastor friend from another church. Ask your high school friend who is in seminary or your small group leader.
Ask a professional. You’ll benefit from the technical feedback of someone in your industry you respect. Upload your work and see if you can find a few people to watch it and give you (I’ll say it again) honest (and constructive) feedback.
Patty Pew-Sitter is something like a last line of defense. After everyone else has seen the video a hundred times or your technical friends have made suggestions about where to make a cut, asking someone who has never made a video, ever, can catch things that everyone else overlooked. You’ll hear comments such as, “Why is Jesus standing behind that guy?” or “The music is too loud for me to hear the girl,” and “I didn’t have time to read that text since I was looking at the other thing.” While these aren’t always the most technical responses, they will give you a good feel for what the general audience will see in your project.
It also must be said that you don’t always have to implement the feedback you receive. The important thing is to assimilate the information and make good, humble judgment calls on a case-by-case basis. But you’ll never have feedback to sort through unless you ask.
I’m a video producer, so the last few paragraphs were written to video producers, but I want to stress that everyone — down to the lady who creates the Bible Drill newsletter – should have at least one other person look at their work before it gets shipped. Pick someone trustworthy and preferably someone who knows the difference between “your” and “you’re.”
That which we create and publish is a reflection of us, our organizations, and the God we serve. May we all humble ourselves, seek out an editor, and produce better reflections.