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I lost an editing client because they provided me with nothing so I can see what the video needs to look like.
I don’t quite understand how some clients expect you to edit the video the way they want and don’t make up a map of what they want to be done to the video, what effects, and the fonts for texts. meme sounds etc they want.
A short background
So I’ve been looking to get into video editing. I edit my videos for Youtube which I’ve been doing since 2016 so I feel that cover’s my experience.
I asked for a little script of what the person wants to be done to the video. I commissioned a banner for my YT. I sent a rough draft of what I wanted it to look like so they knew how to draw it.
Direct instructions are important to me as an autistic person because reading between the lines can be a tad difficult for some of us. Knowing what’s expected of us is difficult.
I’ve been wanting to get into freelance editing. I have in my Twitter display name “editor for hire” to make it easier.
It started when someone reached out on behalf of their friend
One guy reached out on behalf of their friend looking for an editor to edit together clips from their basketball game. I asked if they were looking for someone to edit a compilation together.
After they vaguely explain what they were looking for, I asked the guy to make a little script of what they wanted to be done at what mark. ( eg when x dunks the ball, make the picture shake, when Y has the ball, at a zoom effect)
The person would not provide a script of what they wanted and instead gave me vague instructions.
Never told me specifically what edits they wanted. So I just guessed. I sent the clips to the person and they showed the friend. They messaged the next day saying their friend was concerned about the transitions. There was zero mention of transitions during the original exchange. Just focus on X” “freezeframe at the end” “slow motion” “match the video with the song”
This is when things derailed
This guy is seriously “concerned” about something they never mentioned upon reaching out.
I will link a video I made at the end.
Another “concern” the friend had was spending money on something that looks like quote-on-quote “simple edits”
I feel this is a common stigma when it comes to editing. People judge by what they see. The edits look “simple” but behind the scenes, it took trying out different effects to see which one works the best. Editing audio, scripting whatever your videos require. If you are vague with what you want, there is a good chance you won’t get what you want.
I asked over and over for a script of what the person wanted to be done specifically but would not provide me with anything to give me an idea.
They gave me nothing, No layout. Not even a sample video they did in their spare time or a video from another creator whose editing style matches what they want.
So as a result of not getting clear step-by-step instructions, the person’s friend was “concerned” about paying for something that LOOKS like “simple edits.”
“Concerned” is in quotes because obviously, they weren’t that concerned since they didn’t bother to put anything together so I know what the video should look like. If they were really concerned they would have thought to put together a script/layout or find a sample video with a style they’re going for. I mean “my money and time are on the line. I wanna make sure I find an editor that can do X. I am going to find a sample video to send so they know what I’m looking for” or “I am going to put together a checklist of everything I want for this video.”
I felt it was a dick move when the friend was “concerned” but wouldn’t give me anything so I can see how they wanted the video to look
Also, you cannot leave out what you want in the video and then say you’re concerned about a detail you never told them you wanted in the video when you originally reached out. Imagine if I ordered a painting for my grandmother, didn’t tell them I wanted the canvas to be purple, and after they send me the rough draft, so I know what the project will look like, then tell them I’m concerned about the canvas and it must be a color in the purple family.
honestly, if you won’t provide some sort of rough draft, script, etc so the person will know what you’re looking for and you end up “concerned” that’s YOUR fault. There are tons of ways to do “edits.”
It’s like me hiring a contractor to build me a YT studio, vaguely explaining how I want the room to look, providing them no rough draft of what I want, then coming back and telling them I’m “concerned” about some of the rooms and they must be “nice” but gave no examples of what I want. if I wanna hire a contractor to build me a room, I know I cannot make blueprints, I’d build the house in the Sims 4 or Roblox Bloxburg and record and take screenshots and be like “this is how I want the outside to look. This is the bathroom.”
When I did some Roblox funny edits how I added audio memes at appropriate parts etc. That’s an edit. When I made a video calling out that guy who only liked me because he wanted to sleep with me, I did green screen, and memes, and had the video behind me and me in the corner reacting., That’s another way to edit. Due to several ways, you can edit a video to fit that particular video, the client just saying “edits” was too vague.
If they did provide a detailed draft of what they were looking for and they didn’t see anything even close to the draft. I can see them being concerned. But I was given literally nothing to have an idea. If you do not provide me with any guild, all I can do is guess. 9/10 you will not get what you asked for.
That’s why clear directions are important. It’s the only way to know what you want to be done to your video. It’s the only way I can get a clear visual. One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that I am a visual learner. That means I think visually, not mentally. meaning I need a visual of what the person is looking for. Another thing I forgot to mention is clear to the point communication.
I think I lost the deal. I have not heard from the person since the last talk. I am trying not to beat myself up. I did what anyone would do. I asked for a rough draft which they would not provide. The original convo was last Monday. It’s been a week. I would have heard SOMETHING by now. All I can say to them is good luck finding an editor that can follow your vague ass instructions. They more than likely will ask for the same thing I did.
I don’t wanna come off as picky or a difficult person. The thing is, as an autistic person, clear VISUAL instructions are important in order for me to know. I’ve always provided visuals when getting something. When I wanted a certain haircut/style when I used to get a relaxer (it makes your hair straight) I showed the stylist a picture.
Also, it’s easier for both of us if you have a draft. Instead of constantly explaining. Send the draft then say “this is some edits I do in my spare time. I want something close to this.” When editing, you brand your videos in a way the audience knows it’s you. So if this guy has a specific format for his videos, then a different video would suffice for a guild.
This is an example of what I felt would be clear to the point instructions with a guild or sample video.
It’s to the point, direct, and clear. And brief to-the-point instructions. When there is too much information, that can overwhelm the autistic brain. I forgot to mention that in my videos.
I am going to give an example of what clear, direct-to-the-point instructions look like to me.
“Hello. I see you’re an editor. I am looking for someone to edit together some basketball highlights”
“I’m looking for an editor that can edit together highlights to match the music I’ve chosen.”
I’d like some edits, the effects I want are pan and zoom, slow motion, instant reply a purple filter.
“pan and zoom= when X jumps”
“slow mo=when X dunks the ball”
“instant reply=after X dunks the ball”
“I want the transitions to blend into the next frame. “
” I want a freezeframe of X mark. Add the purple filter for that still”
“here is a video I did in my spare time, I want the final video to match this.”
THAT is clear, brief, to-the-point instructions and tells your editor what you want. And you have a sample video as some extra info. So say you make tech reviews, you want me to edit your video reviewing the iPhone and you send a sample of you reviewing the iPad mini, then I know where you want your text bumpers, b-roll, etc
here is a blog post I wrote about a teacher reporting my paper to the dean as a result of there being no clear directions on what we could write about or couldn’t write about. or if our topic had to be run by the teacher first. This blog post is another example of why clear directions and expectations are important for autistic people.
Then back in 2018, I was looking for some work-from-home jobs. I found a site that pays you to test and give feedback about their website. I recorded a video and sent it to them. Then I got an email back saying it wasn’t what they were looking for. When they gave me literally nothing in regards to what they wanted feedback on. If you do not tell me AND SHOW me what you want to be critiqued or what you want in your edit or whatever. I WILL GUESS.
I also suggest you send a sample video since it’s to the point regarding what you want just like the example I gave you with the tech reviewer.
This video editing gig is gonna be tough. Other editors make this look easy. then again maybe clients send CLEAR instructions so the editor knows what’s expected.
I just hate how clients blame you when they don’t like the result when they gave you nothing so you can get a feel regarding what the project should look like.
I put this under the guise of Autism simply for the instructions. I cannot follow verbal instructions, especially if they are unclear. At the same time, huge paragraphs of info will overwhelm me and will be harder to remember vs something short and to the point.
I need my directions written, and step-by-step instructions to know what’s required of me. Or a video close to the editing style the person wants as a guild.
After the guy told me the friend’s “concern” I basically replied saying this is why I kept asking you for a guild. Then they said it’s hard for the content provider to give step by step. No, it’s not that hard. You may need to adapt your instructions ( eg montages vs a full 20 min video) but did you mean to tell me it was that hard to make a script and thought just giving me nothing was the better option? I admit I can be brutally honest, sometimes I can be too much on the nose, but it is a dick move blaming your client when you don’t like the results when you didn’t give some sort of guild