Kathy Sierra over at Creating Passionate Users raises a question I struggle with every film...
When does a filmmaker present a show to a client?
1. When it's completely finished and they may have to go back for changes after the client sees it? Or...
2. When it's in a rough state so further discussion and changes can be created without heading down the road of no return?
It's a challenge that really never goes away.
So, one of the biggest decisions a corporate filmmaker faces is how polished their show should look before showing it to their client.
Enter...the "rough cut."
Clients who have created videos before with a local production company probably know about "rough cuts."
A "rough cut" is a term carried over from the early days of editing on tape, before the digital revolution.
Simply put, a producer would create a basic show without getting carried away with lots of music, graphics, professional voice-over and extra time spent editing footage throughout the program. The rough cut was then presented to the client to get feedback, make corrections, etc. After that discussion, the show moves on to the final phase of editing...complete with effects, music, graphics, voice-over and footage placed in the appropriate places.
The game is different now.
Non-linear and digital editing has created mixed blessings for filmmakers.
On the one hand, it's pretty easy to quickly move sound and video around to see what would happen if things looked another way. ("Hey, let's take the last shot and open the show with it...perfect!")
Of course, because it is so easy (compared to the days of long ago!) to edit and create a more finished show, rough cuts are quickly fading away. Once the footage is in the computer, it's tempting to just create what you envision.
In the end, every show and every client is different. Some situations will require a rough cut to determine if a show is too long in length and to see if there are other variables that need to be determined sooner rather than later.
Other times, the nature of the show resolves this question on its own.
Sometimes life is good like that :-)