How Proxy Files Helped Efficiently Edit a Documentary Series

Published on 26th August 2020

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This insight post is a summary of the original blog post authored by Brandon Buck of the Pollack Group. View the original, How To Efficiently Edit A Documentary Series With Proxy Files.

A video file is like a sandwich — the container, which is the video file format, is the bread and the codec is the recipe for assembling the sandwich. The codec is the method used to compress and standardize video files to be compatible with many devices or applications. 

So, what does this have to do with editing? Brandon Buck of the Pollack Group puts it into context by describing the process used to recently film and edit the documentary series Branchville. The web series tells the story of a successful corporate executive who returns to his family’s farm after 30 years to take on the “greatest challenge of his life.”

The series intercuts interviews and speeches from documentary subjects with b-roll footage, which, during editing, required the computer to jump around to numerous video files on external drives, often simultaneously in multiple layers. This is comparable to trying to remove individual ingredients from one sandwich and place it into another while someone is eating. 

However, the video files from the shoot were engineered to stand as a final product and not meant to be broken apart into something to work with as an editor. So what was the solution? Proxies. 

Learn how the Pollack Group team used proxy video files, a low-resolution duplicate of the raw video source that’s engineered to be easy for the computer to handle, to efficiently edit the series. Plus, get tips and details that may help optimize your post-production workflow.

Get the project details and tips on video documentary and additional Video and Technology trends from Worldcom Partners.

The Pollack Group is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has offices in New York, NY. Pollack is a mid-sized, multi-specialty agency that develops communication platforms and programs, manages corporate reputations, launches new products and services and promotes consumer brand engagement for clients ranging from innovative start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, with a focus on consumer products, technologies and services.

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