What Is Editorial Development?

Sometimes called the offline or story edit, this is the stage when a program’s creative content is explored, shaped, and eventually refined to the point where the cut can be locked in preparation for finishing. This process is referred to as an “offline” edit because, for disk space and performance reasons, media is often ingested at a significantly lower quality than the final master will be finished at. Although many editors still follow this workflow (especially for formats at high resolutions such as 2K and 4K that are processor-intensive and require a lot of disk space), it’s becoming increasingly common for programs to be ingested and edited at the final level of quality from the very start. For more information about ingest strategies and how they vary depending on the quality of media you’re working with, see Ingesting and Organizing Your Media.

Although cutting picture and sound are the heart of this process, editorial development also includes the development of titles and graphics as well as broadcast design animation. Editorial development can also include a certain amount of audio cleanup and sound design, temporary music placement and editing, and even temporary color correction. All of these elements, whether in a rough or final state, play a part in helping you to hone the final content. There are numerous ways of using Motion and Soundtrack Pro together with Final Cut Pro to accomplish all of these additional tasks, integrating the output from each application inside Final Cut Pro in a way that keeps your workflow fluid.

Figure. Illustration showing the editorial development workflow.

Note: Frequent client reviews are another critical part of the editorial development phase. This topic is covered in detail in Client Review.