My main role in Post-Production is editing, but I have experience from ideation and production, to motion graphics and animation. And one thing I’ve found is if I’m not proactive, it’s easy to become isolated or typecast apart from my specific role. I’d like to share some tips to keep you refreshed and energized for every project that comes your way.

This will help you push your creative contributions farther and step out of your traditional role as a contributor. If you are in the business of hiring post-production creatives look for these triggers when you’re selecting your next team.

    DIVE-IN

Too often post-production creatives aren’t consulted during the projects conception. It’s not until you’re in the edit suite that an editor gets to contribute. This can inadvertently cause us to be reactive rather than proactive. Whenever possible I request to be involved in the initial ideation phase.

Contributing from the beginning will help you engage in a whole new way.

Throw in some ideas for the visuals or propose a new way to tell the story. Some of my most creative and successful projects were the ones where I felt a sense of investment from the beginning. When you’re fully able to catch the vision of a project at the start you’re more likely to succeed. There will be times when the concept is locked in place before it gets to post-production, but don’t let that cause you to just go through the motions. Think about how you can advance the client’s concept. Suggest a unique edit style or add a visual effect and make it even better than they originally envisioned. An unexpected sound effect or a unique cut can really set the project apart.

    TRY SOMETHING NEW

It is easy to get into a creative rut so be proactive and try something new. When- ever you start a new project set out to do something different than what you’ve done in the past. Look for a new effect, design, or editing style that you can implement. There are a lot of different ways to use a fade to or from black. Don’t just slap on the default and resist just laying in a music track without cutting it up and switching it around to enhance your story. Look around at the creative work other people are doing. Plan to spend some time each day looking at designs, videos, photography, or whatever gives you inspiration. Be intentional.

Use other peoples work to get your creative juices pumping.

You’ll find shortcuts to Behance, Motionographer, Vimeo, and Instagram on my browser that I explore nearly everyday. I often find inspiration from a single image, a video, or a movie trailer that I’ve seen. Strive to make every project original. You’ll stay engrossed in what you’re CREATING and your client will be pleased.

    WORK AS A TEAM

Those dark edit rooms and quiet audio suites can be very isolating, but don’t let that dictate how you work. Get up out of your chair and ask the opinion of others. Check with your colleagues if they have any suggestions or ideas on how to make your creation better. Talk through your challenges and acknowledge that other people have good ideas too. You don’t always have to implement every idea that another editor or designer suggests but take into consideration their thoughts. My greatest ideas almost always come through collaboration. In my experience, the moment you think you have the most creative solution and others cannot help you is the moment you’re beginning to lose your edge. Producers and writers, I also suggest you ask your designer, editor, or audio engineer how they feel about the project. Including others in some of the decision making can help push your creative over the top.

Daniel McNeill was raised in Tennessee and is passionate about the Vols. He’d love to connect if you’re looking for more creative strategies.