• Most new users don't bother reading our rules. Here's the one that is ignored almost immediately upon signup: DO NOT ASK FOR FANEDIT LINKS PUBLICLY. First, read the FAQ. Seriously. What you want is there. You can also send a message to the editor. If that doesn't work THEN post in the Trade & Request forum. Anywhere else and it will be deleted and an infraction will be issued.
  • If this is your first time here please read our FAQ and Rules pages. They have some useful information that will get us all off on the right foot. More details on our policies, especially our Own the Source rule are available here. If you do not understand any of these rules send a private message to one of our staff for further details.
  • Favorite Edit of the Year (FEOTY) Nominations for 2020 are now open! Submit your entries here.

Advice and Help For New Fan Editors

reave

Well-known member
Staff member
Messages
4,314
Reaction score
2
Trophy Points
43
Advice and Help For New Fan Editors

This is a collection of advice based on the experience of many fan editors, who graciously have spent their time putting together some very valuable tips for those just starting out.

Please, take this document seriously! It will help you a great deal, and also understand how the fanedit.org community works. If you follow the advice and guidelines presented herein, your fanediting journey should be much more enjoyable and successful!


Part I - Welcome to fanedit.org!
This is an introduction to this fan editing community, including what kind of expectations we have for fan edits supported by this site, and what we expect of YOU.

Part II - Advice for how to be a happy and successful Fan Editor
This is a collection of useful advice that serves as your overall framework on how to approach fan editing. It includes help on understanding how our community works, and how you can make a smooth and positive entrance into it.

Part III - Advice on how to get your first edit approved
This part provides advice on making it easier to get your first edit approved, including the top 10 reasons why first time submissions don't get approved.

Part IV - Helpful threads and references
This is a collection of useful threads for more in depth help and information on topics such as workflow and technical issues. Also, this section provides links/references to all the sources used that contributed to this document.




PART I: Welcome to fanedit.org!

There are a lot of people worldwide who create fanedits, because they are annoyed by this or that scene or character or plot development. Or they want to remix some of their favorite movies. The digital age makes movie editing quite easy on an amateur level. Basic tools are available for free or quite cheap. Many people create fanedits just for themselves, which also means that they can easily forgive inconsistencies and flaws of any kind. But that is not what fanedit.org is about.

On this website, fanedits are presented as quality works of art. And to qualify for that, they need to be beyond amateur level. To achieve this, a faneditor needs devotion, care, patience, technological knowledge and creativity. The goal is to create a new, professional and entertaining movie that an audience can enjoy.

While this might sound like a daunting task, the members of this site are dedicated to helping you achieve this goal! As long as you follow some simple rules and strive to be a good member of our community, you should find lots of support as you work towards completing and releasing that first edit.

1. WHAT SHOULD I DO FIRST?

It is imperative that you first read, understand, and follow the rules of this site. There are only a handful of rules, but they must be followed or else you will get yourself into trouble. These rules are available at the top of every page of the site, so you always can have one click access to them in case you want to brush up on them!

Finally, it is absolutely essential that you also read, understand, and follow the Own the Source Rule, also available at the top of every page of this site. There are absolutely no exceptions to following this rule. Our community does not support, condone, or promote piracy or illegal activities in any way!

2. OK, I understand The Rules and I’m game to to follow them. NOW WHAT?

It’s simple. Become a member of the community.

We’re not here just to show off how cool we think we are. Fanedit.org is a community of passionate movie fans. Contribute to the site as a student first in order to become a better faneditor later. Learn first, before you fail.

The love you take is equal to the love you make. If you’re only here to promote your own fanedit, you may find only a few people interested in it. If you take interest in other projects and topics, people may start taking more interest in yours.

Keep in mind that fanediting is primarily a fun hobby, a way for the Average Joe to be creative and have fun telling new stories with old movies. Nobody is doing this as a profession, we do it because it’s fun, not because we want praise and awards. Some of us may have better skills or software, some may even be professionals in the industry, but we are all here to share our mutual love for movies and storytelling. And that is what this site is suppose to be about.... SHARING.

Don’t worry about reviews or ratings. Don’t concern yourself with whether or not you win Favorite Edit of the Month. Spend time on the forums or in the chat room getting to know your fellow FE brothers.

Also, you should make sure to present yourself with the appropriate level of professionalism when posting in forums, especially when you are new. While the general atmosphere around here is easy-going, it is always best to start off by putting your best foot forward. Get to know us, and let us get to know you. The aforementioned rules give advice on how best to approach posting on the forums. Another great guide to help you with this is TV's Frink's Guide to Sensible Posting (also available at the top of almost every forum page).

3. HOW DO I GET MY FANEDIT APPROVED?

Once you feel your fanedit is ready, fill out the First-Time Faneditor Submission Form. An Administrator will contact you and it will get reviewed by a member of the Academy. Keep in mind we’re all volunteers here, so it may not get reviewed as fast as you want it to. Be patient, and while you wait, become a member of the community.

Once reviewed, the Academy member (or Admin) will let you know if it’s approved or more work needs to be done. Take it from there.

4. HOW DO I GET HELP?

If you’re not sure of what to do, re-read The Rules or Using This Site or The FAQ. Your question may be answered there.

If you still need help with something, you can either make a thread or send a Private Message to an Admin. Depends on what you need help with. Use your judgment and be sure to read up on existing threads before starting your own.





PART II: Advice for how to be a happy and successful Fan Editor

1. LIMIT THE NUMBER OF THREADS YOU CREATE UNTIL YOU HAVE AN APPROVED EDIT.

When first starting out, it can be tempting to create new threads for all your different fan editing ideas. This is perfectly understandable, and we welcome your enthusiasm. HOWEVER, it is important to understand the proper place for these threads. As a first time editor who has not yet had an approved release, it is recommended to limit yourself to just one Fanedits IN-THE-WORKS thread to help keep your focus on that all-important first edit. You can also use the Fanedit Ideas forum if you want to have one or two ideas publicly percolating. In any event, there are now rules in place for the number of threads you may have in both these forums, which is documented here: Rule Regarding In-The-Works Threads. Make sure you read — and heed — this rule.

2. READ UP ON THE TECHNICAL FORUMS.

The technical side of fanediting isn't the easiest thing. It can be very difficult at times. It doesn't have to be, though.

If you're having a technical problem with your edit, do not immediately start a new thread about it. Read through the existing threads in the Technical Forum. Your question may already be answered there. (Also, See PART IV below for some especially helpful threads!)

Oh, and please never release a .WMV fanedit. Just don't do it, ok? mmkay?

3. WATCH AS MANY FAN EDITS AS YOU CAN.

(Of course, you need to own the original films to watch a fanedit. See: Own the Source Rule.)

What makes a good fanedit? What makes a fanedit different from the original movie? What types of fanedits are really popular? What types of fanedits do people not pay much attention to? Has ______ idea already been done?

All these questions can be answered by watching fanedits already available and seeing how well people have responded to them. Plus, if you've never seen a fanedit, or only saw one or two, trying to make your own fanedit will be a rougher road.

4. BE OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS AND CRITICISM.

Not everybody is going to love your edit. Some may give suggestions on how to make it better. Some may criticize it. Be willing for this happen.

If you are unable to accept negative comments or critiques of your work, you aren’t ready to publicly display your works.

5. TAKE YOUR TIME. BE PATIENT.

Your edit may not get watched right away. Don't get discouraged or upset about it.

"Fanediting is a time consuming process. Once you get the hang of your editing software and all the steps involved you can eventually get projects completed at quite a quick pace BUT slow and steady is always better in my opinion.

Speaking for myself, when I first got started in fanediting I was super enthusiastic. I was lucky enough to recruit a forum member as my mentor and along the way garnered knowledge and advice from other members as well. But I had an idea and I was anxious for the world to see it! I couldn't wait. But a wise man once said "Aim for perfection." So it was a struggle (and still is) to take my time, take a step back, and not settle.

You only release your edit once (unless its not initially approved). So there is no point in rushing only to put out a fanedit that in  retrospect has you saying "ah I wish I had done this, or left out that etc." There is no point in being lazy. For as many kind and generous critics on here we have plenty of harsh critics. And while you can't please everyone you can certainly avoid getting chewed out for subpar technical quality of your edit by not settling and being patient.

I have been a victim of this myself. There are at least one of two things in each one of my edits which make me cringe and stand out as instances of "shoulda, woulda, coulda."

Learn from my mistakes!" - Gatos

6. BE A MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY, NOT JUST AN EDITOR.

Here two examples, both based off real members (who won't be named).

Member A had been here since 2008. He contributed a lot to forums over the years and made a lot of friends. In 2011 he released an edit he had been working on for a while. The edit was approved a day after being submitted.

Member B had also been a member here for a while, but never contributed much to forums. He mainly discussed his own edits he was making. None of his edits were ever approved, due to technical issues. Then one day he got fed up with nobody paying attention to him and blamed the site for not caring about him and his fanedits. I have no idea where he is now.

We aren't saying that being an active forum member will automatically get your edit approved. And reversely, we aren't saying that if you're not an active member, your edits will never be approved.

But, being a good member of the community can help you along the way.

In other words: "Contribute to the site as a student first in order to become a better faneditor later." - geminigod




PART III: Advice on Getting Your First Edit Approved

From Jorge's Rules of Fanediting€ -

1. YOU CAN'T PLEASE EVERYONE.

Fanedits come from movies and just like movies, some will like them and some won't.
Learn to live with it.

2. IF YOU'RE DOING IT FOR YOURSELF, PLEASE YOURSELF.

No need for explanations. Just do what you please. Go for it. Put a smile on your own face bro!
Yeah, you are that good. Don't stop, don't ever stop!

3. IF YOU'RE DOING IT FOR AN AUDIENCE, PLEASE THE AUDIENCE.

Uh oh. Trouble. You've now entered territory that we are all familiar with.

We have watched movies and TV all of our lives and the grammar of cinema is well known to us. Having it all make sense is not easy. If it was easy, every Hollywood release would be a hit. But we know they aren't.

When you share it, the fanedit has to work on another level. Because now you're competing with the skills and talent of Hollywood. Yeah it has to be that good. The editing and story telling has to be seamless and unnoticeable and make sense. What is obvious to you might not make much sense to Average Joe.

So you really have to edit with an audience in mind. Classic faneditors like ADigitalMan, CBB, TMBTM and Uncanny Antman can do it. So should you.

4. DON'T RUSH IT.

SLOW DOWN.

Check your edit. Check your DVD. Check your AVI / MP4 / MKV. Check the mix, check the AR, check for flash frames, check for bad edits, check for bad audio edits, check for abrupt cuts, check for plot holes, check for errors in logic, check for interlace problems, check for errors in chronology, check, check, check.

And when you're done, bored and tired, get a good night's sleep, wake up to a hardy breakfast and check again! Walk away for a few days (sometimes much longer), look at it with fresh eyes.

If you repeatedly rush, and repeatedly put out inferior first products you will develop a bad rep fast.

This isn't a race. First impressions are the lasting impression.


From Neglify's Advice to New Editors€ -

5. GET YOUR EDIT PREVIEWED BEFORE YOU SUBMIT IT.

Getting your edit viewed by someone else is essential. This is typically called a "workprint" and is an essential part of every fan editor's workflow, even for the most experienced editors.

A fresh pair of eyes can catch errors you may not have noticed. It's better to spend a lot of time tweaking the edit before it's submitted. You don't want the edit disapproved because of errors that could have been easily fixed.

6. CREATE INTEREST IN YOUR EDIT, BUT DON'T OVERDO IT.

Make a trailer for your edit. Make some cover art. But if nobody responds as enthusiastically as you'd want, don't worry about it! Don’t get mad if it’s not getting the love you want. Move on to something else, life’s too short to worry about what people on the internet think about you.

7. IF AT FIRST YOU DON'T SUCCEED...LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!

Did your first edit have a lot of technical errors? Read up on the Technical Forums and learn how to perfect your skills. Take a step back and focus on mastering the basics of editing before you attempt to rotoscope Jar Jar out of every frame of Episode I.

Did the edit's plot not make sense? Work on telling a story without confusing the audience.

Making the same mistakes might make one think you're a lazy editor. We don't want that. While we don't expect every fanedit to be 100% perfection, we want good quality edits, both editing and story-wise.

8. BE CONTENT WITH WHAT YOU HAVE MADE.

"Remember fanedits are not for commercial gain, they are a way to express yourself. So never worry if some people might not like the changes you are doing - there have been a lot of times when drastic changes have actually been greeted with enthusiasm (even though they might not have been if the editor just announced his decisions).

Bottom line is that you are first and foremost working on something you should like. So if there is something that has always bugged you, you are in the position to remove it.

Will it upset people? Maybe, but who cares? Who knows maybe people opposed to your changes are actually just a minority and the other large part will appreciate a bold cut." - Sunarep


Lastly:

9. TEN COMMON REASONS FANEDITS GET DISAPPROVED.

1) Bad audio transitions. Sloppy transitions or abrupt audio cutting takes you out of the movie experience quickly.
2) Sloppy visual editing. Flash frames, abrupt cuts, fades and/or dissolves that look unnatural.
3) Bad video quality. The tech forums are full of useful information on how to properly convert your DVDs/BDs to usable editing files. Making a fanedit from a low quality source (such as a 700MB xvid AVI you made with some random free program) is a surefire way to be disapproved.
4) Audio/Video sync issues.
5) Plot holes created by the editor.
6) Amateur editing. Don’t use Comic Sans for your titles. Learn how to make good looking DVD menus. Don’t submit a .wmv file please.
7) Unbalanced audio levels. Example: Adding music that is way too loud and takes you out of the movie.
8) Laziness.
9) Illogical storytelling issues created by the editor.
10) Having a bad attitude. I hate to say it, but if you’re a jerk in the forums this may be a factor when your edit is watched.





PART IV: Helpful Threads and References

1. WORKFLOW / TECHNICAL ADVICE

Captain Khajit's Basic Guide to Decoding Video and Audio
Gemini's Start-to-Finish HD Conversion Editing & Authoring Guide
ThrownCpr's Guide to Prepping an HD Edit in Vegas : Ripping & Converting From Blu-Ray
Captain Khajilt's Basic Guide to Encoding With HCenc
Boon's Guide to Fan Editing With Sony Vegas

2. GENERAL ADVICE

The Very Basic Guide to Fan Editing
The Rules of Fanediting: Remixed by Jorge
Advice to New Editors
How To Make A Good Fanedit (aka The Joy of Fanediting)
Fanediting Examples (Before and After)
Fanediting Pearls of Wisdom

3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The following members provided primary source material that contributed to the creation of this guide. Ultimately, it is because of them that this exists!

Neglify
Seciors
Remixed by Jorge
Gatos
Sunarep
Geminigod
Bionic Bob
Dwight Fry
 

budgiebottom

Member
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Trophy Points
6
Just a quick note that many of the links in this article are broken. Useful article though. 
Thanks.
 

Wakeupkeo

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Messages
275
Reaction score
71
Trophy Points
48
Agreed, but sad that the links are gone for this new editor. The community still seems robust, though.
 

addiesin

Well-known member
Messages
4,814
Reaction score
83
Trophy Points
58
The Great Subtracter said:
Agreed, but sad that the links are gone for this new editor. The community still seems robust, though.



Unless/until those links are fixed, you can probably find them using the forum's search page. You can search by thread title.
 
Top Bottom