Building Your Editing & Grading Suite in a Hotel Room

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Video editors love their setup. Many of us spend years perfecting it and it becomes somewhat of a pride thing. And it’s important, too. Having a setup that works for you and almost feels like part of your body makes for faster and better editing. But video editors are often lured out of their comfort zone to edit and grade on-location, like in a hotel room (or the director’s kitchen counter). What should you bring? What should you leave behind? These questions don’t have to make your hair curl, though.

Video Editing And Color Grading On Location

Editing on location is synonymous with minimizing and still shlepping a load of heavy gear in the field. Take inventory of your editing tools and find a suitcase that is large enough to house all your must-haves, and leave the nice-to-haves at home. For some editors, that will mean just a laptop computer. For most of us sad mortals, though, that will include SSD drives, a Speed Editor for editing, a davinci resolve micro panel for color grading, and a slew of other bits and pieces. Anything that fits your suitcase is fair game.

Hotel Rooms Are the Editing Rooms of The Poor

Ever stayed in a hotel room in the center of a large city? They are tiny and often too small to fit a table, if you’re on a budget. In Hong Kong, you can shell out a decent sum for a room and still end up editing on the bed. The point is, even if you invested in the largest possible suitcase to fit your entire setup, it is good to know where exactly it is that you will be setting up. Because the size of your hotel room and the amenities will also dictate how much of your gear you’ll be able to comfortably use. Call upfront to find out what you’re looking at. Ask if they can set up a working desk for you. Maybe the larger room or suite is still within budget. While there’s life, there’s hope.

Go Minimal But Smart

If you are used to editing on just your laptop, then consider yourself lucky. If you can’t be on you’re A-game without your special keyboards and dedicated panels, and just the thought of working without them makes you miss them already, then, by all means, pack those bad boys. Just make sure you have a set of wheels under your suitcase and your hotel room is bigger than an outhouse. The last tip: check out the hotel rooms outside of the center or around the airport, or have a quick look into the local Airbnb listings. They are often bigger and better equipped.

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