A lot of today’s rising videographers are more acquainted with non-linear video editing and video editing softwares. Prior to the innovation of computer-based editing software in the 90s, there is a technique called ‘linear video editing’ which was the main editing method back then.
The procedure requires choosing and arranging images and sounds on a videotape. These are also modified whether they are rendered from computer graphics or a video camera.
The television was the main medium used. Shot edits were often done in live TV productions. More than two cameras are utilized and the shot edits were performed by alternating orswitching from one video camera to another. Video switchers allowed the manipulation of various synchronized inputs and at simultaneously, mixing them into a single output. By using the switcher, cuts are easily executed in different video sources and in dissolves, wipes, and fades.
Modern live TV productions conform to the same linear editing system but the technological advancement made the productions much efficient and effective. The repeated airing of shows was only conceivable with kinescope before the videotape was invented. With kinescopes, film degradation was a major dilemma as well as observable scan lines and image deformations. Broadcast delay was also another problem because the kinescopes had to be processed in film laboratories.
Because of the exhausting process with kinescopes, the videotape was developed. Later, videotape editing became as viable as film editing.
The first recognized videotape was the quadruplex recording, approximately two inches in width. The tape was cut and spliced to accomplish editing tasks. The procedure was tedious and not a lot of videographers liked it.It had many disadvantages such as the inability to reuse edited tapes, the high skill level needed to execute the process, lose sync, and the time consuming editing tasks needed.
If you are familiar with the TV show - Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, this is an example of a show that used the laborious linear editing process. The hand editing was initially developed in the 1960s. But since it resulted in problems such as short buzzing (audio), it was not used completely. Most producers found this method impractical. Producers are not fully knowledgeable with the procedure and they can’t provide their personal opinions. Documentary TV productions also encountered a lot of problems with this method.
By the 1970s, edit suites were developed. Computers were already being used. Auxiliary devices and tape machines were synchronized using time codes. CMX, Sony, and Ampex developed the edit systems. Only high-end productions were capable of using the edit suites since these are generally very expensive.
Nowadays, linear video editing is still being utilized in newsrooms and a few production facilities where newer technologies are unavailable. The technological advancements of today make linear editing less complicated. As compared to non-linear editing, a lot of skills are needed to be able to perform linear editing. Nowadays, even instant video editing hobbyists can produce a film using non-linear editing in the comfort of their own home. Thanks to the advancement of technology.