You can shoot with the best cameras in the world, have the greatest lighting, on screen talent and production and then have it ruined by poorly done editing. If you think about it, editing is the last barrier between your work and the audience/client so it should be never be disregarded.
Of course, modern day NLE’s have made editing one of the most enjoyable and quick parts of your production. Now that you don’t have to deal with physical cutting and splicing, you’re able to make quicker, gut decisions with the edit. This is a major advantage if you allow yourself to take advantage of the tools available instead of just wildly cutting with no method.
Mike Wilkinson at FStoppers has compiled a short list of editing tricks that will help you make those decisions to create dynamic and interesting videos. It’s a quick read and while it may not be groundbreaking, it’s a good list to keep in your back pocket when your edits are feeling stagnant.
These 5 Video Editing Tricks Will Make Your Editing Faster and Your Videos More Enjoyable to Watch
Readers have enjoyed my past blogs on editing from home, making a better demo reel, and other video-editing articles, so now I’m sharing with you my favorite editing tricks that I find make for better cuts and ultimately make videos easier to watch.
I know the skill level of video editors can vary greatly, but I’ve found that on Fstoppers, many people are photographers who have transitioned into making videos, and therefore had to learn how to edit. You might already do some of these editing tricks, but if not you should definitely try them out.
1. Shorter is better, except when it isn’t.
With the shrinking attention span of most audiences, and all kinds of media fighting for your time on the internet, it’s often a good idea to keep your videos as short as possible. This is true for most cases, but I’ve found that strategically placed pauses in videos can actually make videos easier to watch, and therefore maintain viewers for longer periods.
This is called “breathing room.” Instead of cutting from one interview audiobyte directly to another with no break for a long period, try adding 3-5 seconds of b-roll in between them, bring the music up to full, and then lower it back down to begin the next speaking section. Here’s an example below:
At about the :34 second mark, notice that the dialogue stops for a few moments and the music picks up. The beat hits on a humorous closeup, then continues on.
Adding breathing room can provide your audience with a mental “break” in the information they are receiving, and a small pause can also trigger the understanding that a new thought or subject is about to begin. When used in conjunction with changes or hits in music, these can add a fantastic flow to interview segments.
2. Use intro and outro video clips that have natural segues.
Following in the idea of using specific edits to subconsciously trigger an understanding in the viewer, editors will often use cross dissolves when starting or ending scene. Fade to blacks are used, as well as wipes if your name is George Lucas.
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(cover photo credit: snap from Fstoppers)