Editing video really does not have to be difficult. Often times an editor will wind themselves up into a stressful ball of nerves over-thinking an edit project. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you just follow some simple rules any edit session will go much easier.
Video editing is a learned skill just like any other specialty in the world of television and video production. In fact I would say it’s more than a skill. I would go as far as calling it an artistic craft.
Just like any other craft that can be learned, editing doesn’t have to hurt your head to allow you to become very proficient at it.
Here are a few pointers that can definitely help you when you’re in the post-production phase with your video content to allow you to feel like a professional.
VARIETY, PACE & BEING BRUTALLY SELECTIVE
Watch any evening newscast and it will quickly become apparent the newsreader you’re watching is seldom shot at the same angle or with the same camera composition for more than one story introduction.
Video is meant to be an entertaining medium not one to simply pass along the facts. For that we turn to the written word of newspapers and magazines.
When you’re shooting your video productions keep in mind all the various choices you could consider with regards to camera framing. Even if your production is a simple one person on-camera read presented by you with a locked off camera.
You can mix up your framing between a close-up or a medium shot. The subject can be shot center frame or slightly left or right of frame to allow for graphics to be placed over the subject’s shoulder.
There are a couple of ways you can achieve this multiple framing effect.
First, you could record the subject using two cameras at the same time. One camera could be framed on a close-up of the subject and the second camera could be framed on a loose medium shot. The person reading to camera would then turn their head and eye-line throughout their read from one camera to the other.
If you don’t own two cameras you can also achieve this effect very effectively by having the subject read the same content twice. For one take, the camera can be framed tighter and then the second take is framed a little looser. This may take a few attempts to get it right but you’ll be amazed at how consistently the content is delivered.
Then by simply making a series of edits when the subject changes their eye-line you achieve a pleasant variety of composition and mixture of backgrounds.
If you’re planning on having the subject edited together with other footage consider a variety of shoot locations. Some could be standing in front of a white or black screen to allow for graphics at other times you could be in a more casual setting like that of an living room or possibly an office or study.
I like to use the analogy of the tempo of a good song. Seldom will a piece of music go from beginning to end keeping the exact same pace. There could be periods of long repetition followed by quick moments of activity – possibly followed by a pregnant pause.
There will be spots in the music which may be barren, as in a single instrument to be followed by the entire band or orchestra jumping back in.
The overall effect is usually very entertaining.
You should try to achieve the same results when it comes to editing. Try to vary your tempo or length of the shots you use. You could possibly have a quick series of shots followed by long steady passage.
As a good editor you must train yourself to become extremely critical of the quality of the content. It is far too easy to become attached to the content because either you wrote it or possibly presented it on camera. Just because it’s yours doesn’t always mean it’s good.
Try to view your content with an objective eye, always keeping your audience in mind when deciding if some of the material would be better off on the cutting room floor.
NEVER FORGET YOU’RE A STORYTELLER FIRST
Never lose sight of what final objective should be as an editor. Regardless of the number of tricks and techniques you have at your disposal, you should never lose sight of the fact that you’re presenting a story or message that you want to communicate to your audience.
Easy video editing is your goal. Video editing should be an enjoyable and creative task. Try new ways of storytelling. Try to incorporate new techniques with your established ways of handling post-production. When you integrate some of these tips into your cutting style I think you’ll be pleased with your results.
Your completed video productions will take on a much more professional appearance.