Video Editor’s Toughest Decision

1 min

Video editor’s toughest decision is not what you may think. Today I want to talk about a challenging decision which an editor has to always think about.   

This decision also applies to a TV director. If you’re putting together a video program whether in a live television mobile or in an edit suite.  Either way there’s one over-riding decision you’re going to have to deal with.

Making a cut versus making a dissolve in the action. This may sound like a simple choice but your decision will have a very different feel to the flow of the show.

As a director and editor I can confidently say that you will always use a cut or take more than a dissolve. But when thinking of using a dissolve many factors come into play.

First and foremost, a dissolve is an easy way to illustrate a passage of time. The transition rate between the two scenes comes down to a more subjective decision for the editor.

Secondly, any time you have an extreme closeup of someone a dissolve leaving that shot will usually work well.

Music tempo is another time a dissolve may work better than a cut. The beat of the music may just naturally dictate using a dissolve or mix.

Video Editor’s Toughest Decision – Special Effects

As an editor, the next big decision is the use of special effects. The range of choice is almost limitless.

All editing software companies include a vast array of special effects to use. I personally use Final Cut Pro X, which only works on an Apple Mac computer.

In addition to what comes installed with FCPX many plugin effects are available for free online. Effects like ‘object wipe transition’, ‘speed ramping’, or a ‘cinematic title wipe’ are available.

Editing is a very enjoyable career. Once the video editor’s toughest decision has been made you’ll be able to dive into the next level of challenges.

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Rick Davis


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