A person that is not familiar with the process of video production may not realize how tedious and hard of a job it is. Just think about it, go back to all the classic movies that were shot back in the day when CGI wasn’t a thing, do you think that the absence of visual effects in them means that it was easy to make them? No, there are a lot of things a person that wants to become a video editor must know in order to be good at their job, every frame counts, every shot is important. Everything that was shot falls on the shoulders of video editors and it is their job to either live up to the standards set by a director and actors or to fix all of the mess that they’ve made. Today we won’t dive into all of the tedious aspects of video editing, but we will focus on something a bit more exciting, a list of five best video production ideas, maybe one of them will inspire you to come up something innovative and creative.
- Don’t Cut
Many editors start out with a fat timeline and they whittle it down to uncover the good stuff. It’s inefficient and you likely settle for “OK-moments”, because you actually have to use up energy to do some trimming. Instead, try building your scenes from the ground up, with only your best shots and keep adding. You might find that this method is actually a tremendous time-saver, and it triggers some really interesting storytelling.
- Let the viewer see what they hear
What we hear and what we see should be one. If I talk about the migration patterns of flamingos and show the footage of elephants, it’s kind of hard for you to process both. It’s the audiovisual communication scissor. If the two pieces of information drift apart too far, they’re hard to process. So cut picture and sound in a way that the information converges.
- “Party Cutting”
Just like a party, come late and leave early. Often times it makes sense to cut scenes short. Forget about the long winding setup and an ending that fizzles out. Get right to where it starts to become interesting. If you keep the tension up and prevent the audience from taking a breather, the overall flow of the story will unfold in a way so that the audience never has a chance to get ahead of it.
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- Look here!
Treat a cut to mean “Look over here.” Every time you make a cut, you’re telling the audience: “This matters.” Also, you might have heard David Fincher talk about the importance of a close-up. “Every time you go to a close-up, the audience knows, subconsciously, that you’ve made an editorial decision, you’ve said: “Look at this, this is important. Everything that is a close-up is important, whether it is important or not. You can run an audience ragged by showing them things that are supposedly important.”
Also, don’t be afraid to use your editing power for misdirects. Showing things in close-up that are not important. Using wide shots to allow the audience to figure things out for themselves; withholding information, like a reverse angle that would reveal how a character feels, are all tools you can use to keep your editing unexpected. Because storytelling needs to be plausible yet surprising.
- Feel your edit.
There’s no specific universal, logical time to cut other than the moment it feels right to you. Editing is something that’s very much intuitive, and the more you do it, the more you can trust your sort of professional emotions that you’ve developed. Your mirror neurons are very highly tuned looking at things, watching things and feeling things. So, don’t be afraid to make cuts that rationally make no sense, they just feel right to you. “Yeah, I probably want another reaction shot of her.”