Editing is where the magic happens, and we promise we’re not saying that in some kind of weird MTV Cribs way. Editing can be a very personal thing, but at the same time, it’s important to connect with viewers in the way we organize things. So, by taking a closer look at some creative video editing tips, you can learn something new, try something out, and perfect your signature style; but first … you really need to check out Red Bull Racing’s “Just another day in the office” to get you pumped at the possibilities of how creative video editing can make your edit stand out.
The Kuleshov Effect
Keep in mind that everyone watching your content is putting pieces together in their head. Every little clip is up for an individual viewer’s perception, which actually allows for a lot of creative freedom. They need to make sense of what they’re seeing, based on the series of images you show.
But, that might be easier than you think, thanks to the Kuleshov Effect. This practice essentially takes a series of clips and connects them in a way that might seem somewhat random, but it can allow the audience to perceive the images and clips on an individual basis. You’re creating a deep impact for everyone, thanks to their own imaginations! So, how can you tap into people’s minds (again, in a totally non-weird way).
Know When to Cut
Have a reason for holding some shots, and cutting others quickly. Every single cut should have a purposes, and show some kind of emotion or story. The viewer needs to know what’s going on, with a standout shot that has some kind of significance. It can seem edgy to go cut-crazy, but if the viewer doesn’t know what’s going on, there really isn’t a point.
The general rule of thumb in filmmaking goes from out to in – you start with your subject, and focus in on what they’re looking at. But, if you want to break the rules, it’s your party! You can flip this old rule on its head, and start out with the object, only to pan out wide to the subject. It creates a different feel overall, and an unexpected sort of mystery and suspense.
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Cut on Action
Make your cuts virtually invisible by cutting on action, instead of in between. You’ll find that your scene ends up looking a lot cleaner and smoother this way.
Choosing the Right Take
Have as many options and angles as you can so you can get that ‘power shot.’ Choosing the right take can end up feeling like picking your favorite friend, but the more options you have, the better.
Ready for some science? Consider this: A viewer’s attention can really only be on one spot at a time, no matter how wide the shot is. So, when you’re transitioning from shot to shot, try to keep the eye trace in the same place. For example, if they’re looking at something in the top left corner, try to make the cuts flow so they can continue looking at something in the top left corner. An abrupt shift in where the viewer is supposed to look can be distracting.
Use these tips to make your next shoot stand out, and don’t be afraid to get even more creative with your edits. Your style is just that – yours, so taking chances with the right tools can make a big difference.
You’ve mastered editing … but there are so many more things to learn.
Why not check out our breakdown of Cuts and Transitions?