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  • toby wray

Video Tips for Marketeers #11 Editing Part 1

Like any skill, editing has some basic rules which help us to understand what the filmmaker and editor wants to say. Take some time to study films and TV so you can learn these rules. Adding sound effects or music to the original video can hugely influence the perception of the viewer. You will notice that tension is indicated by music and use of close up shots. Different camera angles break the scene down and make it interesting by leading the viewers eye to what is important, the way you cut between these, for example the speed and rhythm of cuts, is also telling the audience more information about the story. The editor can alter almost everything about the film.

The Basic Theory Of Editing

When films were first shown there were no editing techniques. People marvelled at simple scenes of workers exiting a factory with no cuts in the filming or any music playing. Editing has grown into a department of its own, cutting and sound are key to the language of modern films.

Understanding editing techniques is key if your audience is to follow what you mean with your edits. Watch lots of movies and examine how cuts are made. How do scenes end, what does a cut to black signify as opposed to a slow dissolve?

Editing shortcuts

Clever editing can create illusions, just the sound of a helicopter creates the illusion that there really is a helicopter just out of shot. Editing can also help smooth over problems, you can edit around a difficult interview by cutting out errors or less relevant points.

Multiple camera angles

Cutting between different camera angles can make mundane action flow and have added meaning.

Explore the “montage” technique

Montage is actually the principle underlying all editing. The audience are trying to interpret your film as they watch, create meanings from the images and sounds you play them. If for example, you put together a politicians speaking but inaudible, with images of war, then the politician, is assumed to be talking about war. Montage creates a new meaning from two independent images. Similarly, show separate images of two people walking down a street and the audience will assume the two will eventually meet. This is know as parallel action.

Top tip!

You can prepare really well by doing a ‘paper edit’. You simply watch the footage and make a note of which bits of audio or video you will use. This will save you loads of time later and is especially helpful when there is a lot of footage. After watching you will remember which shots really stood out for you in telling the story, the brain is good at editing stuff all the time without needing any training.

Next week the crucial skill of file management.

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