The more I learn about editing, the more I realise how exceptional and powerful this aspect of the creative process can be. A simple edit can turn your footage into a masterpiece or just the opposite – can ruin all the efforts along with the heavy lifting you and your crew have done on set. That’s why I’m super excited every time I run across an insightful editing tutorial that provides a handful of useful tips and tricks on the topic, just as the following one below.
In another noteworthy tutorial, the young video nerd and filmmaker Casey Faris sums up some of the simplest and easiest techniques he applies when editing. In essence, these are five basic tips that will help you to piece together and build compelling narratives in a way that can better resonate with your audience every time you need to tell a story with impact and emotion.
Tip Number 1 – make your videos as short as possible. As long as you have all the information you need don’t expand your edit by making it excessively long. You can apply this rule not only to your shorts but also to your full-length feature films. If you can tell a story in 90 minutes, there is no objective reason to make the edit two hours long or more, unless you’re going for a specific tempo or rhythm for your movie.
When you’re using jump cuts in your edit, either embrace those or hide them. As-a-rule-of-thumb, stay away from cross dissolves or any other type of transitions to cover up the jump cuts in your edit. Typically, this is a common noob mistake you should avoid by all means. Ultimately, if you want to mask you jump cuts either use b-roll footage or just leave them as they are.
Another great tip is to apply some basic colour correction to your videos when editing. Even if you are not a super pro in colour correction, it doesn’t’ mean you can’t do a few colour tweaks here and there or, at least, apply a LUT to improve you editing workflow. No one likes staring at washed out images for a whole day, even editors. Just make sure you don’t waste more time on colour correction than editing.
Always tighten up your edits. In essence, this means you should chop out the little extra bits in between your content. This way you will make your edit much tighter, it will be easier to watch, plus you won’t be wasting the precious time of your audience by giving them unrelated information.
The last tip Casey shares seem to be indeed the most important out of the five. It’s even more prominent when you don’t have a budget to hire a professional sound engineer who can work on the audio of your edit. In other words, as Casey points out your audience will put up with some middling images, but they certainly won’t endure crappy sound, so the extra time you spend on your audio mix will definitely pay off in the end. Just make sure that the overall sound is well-balanced, and there are no audio peaks anywhere in the mix unless you create those intentionally.
At the end of the video, Faris shares a few extra tips on mixing your dialogue the right way, so if you are not sure how you can get the best results in those terms don’t skim through the final part of the tutorial.