Video editing

A simple guide to cutting and producing videos more effectives

Cutting and producing videos requires skill – and no small amount of experience. It can have a big impact on how the video turns out in terms of its pace, flow, visual meaning, and more. There is no better way to get that experience and develop the skills that you need than to actually start cutting and producing videos. It helps if you know where to start however – which is what this simple guide will help with:

1. Have a plan

Ideally you should have planned and scripted your video before you shot the footage that you need. If not, you should come up with a rough plan for your video before you edit it, and determine its message and how it will be delivered.

2. Curate the raw footage

Go over the raw footage carefully, and identify the clips that you want to include in your video. Be sure that you don’t compromise in terms of quality, and colour-correct and fix any other issues before you finalize your decision.

3. Identify the type of cuts for each transition

The types of cuts that you use can affect the flow of the video, and help add visual meaning in some cases. On a basic level however, your focus should be on trying to avoid cuts that are too ‘jarring’ and can distract viewers.

Using action cuts and match cuts can help with that. Additional L cuts and J cuts can be used to preserve the flow of the audio and make sure it isn’t disjointed. That should give you enough to start with, and you can build on it further as you go along.

4. Avoid or ‘hide’ jump cuts

The one type of cut that you should try to avoid if possible is the jump cut. It is when you cut to the same clip or one that is almost identical, and because of that the subject seems to ‘jump’ to a new location all of a sudden.

As you can imagine jump cuts are very jarring, which is why you’ll want to avoid them. If you can’t you should try to ‘hide’ jump cuts by using a cutaway or reframing one of the clips.

5. Review your work

Get into the habit of reviewing your work periodically as you cut together the video – and at least once afterwards. If you do you should be able to spot issues such as flash frames, or disjointed action and audio and deal with them.

That should cover what you need to start cutting and producing videos more effectively. If you already have a video editor for PC you should give it a try, and for example you can use Movavi Video Editor for an easy place to start.

Make no mistake there is a lot more involved to cut and produce impressive videos, but the simple guide above should help put you on the right track. As you acquire more experience you can expand and try new things to see how they fit in.

Photograph by Reckless Studios

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