Make Editing a Breeze With These 5 Tips!

Are you looking for some tips to make your videos come alive, catch and hold the viewer’s attention, and tell the narrative you want? With mastery of a few techniques on your favorite video editing software program, you’ll be dazzling and delighting in no time.

Here are 5 tips to improve your editing skills and make your videos shine in the spotlight:

1. Intros and outros need to be natural

When you’re looking to begin or end a scene effectively, see if you have footage that naturally segues the viewer to the scene. For example, imagine you’ve got a murder scene. Try zooming in on the blood and transitioning from the deep crimson to the lips of the star as she begins talking in the next scene. Instead of a fade to black or rapid swipe, you’ll bring your viewer along for the ride.

2. Sharpen the dialogue

There’s nothing that slows down a story or makes a viewer lose interest quite like flat dialogue. Be ruthless when editing to cut out the stray “ummmms” and “ahhs” by using short audio fades.

Is there an unnecessarily long breath that adds nothing to the story? An answer to an interviewer’s question that just isn’t that interesting? Cut away. No one, ummmm, wants to hear, ahhh, the filler, like, anyway. Compare the before and after edits and you’ll see what a different it makes to have crisper exchanges that propel a story forward.

3. Mark the music

Whether you’re working on a full-length feature or a short piece for your YouTube channel, if you’re working with sound, you need to track where you are. Too many editors have a piece of music playing in their timeline tool while editing, wasting hours trying to cut the video to line up perfectly with the crescendos, swells, and other dramatic effects.

Try the reverse approach instead. Rake the time to mark or tag the musical score in your timeline first. Then you can align your video to make it match with the cymbal crashes and blaring trumpets at the proper moment.

4. J cuts feel natural

Video editors love to use the J cut, which lets a viewer hear sounds from a cut or scene before the cut or scene begins. That early sound is the lower, left side of the J. In real life, we often hear something before we see it, so the footsteps, jangling keys or opened door is OK to experience aurally before we do visually. Don’t overuse this effect though. A second or two is all that’s needed.

5. Let it breathe

Like a good wine, sometimes a scene needs some breathing room. Consider using a few seconds of b-roll at the end of one interview segment or dramatic scene before moving on. Sometimes this sensory respite let’s a viewer’s mind catch up, reflect, and prepare for what’s ahead.

If you want to learn more about using video tools, take a look at: Capture Every Moment: Transform VLC Player into a Screen Capture App

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