How to select the best shots for compelling video editing

By August 28, 2020video editing
Toronto Video Editing

Simply put, video editing is all about creating magic with the shots given to you.

There’s no going back – you have to work with what you’ve received in hand. Making it compelling is what a skilful video editor does. 

Creating a compelling video requires a kind of consistency and a knack to pick the best from the entire footage file. Bringing meaning to each shot is key.

Let’s find out how to go about selecting desired shots from the footage dump to strike a stellar and meaningful edit.

Ask ‘where is the audience looking?’

Don’t be surprised to know that shot-selection has a lot to do with gauging the emotions of the viewers. This emotive-gauging aptitude is the secret potion of every video editor. Select your shot so that it can work in tandem with the audience expectation or desired script emotion.

Say, if it’s a talk show, gauge as to where all would the audience look if they were a part of this show. They would see the musicians’ panel, their co-audiences and of course the host & guests for the show. Select your shots in a manner so that they can strike an optimal balance to display everything that the audience will be seeing if they were there. ‘

Shots that communicate rhythm 

What are you exactly editing? Is it a high-paced automobile commercial, or a drama series? Is it a dance show or a talk show?

You need to pick shots basis the genre. For instance, for a high-paced automobile commercial, you need to select shots wherein the automobile is in movement. In addition, you need to bring in pace to the static shots. While displaying standalone shots (headlights, wheels, gear box), the cuts from one frame to the another need to be fast-paced. 

Talking about a fun talk show, your shots need to reveal the conversation between the host and guests in a fluent, colloquial manner. The rhythm stays moderate yet upbeat. Cutting on words, i.e. questions and responses, is crucial for a talk show. It is true that the speaker’s fluency is not just in the hands of the speaker. It’s in the hands of the video editor as well. Editing out those ‘umms’ (something a lot of speakers do without realising) and other fumbles is not to be missed. 

Each genre holds a unique rhythm and tapping into it is important. 

Pick meaningful, stellar establishing shots

45% of people are watching more than an hour of videos on Facebook or YouTube per week. Due to this sort of demand, there is an influx of content streaming on our devices. Audiences have plenty of options to pick from. Given low attention spans of audiences, it is a no brainer that your content needs to be captivating. In fact, video editing can influence video marketing and reach too.

Often, audiences decide if they wish to watch a particular video or not in the first 15 seconds. Ensure that your opening shot is engaging, striking and can influence the mind of viewers. Let them know that watching further is worth their time. Its good to drop a hint of what they can expect from the video: is it a fun story, thriller tale, emotional or educational piece. 

You can also present a problem-solution type shot wherein the first shot reveals the problem/pain-point being faced by your customer (Do you want to protect your familys health?) then present them with the most apt solution—your product or service. 

Close-ups and mid-shots VS wide shots

Yes, it is important for the audience to know about the space. Wide shots work well to communicate the idea of space.

But once you’ve shown them that, it is important for them to watch the facial expressions of the speaker/ actor. You must have heard that ‘eyes are windows to one’s soul’. This stands absolutely true even in editing. Audiences need to clearly see the emotions in the actor’s eyes to be able to connect. This is how close-ups and mid-shots do a great job in bringing meaning to the edit. 

Lastly, do treat the ‘not fit’ shots

There will always be that time wherein the only shot left to work with isn’t ‘upto the mark’.

No matter how good an editor one is, receiving footage that is shaky can be a nightmare. The pill to treat this nightmare is opting for plugins to stabilise such horrendous clips. The idea is to make the footage as coherent & stable as possible. Adobe Premier’s Warp Stabilizer is quite efficient. An outside plugin by the name of ReelSteady can also address your horrors. For the Final Cut Pro clan, there’s SmoothCam.

Another pain point is the ‘dark shot’. When we’ve a shot that has a dark set, we push up the ISO to bring in some light. The end result: screaming noise on footage. Ouch! Neat Video helps even out the noise and proves to a game changer. It gets hold of a uniform clip and reconstruct the sensor data, delivering a high-production noiseless shadows.

Bringing meaning within your edit is all about a balanced interplay between emotions, rhythm and an insight into the viewer’s perspective. Achieving the perfect balance is what this journey is all about for every video editor. And, receiving this perfect balance in a video is what this journey is all about for every client. 

At Twisted Frame, we’ve an experienced pool of video editors who excel in a myriad of video edit styles. The narrative can change its value with the power of edit. Do you want to engage customers through video-marketing and kick-start business? Let’s have a chat as to how your business can leverage from the different video types through our Toronto video editing, production and motion graphic services. Reach out for a free chat at (416) 619-1116.