The massive video editing extravaganza! – 50 tips! Part 10

And the last of the tips, 46-50!

46. Match cuts. Match cuts are great. They’re a visual similarity between the next shot and the previous one. It can be used to create a visual metaphor, to link a theme between shots and are generally an underused resource.

A match cut from 2001: A Space Odysey

47. Parallel editing. This is when a scene is intermixed with another. This gives the idea that two events are happening at the same time in different places. I’ve never done this one personally, but it’s something I’m sure I’ll be attempting in the future. I’d imagine the way to do this is to set down one sequence of events, then marking down where each of the cutaway shots will be. It’s important to get it right, since you’re mostly likely playing around with different speeds of action and pacing. Don’t be afraid to try putting them in different places though – sometimes experimentation provides better results.

48. Balancing audio. Getting the right balance between dialogue, sound effects and music can be difficult. Adjusting sound levels is one this, but actually producing a working soundtrack is another. You should really rank what needs to be heard in each bit, and make sure the top 1 or 2 can be heard above all else. The music can be tricky, depending on whether it’s diegetic (part of the scene/world) or non-diegetic (outside of the world). Non-diegetic usually doesn’t have too much dialogue, but when it does, the dialogue comes first. So non-diegetic sounds need to full on (not necessarily in terms of volume, but in also in terms of panning. The diegetic music however, that will need panning (sound out of mostly one side of the speakers). This gives the idea of a sound source. Other effects may mean limiting some of the frequencies, wet/dryness of the sound and even filters to simulate the type of room the action is in.

49. Reverse footage. Most of the time, you can tell when footage is reversed. If you want to add reversed footage to forward flowing sequences, make sure that the action is natural (unnatural action gives the audience an odd sense) and make sure you only use small snippets. Longer snippets, you generally can’t get away with. Reversing footage can help in a lot of ways though – through accidental means (a persons inflections may have a more accurate intent than the forward motion version), through safety (say for example, when a weapon is meant to stop dead on a point) and even through style (possibly when coupled with the forward motion of footage, to create a “rewind” effect).

50. Exporting. So, you’ve done all the work, and it’s great! Now, before you go any further, note down (or simply know) your project settings. Things like FPS (frames per second), aspect ratio (usually 4:3 for standard definition, 16:9 for high definition), whether it’s for TV or not (TV’s, or at least old ones can’t display the whole image, and instead cut an outside portion of the edge off) and make sure you’re not outputting at too low (or too high if file size is an issue) a data rate. You’ve done all that work, the way to justify it is to make sure it’s presented in as good a quality as you made it.

A handy little button on Sony Vegas - to match the project settings with the export ones. Some of the other video editing programs may have a similar feature - though data rate is not always included in this setting

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