Video Editing Tricks When Cutting Together an Action Scene for Your Film

In this video from Ryan Connolly over at Film Riot, he takes viewers quickly through an action sequence he has edited, and shows a few simple ways that he was able to increase the perceived speed and create a more realistic edit. Even if you're not editing fight scenes, there are a few tricks in here that are absolutely applicable to other genres.

Other edits that could benefit from these techniques are all kinds of sports promos, opening and closing reels, and other edits where creating a feeling of fast movement or action is desired.

Speed ramping, cutting frames, and showing reaction shots all add to the overall feel and flow of a scene like this. Another trick I've seen done though, and have also used myself when shooting footage of performance cars, is increasing the shutter speed of the camera during the shoot. Objects that would normally have some motion blur to them can become a little jittery looking, and sharper. This is often interpreted as feeling faster. (If you've seen movies like “Gladiator” or “Mad Max: Fury Road,” you'll know what I'm talking about.)

I love little editing tricks like this, but I also very much enjoy the theory and thought process behind how editing is perceived by an audience. A few years back we shared this video about Jackie Chan and editing action comedy scenes. It explores the production process behind Jackie Chan's fight scenes, and how editing plays a crucial role in the success or failure of those segments.

In the four related articles below, you'll find some past articles with more tips and tricks for you editors out there.

[via No Film School]

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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1 Comment

If I may...this is exactly the way I like my tut videos. The pacing, especially for the personality type I probably lump all video editor into, is perfect. Do not f around, get in, give me the goods, keep it moving. I can always watch it again and again. Love it! If all your videos are like this, I'm a follower.

Secondly, the HP sounds amazing, and as a Mac snob, its the only box I would consider. That said, what OS is it running, and how does Adobe's suite, with all their super fun updates (sarcasm), handle?