One of the Most Important Parts of Video Editing

Video editing, as with the editing of photographs, has a lot of nuance to it. In fact, in many ways, it has more than photography as you have to control basic elements like time. In this video, one videographer discusses the element of video editing he believes is the most important.

I alluded to one of the most crucial parts of videography in the introduction: time. Before I edited my first video, the concept of timings, pacing, and the question posed by Aidin Robbins, "how long should a shot be?" Perhaps naively, it hadn't occurred to me until I was sitting in front of some raw video clips for the first time that I had to chop them up in a way that best conveyed the message.

It does seem naive in retrospect, but it's a bigger task than I had imagined. This is exacerbated by the fact you almost always have a set amount of time the final product must run to and you have an idea of everything you want to fit in. This sort of editing isn't merely budgeting, it controls a lot of how the finished video feels. If you try to cram too many clips in, it can feel too fast-paced and stressful to watch; use too few clips and it can feel static and boring. You also won't necessarily walk the line, depending on the subject and genre of your video.

Aidin Robbins is one of my favorite filmmakers on YouTube and this discussion is well thought through and worth your time.

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1 Comment
Eric Robinson's picture

When I was doing a masters in film a number of years ago we had a lecture from a guy who I took to be a homeless person sitting on the pavement outside the department before the event kicked off. It turned out he was an Oscar winning editor! So much for appearances! From what I remember he was inspirational and told some great stories. He said something that stuck with me and guided all the edits I ever worked on. A very simple phrase but loaded none the less and it was...."motivation for a cut" I understood him immediately and from then on thats how I approached any edit. While there are many factors involved in an edit deciding where to make a cut is all about choices and the need for some reason behind why you make the cut on that one particular frame. He explained he learned it from some old Hollywood editor from the 30s when there really had to be a good reason of where you made your actual physical cut. its a pretty simple thing but quite fundamental.