Critical Thinking and Planning Your Video's Editing Style

We're sure to find videos on YouTube that will show you how to accomplish certain transitions or edit better, but what we rarely get, is the pre-production know-how, or the critical thinking about what you want to achieve when shooting a video. Chris Hau and JR Alli show us how they do it. 

JR Alli has made several mind-blowing videos. Usually, it's him narrating a description of what he's experiencing that ultimately evokes a sense of self when watching. His editing, audio choices, and method of using sound effects all add up to create powerful stories. JR Alli produces videos, but these videos are also pieces of work that you think about afterward. 

The video he did for the Moment Lens invitational. It's all shot on an iPhone with the Moment Lens Adapters.

When he travels, he often makes videos of his experiences. This video is one of his London trip.

How Do They Do It? 

  1. He plans his edits and knows that if he is aiming to have an intro that flows forward, all his shots he wants to use need to move forward in the frame, so it flows with the shot before and after. 
  2. Chris Hau uses music as his first part, and adds markers to the audio track and edits this video to fit in with the song. JR Alli adds notes to these markers to indicate what he thinks will work well at that point of the video. 
  3. Both of them don't just go out and shoot. They plan their videos out well in advance and then go shoot for that. B-roll is great, but it shouldn't be fillers, it should be complementing your story. 
  4. Speed-ramping can make the traditional cut smoother, so use it, but don't overdo it. 
  5. Edit in sections. Break it up into different parts and work on each one individually. 
  6. It is said that JR Alli uses a transition pack found here, but I have not bought or used it. 


Plan ahead with your videos. Know what you want to shoot in advance. Transitions and effects are only good if the shots are good, so focus on your eye and use the shots that you think are strong and tells your story the best. 

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1 Comment

16mm Camera's picture

Editing is story telling. I’m surprised they didn’t mention that as a point. It’s not for the fact it’s not obvious, because editing to the music is pretty obvious. Who are these guys?!

Transitions, music none of that matters if you have no narrative. I hate to nit pick, but it’s a craft fundamental that everything else is built on.