Creating Killer Transitions In Your Videos

Transitions in videos are vital; it can enhance the viewing experience or completely pull you out of the element. Many new filmmakers wrestle with creating transitions that aren’t jump cuts or fades.Sometimes they don't even know if they should preplan their transitions or just go with the flow. Story & Heart recently partnered with Vimeo and filmmaker Matty Brown to talk about how he builds his unique transitions.

Matty Brown is a filmmaker currently living in Seattle, and his transitions are truly the calling card of his videos. I’m positive you have seen some of his work as he currently has 15 Vimeo staff picks.  According to Matty, “a transition connects two parts of a story, they take you from A to B.”  Matty goes on to talk about how many filmmakers tend to group transitions by using shots where it makes sense that A leads to B. However, Matty encourages filmmakers to look for two shots that creatively go together. He suggests finding two visuals that viewers would not correlate with one another and finding a way to work those together to advance your story forward.

When preplanning these transitions, Matty also suggests creating shots that are similar in composition and lighting. This will allow for a smoother transition between the two frames. In terms of transitions that weren’t planned he suggests looking for motion within the frames that will allow them to blend together.  Matty’s final tip is to have great sound design. Sound design is something filmmakers tend to overlook, myself included, especially when we are in a bind.

This video is the first in a series that Story & Heart and Vimeo are creating together. They will be living on Vimeo’s Blog under the ‘video school’ tab. I spoke to our friends over at Story & Heart who are excited about this new partnership and they stated, We're two companies that believe in supporting filmmakers, and we're coming together to do it in a big way."

If you want to learn more from Matt head to the Academy of Storytellers for the full “Inside Matty Brown’s Mind” tutorial series. Check out the rest of the lessons on Vimeo's Blog.

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Justin Haugen's picture

I hadn't considered the footage and audio itself to be apart of my transitions and was only considering them from a post process perspective. Great share, thank you!

Miles Bergstrom's picture

I agree, I always just sort of let one bleed in to another. No more I say! I enjoy these videos because they force me to slow my process down instead of just getting something out there for the sake of putting out work.


... master of transitions:

Miles Bergstrom's picture

No denying that. Leo and Co have created some masterful transitions with their videos.

Brian Carpenter's picture

Intense... like a beautiful nightmare intense. Beautiful work.