First round(s) of editing
- Give a brief statement on the project. Questions to ask yourself: What is the topic of the project? Can it be explained in 1-3 sentences?
- Is there a time limit to the project? If so, time out the project with a voiceover; diagram out themes. If timing is within the project parameters, go to #7.
- Listen for any redundant/slang/awkward statements.
- Show, don’t tell.
- Look for too many examples that show a topic, or if the sequence is too long to explain a topic, and loses the viewer’s interest.
- Go back to #2 – how’s the time now? Too long? Repeat steps 4-6 🙂
- Work on visuals (use a Ken Burns effect, or use other media).
More Editing Tips and Tricks!
Think of voiceover as reading a poem (i.e., “expressive reading”):
- Give pause to statements and commas/periods.
- Give inflection to voice, rise with a question, drop with a statement.
- Place emphasis on keywords or phrases in the text.
Many people’s go-to transition is a cross dissolves. Use jump cuts as well. Jump cut when at thre’s an end of a sentence or “on the beat”, such as when a note is struck in the music, or a word is spoken in the narrative.
Cues for a new chapter/idea/section
These are just possible cues to help the viewer change to a new topic – there’s always more to discover. And experiment with using a few together.
- Music cues – change music to different tone/instrument.
- Lack of sound – end on strong statement, give 1 second pause.
- Long strum of guitar can indicate an ending or a beginning (ken’s at 1:36).
- Fade to black.
- Hold on still image for 1 second.
- Titles can indicate new chapter.
- Keep titles short, and have them display long enough to read out loud; try to not have voiceover or motion during this time.
- Don’t use bold.
- Use italics for books, magazines, etc.
- Call to action on its own slide at the end of the credits, such as a website url.
Possible editing workflow
- Focus on tightening up the edit (edit down to the approximate time allotted for the project, if there is one).
- Work on finalizing composition of images. Break up shots; don’t use Ken Burns every time, try to use other media or clips..
- Work on transitions between scenes.
- Adjust volume levels (make sure all voices are at same levels, have quick fade up/down at beginning/end of audio clip as needed, sound duck music when voice over occurs).
- Work on pacing. Give pause between different sections or topics; can break it up with titles to indicate new topics, use fades, use a different soundtrack, raise the volume of the soundtrack, etc.
- Perform any color correction, if needed.