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An Example of "Editing Down" Video

Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by InspiredOne, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. InspiredOne

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    First of all, and most importantly, I want to extend my sincere gratitude to Dave in Oz for allowing me the privilege of using his video as an example.

    Many times my observation has been that most videos posted are simply too long. Below is an example of what we've been talking about.

    Originally, I had typed out a too lengthy explanation. Rather than blathering on, I'll “show” you.

    Watch both videos below. The original full-length video is 7 minutes, 2 seconds and the edited version is 2 minutes, 11 seconds. The edited quick/dirty version was completed in less than an hour. It is not definitive. It uses the same music. There was no attempt to edit to the music. Trying to cut this video to the music contributed to its overall weakness of the presentation (and it's length). We shoot “motion pictures.” The image should come first. Putting the music first can (and will more often than not) create many problems and unnecessary challenges. Editing is challenging enough as it is.

    ORIGINAL



    EDITED DOWN



    The goal is to be brief, to the point, and leave the audience wanting more!
     
  2. Aerial Entertainment Studios

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    Well done. Still find some shots a bit too long (the first and second) but that's just a question of taste. Very nice footage.
     
  3. huppe

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    Thanks for this lesson I.1.I don't like the editing stuff,but it comes with the flying of the Inspire.I agreed with you,the hardest part is to cut all the "lovely"material " into a good showcase:confused:
     
  4. ajohnsonlaird

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    You might consider making each clip no longer than five seconds. It has the effect of tightening up the video, and increasing the "dynamics." The opening clip in the short version is 19.4 seconds, so try shortening it to, say, five seconds, and then shorten all the subsequent ones that are greater than five back down to five.
     
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  5. tbarnesarc

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    It still could cut be down a lot further due to the subject matter. I agree with a couple of others on here; that opening shot is waaaay too long. A minute tops for the entire edit would do the trick and make for a much more interesting cut. Cool shots in there for sure though. Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. SOCAL 1

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    The next time you watch your favorite TV show just start counting 1001, 1002 etc. to see how long each scene is. I was amazed that most clips are less than 4 to 7 seconds yet they tell a compelling story. Try it.
     
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  7. Kauaigene

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    The length of a scene or shot should be determined by the story it tells and if it holds up for a longer length so be it. The idea that fast cutting is the best way is a sad perception of today's mentally and leaves little room for true cinema greatness. Then again, as in this post, sometimes shorter is better.:)
     
  8. Dave in Oz

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    Thanks InspiredOne, I appreciate your work.
    I wholeheartedly agree that the video is too long overall and most of the individual scenes also.
    I think there are some great and valid points raised, and I will apply them in my future editing (note that this was my real attempt; as a primarily stills photographer I'm used to slideshows!)

    Perhaps my biggest mistake however was not understanding the audience. By that I mean that I created a long video, with full scenes, for a particular reason, and simply assumed that it would work for all audiences. As a showreel-type video it fails miserably, but for the particular audience that I created it for it was exactly what they wanted. (you're lucky I didn't post the 10 minute version that I ended up with when I slowed it down to 25fps to suit my Dad's ancient dvd player ;) )

    I'm still very new to this field, so be gentle, but I tend to agree that the length of the shot should be matched to the subject/mood/aim of the production. Shorter cuts obviously work well for movement, action, colour, but perhaps longer cuts can sometime better suit landscape scenes. What I'm not yet sure about is whether I should try to mix and match these styles.

    There is definitely a fine balance between boring the viewer and leaving them wanting more. My natural instinct is to make sure that they are satisfied, rather than still wanting more, but I realise that's something that I need to work on!

    When I get a chance I'll have another go at the video and would truly welcome your comments and critique.
    cheers
    Dave
     
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  9. InspiredOne

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    You cannot (should not) attempt to edit based on a "formula." The content will dictate the length of the shot. If all the shots are the same length, then it turns into a slide show.
     
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  10. Aerial Entertainment Studios

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    I start all my videos by spending a lot of time selecting and editing the music. Once I have a good sense of the kind of footage I have, I mentally make an idea of what music would be best suited for the footage I have. Once the music is nailed down, the editing work starts and is timed with the musical content.

    As mentioned before, the key is having enough content. For reference, the 2 minute video below was edited from over 3 hours of footage. Without that footage, I would have struggled to get to 2 minutes.



    Cheers.
     
  11. sirnikolas

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    That right there is gold.
     
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  12. InspiredOne

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    Yes, we've all seen your video before (a link would have sufficed)

    You're putting the music first. Again, you're depending on a formula. In some cases it can work (as long as you stick to the same "type" of video), but it will not work in every cases. If you're called upon to edit something that is unlike what you're used to cutting, you'll be at a loss. Why? Because the new and different square peg you've been handed will not fit into your preconceived round hole.

    When it comes to editing, one size ( or approach) does not fit all.
     
  13. Aerial Entertainment Studios

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    I agree with you completely. Every video is different. For me, the musical content is key as it drives the emotion and feeling I want to deliver to the audience. This varies from one video to the next so the output varies, but my method follows a fairly similar process from one video to the next. I'd love to learn from a professional video editor in terms of the process followed to edit videos. Is the process similar or does it change completely from one video to the next? The output may be different, but what about the process itself? Something tells me the process is fairly consistent, but I may be completely off.

    My main message was rather around content. Content is key and one needs to have a lot of content to make a decent video. Wthout a lot of content to chose from, there is no point extending a video just for the sake of extending it. Essentially that is what I was trying to say. I actually liked the original video, and I obviously prefer your edited copy as it is more consise.

    I certainly don't want to get into a pointless argument. I'm in this for the pleasure and happy to learn from others that have more experience. I am genuinely open to suggestions.

    One thing I am fairly confident on is the fact that I have access to a whole lot more content than most people, and I would love to hear from real professionals on how I can improve on my own productions moving forward.

    Cheers
     
  14. InspiredOne

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    Well, if you think this discussion has been a pointless argument, then there is little more I can say to be of any help to you. Sounds like your mind is already made up.

    Insofar as wanting to hear from "real professionals" goes, you have been. You just didn't realize it.

    Best of luck to you!
     
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  15. Aerial Entertainment Studios

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    Thanks for your help, it's appreciated. I'm still not sure I got the answer to my question which related to the process followed by career video editors. I understand there are multiple production types, but it would be good to know if the process leading to the final output is similar.

    A high level step by step breakdown is what I'd like to know. My assumption (and again I may be way off) is that people develop a certain routine when it comes to production. As with anything in life, practice makes perfect. Is this the case for video editing?

    Please don't read too much into the 'argument' comment posted earlier. Bad choice of word on my part.

    Cheers
     
  16. gruvpix

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    Aha the classic debate, the science behind feeling. Ask any artist the formula behind their work and most will say to evoke a feeling, editing is no different. Some videos on here are shot marvellously but suck, for reasons hard to explain. Some aren't shot that well but are fun to watch and enjoyable. I don't actually edit, my partner does that, so easy for me to critique when I'm not pushing the buttons!
    The drone shot in this piece is over a minute long, but there is a narrative and the shot tells part of the story of the fighter, so there really is no such thing as an 'ideal' shot length.

     
  17. InspiredOne

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    In answer to your first question, if I understand you correctly, the most basic elements (the process of cutting) are the same. However, it's the differences that will dictate how the editing process is approached. For example, a music video would not be cut the same way a serious dramatic film would be. There are far more variables and things to take into consideration in cutting a film like The Godfather and what we're doing merely shooting pretty locations. A documentary wouldn't be cut the same way a sci-fi thriller would be. We could go on and on making comparisons--even within the same genres.

    Unfortunately, editing, like another other art form, cannot be delineated by a "step by step breakdown" as explained above. That would be an attempt to create a formula. In this arena, formulas don't work. Someone suggested making all the cuts between five and seven seconds. That's over simplifying. It just won't work. Two films that come immediately to mind are Baraka and Samsara. These two successful films totally ignore the suggested guideline and it's easy to see why.

    If you're really interested in learning more about editing in general (then you can modify and apply that knowledge to specific projects), then I would highly recommend you read In the Blink of an Eye by Walter Murch and The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing by Michael Ondaatje.
     
  18. Aerial Entertainment Studios

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    Thanks, this is very useful. I will definitely look into the recommendations you made and try to apply for future projects. Cheers and thanks again.
     
  19. Ronable

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    Hmmmmmm. Guess my age is showing... 71. In general, I enjoyed the longer video more - allowed some time to really take in all that beautiful scenery. The short by Aerial Entertainment Studios left me sort of frustrated that I didn't have time to fully take in the scenes. Loved the longer Australian video! Kept looking for 'roos! And I happen to really like didgeridoos, especially for Aussie bush country shots....kept waiting to hear one vs the western orchestral music. Personal tastes. Overall, a wonderful, wonderful video, imho.