How to Edit
And what you’ll find on each.
“I’m guessing where an audience might want to look. Maybe that’s a reaction, or it could be the action itself.”
Be bold. If footage hasn’t grabbed you in 30 seconds, you don’t stand a chance. You have to arrest people right away. From there, think economically. Give yourself the freedom to use only what’s most effective and ignore the rest. Don’t be frightened to cut big chunks out. When the audience knows where it’s going, they don’t mind skipping over something. Simplicity and elegance: that’s what you’re aiming for.
My style, if I have one, is to try to do the maximum with the least amount of actions. It’s kind of slow, to be honest. Not boring. To me it’s a balance between tension and speed. If it’s tense, then it’s never going to feel slow. If I’m cutting a dramatic scene, I try to find the most economical way around the scene that shows you everything you need to know. I’m guessing where an audience might want to look. Maybe that’s a reaction, or it could be the action itself. If scenes are too busy, it has the effect of making
the thing feel too long. If it’s very cutty – endlessly bouncing around – that’s a turnoff.
Sometimes showing where everyone is in the scene is not as effective emotionally as showing something very specific and unique. Remember: just because they shot it doesn’t mean you have to use it. When I see someone holding my hand too tight, I kind of reject it like a skin graft. It feels like I’m being pushed. I like to find my own way around a story, to invest. I want to be drawn into a screen rather than just sit back passively.
Concentrate on an edit that works without music. Even if you know it needs music, it should still stand on its own two feet as a visual and verbal piece. Sometimes Denis [Villeneuve, the director of Blade Runner 2049 ] and I will turn the sound off completely. If it works visually, then you have a clue that it will work with everything. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve given the film the greatest scrutiny in its barest, most unpolished form, that’s when you allow music and sound effects in.
Youtube’s less famous, more polished cousin. It has no advertisements and is generally a venue for professionals. (The series High Maintenance came out on Vimeo before getting picked up by HBO.) Basic membership is free, or you can pay R3 000 a year for a Pro membership, which allows 4K video, lets you restrict access to your videos, and gives you 20 GB of uploads each week.
Credit (or blame) Twitch for making watching other people play video games a successful video genre. The site is entirely game footage, what you’d see on the screen of Minecraft or Mario, with the player’s head in the corner, narrating and likely shouting. We’d laugh more if it weren’t actually kind of addictive. And if 100 million people didn’t use the site every month.
A video-sharing site similar to Youtube, but with 10 million daily viewers instead of 30 million. And more relaxed restrictions on nudity. It’s a mix of professional (Larry King interviews, movie trailers) and amateur (civilian footage of Julia Roberts shopping). The site recently added a Netflix-style recommendation engine.
The resource for official music videos in crisp resolution. Vevo also plays on Youtube, which is why you’ll sometimes see channels listed as the artist’s name plus “Vevo”.
An app-only social media network, like Vine, with 15-second videos. The app posts a topic (the Kardashians, public breast-feeding, the president’s latest speech), and users reply with short video responses, which other users rank.
Want to bum yourself out for a few hours? This site is a repository of user-generated videos posted in the name of public awareness, some of which are violent assaults, explosions and shootings.
A live-video app primarily populated by teenage girls, who rate the platform’s most famous personalities with “Likes”. Its other metric: “Gifts”, tokens of appreciation for which viewers pay up to the equivalent of R1 300 and send to the performer. Users also earn gift credits by watching ads.