Movement in Every Edit (well almost every edit) in Video Editing

I’m a fan of movement. You should be a fan of movement. I like to have as much movement in a story as possible. Often, I base my edit decisions on movement. If I’m choosing between two shots, I’ll choose motion over a better-composed shot with no action happening in the shot.

We are a visual medium.

Give your viewer as much to look at as they possibly can handle. Our story for this post is It’s Bad.

This is a spot news story edited in about an hour.  There are practices you can learn here and apply to any edit. The idea of motion isn’t a new one. Next time you are editing a story, think about the exact frame you are choosing as your IN point and the action in that edit.

There are a lot of static shots.  The standard video for stories like these is;

Crime tape

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 8.35.14 AM

Paramedics working

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 8.39.30 AM

Cops observing

03

and spectators watching

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 8.57.56 AM

We know what the video is going to be like in any type of story like this. So often in stories like these, I see edits chosen with nothing going on.

Only 6 shots with no movement, count them.

Pay particular attention to the next few shots and what I choose as the IN point.

[:07] IN point when S.W.A.T member puts on his helmet

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.02.35 AM

[:08] – IN point when another S.W.A.T member move his head

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.03.14 AM

[:09] – IN point when a police officer takes a step

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.04.30 AM

[:11] – I wait until just before you see many S.W.A.T members moving forward

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.05.01 AM

I’m trying to keep the story moving.  This may sound obvious but watch a newscast and look at how often there is nothing is going on within a shot.  I strive to have something going on in as many shots a possible.  Even little things like;

[:15] – Crime tape blowing in the wind

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.08.10 AM

[:20] – Cops walking from frame right to frame left

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.08.51 AM

[:38] – Officer’s arm moving in the left-hand corner of the screen

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 9.09.44 AM

I’m waiting for something to happen before I set the IN point.

Watch It’s Bad again.  Now that you know what to look for, notice how much all the little things like a bit of movement adds to the story.  Next time you edit a story like this think about it

  • Think about what’s in the shot

  • Is there something going on you can show instead of just a static shot

  • Wait for something to happen and then set your IN point

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