You have to put images together in video editing to tell a story. You’re a storyteller. It doesn’t matter if you are editing a news package, a documentary, a film, or an online feature using stills, It’s all storytelling.
Putting the images together to try and tell a story is video editing. Every edit should be made for the story. Before sequencing, action/reaction, movement, eye trace, or continuity, there is the story (See guideline of six for more).
You learned about telling stories with pictures when you first started reading. When my sons were little, I would have them read to me. They were taught when they don’t know a word to look around at the pictures for clues.
As video editors, we need to help the audience with clues. We need to give them picture clues.
When the wild things “made him (max) king of all wild things,” Maurice Sendak shows a picture of this happening.
As storytellers, we can take a cue from when we first started to learn about stories. We read them and look at the pictures. The pictures help the stories make sense. Take this basic idea and apply it to video editing.
The following story I edited several years ago about a snowstorm here in Denver. It does not matter if you edited a story yesterday or 10 years ago, the images still have to make sense with the story.
Please watch More Than Just An Inconvenience.
The entire story, my goal (and usually my goal with every story) is to find pictures to help tell the story.
The very first line of track from the reporter is
This was the end of the line.
And my image is
In the next three shots, I’m just trying to match the pictures and the words.
Instead of an interstate highway
Was a dead end road.
After the reporter track is a soundbite
I’ve been doing this for 30 years, you get…you know this stuff happens driving a truck. And it’s going to happen sooner of later and more than once.
I cover the second half of his soundbite with a truck with snow on it.
The shot supports the story and helps tell the story.
The next piece of track is
But twice in a week
And I show this
Multiple trucks in the shot. The closest I can get to some kind of symbolism of twice. I still think this shot advances the story.
The story continues
Truckers pass the time
with bottomless cups of coffee,
and John Wayne on the TV.
I’m making every effort I can to show what the reporter is talking about.
Now some make think I am too literal with my editing of the story. In the case of a simple general news story, I want to help the viewer understand the story as best as I can with the images I’ve been given. As you develop your skills, this is a pretty easy way to make sure your stories are making sense to the viewer.
Thanks for reading.