Category Archives: Blink Points

It Went Viral! But did the editing help?

In my post-news career in the freelance world, I do many different types of productions.  I do corporate videos, presentations, music videos, business profiles, and much more.  The rules of editing I learned in my news career I still apply as often as I can when I produce material today.

This production went viral.  This Ignite talk by Ash Beckham is the #1 Ignite talk viewed ever on Youtube. It’s been viewed over 550,000 times!

My editing had nothing to do with this video going viral.  The content drove it to be viewed by so many.  I do think my editing helped in the viewing and understanding of the content.  Yes, there is a logic in editing this video.

If you are familiar with Walter Murch, you know about blink points.  If you are not, allow me to explain.  When you listen to someone talking to you, your blinks may, in fact, coincide with your understanding of the information.  You quite often blink when you’re brain has processed some info.

Walter Murch has a theory that the human blink is emotional punctuation.  Murch found that nearly every single time he decided to make a cut, a character in a movie he was editing would blink very close to the frame he chose to make an edit on.  He concluded a person will blink every time they understand thought or emotion.
“So it seems to me,” Murch says, “that our rate of blinking is somehow geared more to our emotional state and to the nature and frequency of our thoughts than to the atmospheric environment we happen to find ourselves in.  The blink is either something that helps an internal separation of thought to take place, or it is an involuntary reflex accompanying the mental separation that is taking place anyway.”

As I was editing the Ignite Boulder presentations, I used this ideal.  The first sentence Ash says is, “My name is Ash, and I can say unequivocally I am so gay.” and right after she completes that thought, I make an edit.

I put her graphic on the screen full, and she says, “… eliminating the word gay as a pejorative from our lexicon.” She completes the thought, and I make an edit.

I am using her completions of thoughts to make edit decisions. I’m not using her complete sentences.  Quite often, you see multiple edits make before she completes a sentence.  Now I will sometimes use other cues to make my decision.  Perhaps I make a decision because I want to cut to the full-screen graphic. After all, she talks about it.  For the most part, in this edit, I used what I felt were thought completions. Here’s an example.

Explain to you the difference between what I just said and what this image conveys (CUT).  Now you may be saying Ash we live in Boulder we love gays here, (CUT) we have pride, we have BCAP all true, (CUT) but I guarantee you there are places you go every day (CUT).

As you can see, I’m not waiting for her to complete a sentence but a thought.  Watch the entire video and really concentrate on it when she makes a complete thought.  Watch how often I have an edit at that same moment.

Here is another example in the edit when I use blink points.  At [1:38] she says

“The top row they’ve all come out, (CUT) now the bottom row we cross our fingers but (CUT) until they do, their cartoons and muppets so at the very least they’re happy (CUT).  Now there is a long list of things that you should never call so gay (CUT); an assignment you don’t wanna do is not so gay(CUT). Someone’s new haircut is not so gay (CUT). A workout you don’t like is no so gay (CUT).  A test that you bombed is not so gay (CUT). Someone’s car is not so gay (CUT).   Now again, I may be preaching to the Boulder loving gay choir (CUT).”

Blinks point can be used in ANY type of edit.  Blink points should be used in EVERY edit.  Next time you are stuck with where to make an edit, think about blink points.

Thanks for reading.