Tips For Fast Internet Video Editing

Two weeks ago I’ve started a show in Hebrew called “Mac Anonymous” – targeted at Mac addicts in Israel. We are a two men team, myself and Guy Nehser, and we do everything in this show – shoot, light, sound, and post production (including editing).

I am no editing expert, and everything I am writing here is coming from my own experience. However, I’d like to share with you some of the techniques and tools I am using to increase my productivity in the editing process. Some of them are concepts, and some are hands-on tricks. I’d love to hear your feedback, thoughts and advice.

The Importance Of Rhythm

My sister is a very talented musician. Unlike me, she knows how to play the guitar, piano and bunch of other instruments. That’s why she managed to edit some amazing video clips with nothing but Windows Movie maker (god forbid, but she is moving to a Mac soon). Walter Murch, who edited amazing pieces such as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, said in one interview that editing is all about rhythm – finding your piece rhythm would lead you to a better understanding of the shots and cuts you need to preform. For me this is the basis of my whole editing experience.

Watch While Capturing

I used to look at capturing as the most annoying part of the editing process. It is probably due to the use of Non Linear Editing system like Final Cut, that allowed me to capture without going through the whole material (unlike linear editing). While editing the second episode of my show, I reviewed the material as I captured it. This process saved me a lot of time. While capturing I’ve already identified the best takes that fit the final product. It also helped me to easily find interesting parts or great bloopers. It was a major time saver – capture your own material.

Listen When Cutting

When I watch an unedited piece, I tend to lose focus as the visuals take all my attention. Though visuals are crucial in video editing, sound is much more important in many cases (people would tolerate bad lit video, but not bad sound). Taking that into account, I started editing new pieces in the following way: after identifying a good shot, i close my eyes and listen to the audio (in this show, it is mostly an anchor reading something). Every time I feel that there is a need to change an image to fit the audio track I add an editing point (in Final Cut Pro it is done with CTRL V). Sound strange right? Try it and see what you get after one pass of the shot – you have all the edit points that require to change the zoom of the shot, add graphics or another audio layer. By doing this procedure I’ve reduced more than 30% of my editing time – because after my first pass I already had a roughly edited piece.

Let Your Camera Roll

I no longer stop my camera between shots. In the case of our show, we had a static set. Therefore we just let the camera roll and stop it only when we take a long break. Yes, it does increase capturing time, but it is very efficient when coming to organizing the material as a whole. This tip is relevant mainly for short pieces such as internet shows.

Change Shots In Post Production

Another useful trick we are using is to shot in wide angle and leave the zooms for post production. This way, we have a steady shot, and we then create in post production close ups, extreme close ups and american shots. Remember the editing points we made while listening? By pasting attributes from one edit point to the other, we created a dynamic piece, even though the camera didn’t move at all. The combination of creating an edit point, specific shots, and then pasting these attributes between clips, made my editing way faster than changing camera position.

This is the result – is it is far from perfect, and the next piece is better, but it will give you a sense of the result that can be achieved using these methods:

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5 Responses to “Tips For Fast Internet Video Editing”

  1. 1 reut July 29, 2008 at 8:14 am

    loved it!!!!!!!!!! its a great first pilot episode. lots of potential. you’re very photogenic…u know that….;)
    a. something with sound/speech is not quite ‘there’. maybe try to speak a bit slower or more pronounced …not sure…maybe its just a sound editing (adding more bass). it sounds slightly flat.
    b. be careful of too much lighting or lighting which is directly upon u. since u r a guru in all this, i dare not say another word – maybe use ur current light at a slightly different angle – i want to see a bit more depth & facial features, this would appear better if a touch of shadow would be added to your face.
    c. last but not least – israel is pretty hot ay? direct lighting as well aye ? try and find a way your skin wont shine. it does so now very very lightly, its really almost nothing. for the girls amongst us πŸ™‚ the solution is quick – makeup (some mat foundation). but of course – its your call…:) another option might be some filter …but you completely got me there. i dont know which at the moment.
    cheers!!! good luck with the rest! make the iphone and microsoft dudes jealous! πŸ˜‰

    good content.
    regarding iPhone – here in australia its a 5 page commitment. only 2 operator (out of possible 4 in all of australia) offer it…and the price….~800$ for th 8gig and 950$ for the 16gig. Almost any kind of contract termination

  2. 2 Kfir Pravda July 29, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Reut – thanks a lot for your comment. I am far from being a guru, and every comment counts πŸ™‚
    Re the language – yep it is too fast. we didn’t have a script, we just had topics, so we are working now on that angle. Lighting is always a challenge for us. I did put some makeup πŸ™‚ not enough apparently πŸ™‚
    your iphone prices are so high!

  3. 3 reut July 30, 2008 at 3:16 am

    iphones are very very pricy indeed. the only way i might see one up close is if a close friend of mine would be able to convince his job place that iphone is the cell phone he desperately needs for work. the termination cost (that sentence got truncated by mistake) starts at 900$. its a very bad deal. an outraged australian has posted his grudge in youtube:

    on that note – the telco’s situation is bad in australia (probably elsewhere as well). you pay too much for mobile services with weird plans/caps/monthly fees/etc. therefore
    checkout this Australian startup –
    it utilize bluetooth devices to create bt networks which can mesh with wi-fi…any mobile phone on that network can message and download content from the internet for free, because its using the bt and not the carrier cells!! its awsome! and they had a successful beta already with 8000 members, 60+ locations in adeliade. im going to try it out soon. cheers. once again a long response…:(

  1. 1 CUIL- It's Not You, It's Me by Niv Calderon | Connected Trackback on July 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm
  2. 2 XLNTads Blog » Blog Archive » Video Compression and Editing Tips Trackback on July 28, 2008 at 4:45 pm

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