This is a simple but effective tool that all video editors should master. The technique is just as it sounds, cutting as action takes place, either ending a scene or switching to a different angle. This makes the action’s impact more powerful, with the best editors switching angles and cutting quickly in order to keep viewers hooked. Fight scenes in The Matrix and the numerous shoot outs in Pulp Fiction are perfect examples of cutting on action.
Music’s role in video editing should not be underestimated. In fact, sound should have equal weight with visuals. Make sure montages fit neatly with songs or music that you use. It’s worth paying to licence music or have music made for your film if you can, as royalty free tracks can often be poor quality and let the entire finished product down. Movies by PT Anderson and Wes Anderson demonstrate how to edit well to music, especially with montages.
Getting export settings right will ensure that the final file size of your film isn’t too big to play back on devices such as smartphones and tablets. Be sure to understand codecs – these are the file formats your video will be saved as. Keep the resolution down if you’re producing a video for YouTube or Vimeo and ensure the frame rate is right: 24 frames per second for film and 30 frames per second for TV. Failure to grasp this might mean your video struggles to play on popular online platforms.
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