In my earlier posts about creating video shorts, I shared my creative process for Part I: brainstorming a story, Part II: writing a script, and Part III: filming. But the final step of the process is where a lot of the fun gets added. I’m talking about editing!
Why Do I Edit?
My journey into video-editing began when I realized my need for it. My sister Josie and I had just finished filming all the clips for our first movie, but it was all just a jumble of raw video bits on my camera roll. We needed to stitch the shots smoothly together in the order of the story’s events. So, I downloaded a simple editing app called iMovie onto my iPhone and began researching and practicing how to work with it. At first, the program seemed very complicated, but YouTube provided plenty of tutorials on maneuvering around the app and soon editing became a breeze.
With my editing program, I could now upload all of my movie’s clips from my camera roll into a project file and they would play in one long video stream. Of course, I also wanted the story stream to sound and look good. Fortunately, the program, as simple as it is, comes with a wide selection of options, tools and effects for editing raw clips into fun, entertaining videos.
Music does so much for setting a video’s mood. Most people think I add the music in the filming process, but that isn’t true. My editing app has a wide selection of uncopyrighted music/soundtracks to work with, and so it is easy to just choose and use one of those. If a scene is sad, I tend towards soft piano music. If a scene is fun and wild, I like to get a song with beat and energy. Sometimes I even pick the music before filming, so we can get a feel for how the scene should be acted out.
A filter is an effect that can be put onto a video clip to adjust the coloring and alter the final look. Like music, filters convey mood. I don’t use filters often, but every once in a while the story calls for a mood or effect I can’t achieve during the filming process. For example, I use the black and white filter when a scene is sad or introspective, or a filter with faded white around the edges in a dream sequence or flashback. My editing program has about a dozen different filters that each convey various themes or attitudes. One of the biggest temptations when it comes to filters is overusing them. My policy for filters is if they don’t contribute to telling of the story, or if they actually take awayfrom the video and cause a distraction, then I don’t use them. Less is more.
My program comes with all sorts of sound effects, from an alarm to a watersplash. I use this feature whenever I can’t achieve the correct sound in the filming process, like a door closing or footsteps on the ground. I only add a sound effect if it will help draw attention to the character making the sound and accentuate the action. If the object and the sound don’t go well together, then it would be better to not add a sound effect at all.
A transition is an effect that the editor adds in between shots. There are several different transitions in my program to choose from. My favorites are an instant image change, a fade to black from one clip into the next, or where the two clips dissolve into each other. Transitions help with the smooth running of the film. For example, having a flash at the beginning of a flash-back sequence, or a fade to black at the end of the movie. I try to keep the transitions smooth so that no one will even notice the change, but they will feel the story flowing along nicely.
Not every video that I make requires the same amount of editing, which is why I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to edit. My goal in editing is to add clarity to the story and charm to the presentation.
I love stories that make me laugh, and I love the video medium because it is so shareable. When I watch my finished edited project, I’m always so relieved to have completed that step of my process; but I am most excited about posting it on my YouTube channel to share with my friends and family. Sharing and watching is my favorite step of all! My reward is hearing that something I created made them laugh too!
Here is a link to my finished video where the above example pictures are taken from: https://youtu.be/PxM8UahTsB8
Hadassah Murdock is an eighteen-year-old home school teen who lives and works on her family’s farm in South Carolina. She loves playing with her four siblings and making movies for her YouTube channel, which you can check out here. When she’s not helping with the animals or working in the fields, she enjoys talking to friends, brainstorming new stories, and baking muffins. She credits attending Write2Ignite conferences for learning aspects of storytelling and characterization. She hopes to expand her knowledge of screenwriting and film producing.