Some suggestions from a London Video Editor : New eyes for an old world
Being a London video editor is a big challenge.
Not just for competition, since it exists everywhere in every job.
But because of the importance of continuously creating original and high quality videos as fast as possible.
Any London video editor knows that here more than in any other place, a great video today, is going to be old tomorrow.
Use your mind to anticipate times and improve always your equipment and softwares.
Yet… remember there is more.
First of all, let’s say that what really matters: the values.
With no distinction left between the past, the present and the future, big media productions and single freelancers, the values like creativity, passion, accountability, respect and trust, should always lead us into work,
Whatever camera we use, Canon, Sony, Red, Black Magic, or resolution FullHD, 4K, 8K,10K. or video editing software, adobe premiere, avid, final cut.
What really makes the difference is the videographer / video editor.
The study of filmmaking, the experience and the cameras are good allies in the shot composition only when filmmakers have a strong storytelling ability.
This ability means everything to London Filmmakers, who have their minds trained to express ideas through images.
So now, here some suggestions from a London video editor who has always tried to be a good storyteller.
1 THE BEST VIDEO EDITING BEGINS WITH GOOD SHOTS
The development of an idea goes through phases, at least three.
The first and the second phases find their place into the pre-production and production stages, while the third into the post-production.
The last is the one we will deepen in this post.
The video editing has a key role in the representation of the idea.
Let’s remind ourselves that the best video editing begins with good shots.
Actors, locations, microphones, lights, etc., they are all worlds that interact with each other to make the best representation of the idea.
Saying “good shots” we are not referring exclusively to the shot composition, the focus, the lights, the colours, the camera movements, etc.
It’s more about “what” we are filming and the relation between all the frames which precedes and follows it.
2 A LONDON VIDEO EDITOR AND THE ART OF DETAILS
What to do if in a video we want to recreate the anticipation and the hype that precede a Show?
We might start with the exterior of the theatre, a poster, an amplifier, some corner from the stage and then people coming in.
Details are much more important than a Long/Wide Shot.
Wide Shot could have an aesthetic value and be helpful.
But when we use it too much it also may become a double-edged blade which causes lack of thickness in the video narrative.
By the way, a London video editor have many chances to make an use of spectacular extreme wide shot, very wide shot, etc.
Breathtaking urban landscapes that don’t need any enhancement.
And yet, aren’t we tired of these “breathtaking urban landscapes”?
4k, 10k cameras and advanced drones are everywhere, throughout wonderful cities, now easily reachable by any low-cost flights.
Perhaps, it’ s time to stop to film in “achievable” ways.
We should try to make the difference.
Filming details which other people’s eyes don’t see.
Playing with colours, prospects and time.
3 NEW EYES FOR AN OLD WORLD
My suggestion, as London video editor, is to start to film and edit with the intention of creating something that has never been seen.
Even if it’s something famous that people have seen billions of times.
The real question is “How people have seen it?”.
We can rediscover that place or that situation.
Let the others looking at it through us, and so allow them to rediscover it too.
This is the discovery of a new world that is actually the old one, but seen with different eyes.
The filmmakers are in charge to give those new eyes to the people.
To do so, we need “super powers”.
A Video editor is like a super hero
Video editing is the main source of many super powers, making us masters of time and space.
However, it’s important to do everything with the respect to the proper limits.
So let’s avoid ridiculous cinematic effects, unless we know how to make an use of After Effects, Cinema4D, Houdini, etc.
Because it is in our interest to keep an emotional and intellectual connection with who watch our videos.
Don’t consider the words “to film and edit with the intention of creating something new” like a catchphrase.
Here is the only suggestion possible: beyond “new” images – not necessarily spectacular- there are new emotions.
The most valuable outcome to whom a filmmaker can aspire is exactly to give people the thrill of discovering a whole new world, hidden beyond the old one.
Giovanni Pascoli, a famous Italian poet of the eighteenth century, defined this emotion as the one of “a young child discovering the world for the first time”.
He said the magic of poetry recalls that emotion and state of mind in the adult man.
We strongly believe this might happen also through the magic of cinematography.
The frames have the gift to recall the feeling of the young boy who discovers the world for the first time.
4 NEVER BE SCARED OF UNCONVENTIONAL ROADS
To succeed in making this magic happen, we need an indispensable mean as the video editing.
Any London video editor knows that looking for and choosing the most effective shots is like to create a new world.
And later someone will discover it.
Now ask to yourself “through which details we will show the endless new faces of the world?”
Don’t fear the wonderful adventure of storytelling.
Take unconventional roads to research the “whole new world”.
Let’s look at a very simple example, like when we need to introduce a character :
We can choose to proceed little by little, not straight with a Near Shot, but using instead details of the body up to get to the full shot: back of the head, a pendant, a glove, etc.
Those details give the time to excite the others’ curiosity and our curiosity as well.
Your work should fascinate yourself first of all.
We should get lost into what we dare to call meaningful “visual pleasure” (do not confound with the one that Laura Mulvey theorised).
“Who are we looking at? What will be the definitive physical appearance?”.
It’s happening under our eyes a kind of enchanting transformation.
In our minds, the character takes different forms before the real one is fully revealed.
5 “BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING”
We can find another example of an interesting narrative style in the episodes of Breaking Bad, a really appreciated American tv series.
Sometimes at the beginning of an episode we see quickly many things that we are going to see later again during the episode.
But in the few seconds at the beginning, those things are mixed in a fascinating scene, where everything is open to different interpretations.
All of this brings to another point: how important are the few seconds at the beginning in visual narrative?
Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to get some of the most interesting parts of the footage
right at the beginning.
It’s good to intrigue, to give an idea of what the story is about.
Or we can choose otherwise and play a bit and lie a little, deceiving those who watch, making them believe for few seconds that we are going to speak about something totally different.
It’s up to us after all, because we are playing a game, the wonderful game of filmmaking/art-making.
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