This is Lesson Four of Matt Estlea's Video Creation Masterclass.
To go back to the lesson plan - Click Here
Filming videos is the easy bit.
Editing is what will make or break you. So be prepared for it. If this is the first time you have filmed a video, you will cringe at the sound of your own voice. But think about it, when was the last time someone said you had a weird voice? Probably never, right? I have a subtle lisp that slips out from time to time and no one’s mentioned it. Don’t worry about it and push through the editing. It becomes natural after 10 minutes.
As I’m not focusing on any particular editing software in this section, this is going to be focused on universal editing techniques and some things you can do to make your videos flow better and seem more professional. I personally use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit my videos. But software such as Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut, iMovie and Powerdirector among many others are all options you can look into.
There are plenty of video tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to get started with these various programs. I recommend Googling ‘Best free video editing software’ to find which one works for you.
When filming, you’re highly likely to have bloopers where you trip over your words, mispronounce something, lose your trail of thought entirely, or your dog decides to start barking in the background. Editing is your opportunity to remove these.
I am terrible at constructing sentences on camera, absolutely awful. But I am good at hiding the errors using ‘jump cuts.’ For example, if I stutter in a sentence. I stop, gather my thoughts, and retry the sentence. All while the camera is still rolling. This is incredibly awkward to look back on, especially if someone is looking over your shoulder while you’re editing. But my videos as well as many others are littered with them.
Notice how the camera changed 3 times in the opening remarks?
Chances are that he messed up his words, or there was an awkward pause that the editors wanted to cut out. Another indicator is the subtle but sudden change of energy in the first sentence
‘If your reserve parachute DOESN’T WORK’
This was very likely two sentences that have been spliced together. Not only did the editors use the zoom trick to disguise the cut, but they also switched to a second camera that was filming him at a different angle. Clever eh?
The first time we tried it, Brad accidentally said ‘We are a self selection hardware timber supplier’ which was hilarious. But instead of re-doing the entire intro, we got Brad to start from ‘...hardwood timber supplier’ and carried on as normal. It’s funny because on the second take, we were both still smirking from his first mistake. So you can see us both laughing when the camera switches.
To an untrained eye however, jump cuts go unnoticed. But now you know about them, I’ve just cursed you for eternity. Never will you look at a YouTube video the same again.
Another great way to improve your videos is by using something that filmmakers call ‘B-Roll’ and can be used for a variety of things. B-roll is extra footage that is laid on top of your main video to add visual interest. You’ll see this in the video below. Be sure to take note of the editing timeline running simultaneously at the bottom.
This is best used in videos where there is a lot of talking to the camera as it gives the viewer something interesting to look at, other than your face. It’s also a great way to hide cuts in your video. Notice the little cut on the bottom timeline just over halfway?
That’s a jump cut and is yet another area of video that I screwed up on and needed to remove. Listen closely, you can actually hear the jump cut in the audio. But instead of leaving it in plain site, I hid it behind B-Roll. Sneaky....
Let’s say for example you’re filming a video on how to make a dress.
When you’re talking about the needles you’re using. Instead of trying to hold them up to the camera while talking. Simply film a close up of the needles on the table afterwards and overlay it on top of the video as B-Roll. When you’re making the dress, film various close-ups of your sewing machine or your foot going up and down on the pedal.
For B-Roll, usually the more abstract you make it the better. For example you could film some of the ornaments you have on the shelves or film some birds flying outside your window. Anything goes with B-roll as it helps the viewer become familiar with your surroundings as if they are there with you.
Again, you’ll begin to notice this in all kinds of videos. When you do, take note of how irrelevant and abstract some of the B-Roll is. Yet how it would have gone unnoticed if you were not aware of it.
Bonus points if you find out how to add a fade at the start and end of your overlaid B-Roll.
J and L cuts
This is something more technical and may not be possible on some editing software, but is an amazing way of improving the flow of the video. We’ll use the same example again:
In the final clip, the audio of the final clip kicks in before the video.
This is called a J cut because the final clip on the video and audio timeline is in the rough shape of a J. The opposite of this is called an L cut where the video of the next clip kicks in before the audio.
This is a technique that is quite advanced and is not something you should concern yourself with when starting off. The reason I wanted to include it was because the first time I introduced them into my videos, many of my viewers complimented me on the improved flow of the video, having never mentioned ‘the flow’ before. What’s most impressive is that it was so subtle that no one even knew why it seemed better. It just was.
So if you want to get a little bit more advanced, give it a go.
What’s important when sourcing music is that it's ‘Royalty Free’.
This means you cannot get in trouble for using it in a video as the artist has made it available for anyone to use. Royalty free music is relatively easy to find from a quick Google search. 'Bensound’ and ‘Incompetech’ are websites that I have used previously.
YouTube also has an audio library where you can source music to use in your videos.
These are not necessary, but are a great way to brand your videos and set the tone for the rest of the video itself.
I make my intro’s myself using Adobe After effects. A program that required 3 days worth of training on a course in London to learn. And an entire 8 hour day to make each intro. In short, probably not worth doing yourself unless you really want to.
The cheapest way I’ve seen of doing this is either enlist the help of a friend who works in editing or special fx. Or go onto the website Fiverr.com and search for ‘Video Intro’ You’ll find plenty of freelancers on there who will make one for you at a good price.
This section is a lot to take in and you’re perfectly entitled to feel overwhelmed. Unless you want to jump in the deep end, don’t feel inclined to introduce every single one of these techniques into your videos to begin with. Get comfortable with your editing software, then add one technique. Get comfortable with that, add another. And so on. Use this article as a library to refer back to new techniques you want to include at a later date. Good luck!