Want to cut and shape your film? Looking for the best tools that can help you in file management to lower thirds? If yes, then this post is for you!

Let’s be honest, one of the most daunting aspects of editing a video is the total number of unscripted responses at the times of interviews. Every editor spends hours sitting through the content seeking the one small snippet they require. After spending hours preparing to edit, the main task actually begins.

Here are the 10 amazing tips you need to cut your video. Let’s have a look…

#1 Organizing label bins and Folders

Do you organize your label bins and folders with your assets and footage properly?If not, then get it done. The total length of the video contains too much content, so it is important to organize your assets and footage in a precise manner. If you are having a tough time to do so, then use PostHaste,which is a free program tool from Digital Rebellion. This program helps you to create folder structures according to your project. It contains separate settings for motion graphics, visual effects, web design, and video editing. It is compatible with both PC and MAC.

After creating a separate folder for audio and footage, it helps you to organize it properly. It may be time-consuming, but it will be helpful for you later on.Now create the same folder structure again in your desired NLE and then import your files. In case you are utilizing the Adobe Create Cloud, Post Haste provides you templates for Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and PremierePro.

#2 Create a series for Individual Interviews

Every editor is different and so are their opinions. Try to create singular timelines for each interview, as it will have all the sound synchronized alongside camera edges. The next step is to cut them according to your needs. To make it convenient, you can use markers. After completing each splice, it’s time to represent an answer. As you are moving ahead through an interview, ensure to transcribe everything.

#3 Transcribe Footage

On feature documentaries, this step is a real pain, but very important. For cutting a documentary or video properly, you need to sit and watch the entire interview. As you watch, you need to transcribe all the footage. You can choose from the program like Google Doc or a Word and type every word said in the footage. After a good pause, or a sentence make sure to note the time in the chip. It may take a few hours, but it’s far better than to start from the beginning.

#4 Backed up your Project

Make sure you’ve backed up everything. The best way is to copy your folder structures onto a hard drive. So, if there is a theft or fire, those files are safe.

#5 Edit the arc of the story

Regardless it is a work of fiction or documentary, it is important for a quality film to tell a story. So, for that, you need to make sure that you have a starting,middle and the end. The film should be a story including series of events that take your audience to the emotional rollercoaster or what you call a storyarc. No matter if your documentary is 5minutes long or 2 hours, if the story has no plot, people won’t see it. You can use these things in multiple projects. You can get many assets that come in handy. These are overlays, elements, royalty free sound effects, and graphics packages. For graphics packages and lower thirds, you can use RocketStock. It also allows you to snag an after effects templates and customize to the project.

#6 Use Medium Shots and Close-Ups over Wide Shots

Remember,wide shots play a good role as an introduction to a new speaker or for creating a new scene, but not enough to grab the attention of the audience. They will wait when the shot ends. However, when you cut to close-ups and medium shots,you are actually making the reader more relatable.

You can use these things in multiple projects. You can get many assets that come in handy. These are overlays, elements, royalty free sound effects, and graphics packages. For graphics packages and lower thirds, you can use RocketStock. It also allows you to snag an after effects templates and customize to the project. speaker. Speaking about the medium shot, it is often used for conversational pieces as the audience feel the subject is conversing with them in that spot.. In short, documentary films us close-ups of the head of the speaker. This is quite common due to changing backgrounds and sets that can be jarring, especially when trimming between speaker.

#7 Cut on Action

Incase the shot is static, edit it on the physical action. Look if the speaker is using too much of hand movements or turning the head to the side. These are one of the perfect actions to cut points as these seem nature.

#8 Cut to Dialogue

The next move should be cut to words that have a strong pronunciation. These words  can be easily cut at the starting of the new sentence.

#9 Avoid Jump Cuts Strictly with B-Roll and Multiple Camera Angeles

At the time of the interview, there are many subjects that will stumble on their words. So, make sure to cut uhhhs, umms, and hmms. Hide these cuts by switching between different angles. In case the speaker is a chronic mumbler, then you can cut back and forth too much. Cover these edits with b-roll.

#10 When you don’t have footage, use photos

The credit of this techniques goes to Ken Burns. Using still photos can help you break away or hide edits from static shots. For adding subtle movements, Burns was quite notorious, as he wants his photos to be engaging. If you don’t have relevant images, you can look for copyright free images from the sources like Shutterstock.

Here are 2 BONUS TIPS, just because I like you 🙂

#11 Make sure the lower Thirds and Graphics are Readable

When it comes to lower thirds in documentary films, less is more. You don’t need alot of motion graphics and moving parts. One of the most common lower third for a reason is text with shadow. It is legible as well as simple. So make sure that you are using a font that is easy to read and also, the font color should be appropriate.

#12 Have an Archive of Assets

You can use these things in multiple projects. You can get many assets that come in handy. These are overlays,elements, royalty free sound effects, and graphics packages. For graphics packages and lower thirds, you can use RocketStock.It also allows you to snag an after effects templates and customize to the project.

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