In-Depth Post #4

Progress Update

In the most two most recent meetings with my mentor, we discussed my orange juice practice video. In the first of those, I received some more detailed critiques and improvements I could make. The three most prominent suggestions I received from my mentor were:

  1. Only clean cuts, because it makes the video more professional. Complicated transitions distract the viewer from the content, and it makes the video appear amateur. He asked me to think about big films. The only two cuts you would ever see were clean cuts, or fades, for slower and more emotional transitions between scenes. There are, however, different ways clean cuts are used. For example, there are two types of cuts called L cuts and J cuts. An L cut is when audio, usually a dialogue from the previous scene continues to play into the following scene. J cuts are the opposite, where the following scene starts to play before the dialogue is finished. Deciding how to use cuts is more important than the actual transition itself.


  1. Spend more time on the music choice. In short videos, music decides the flow of the video. My mentor’s opinion was that I should spend at least half an hour picking the right audio track for the video because it is just as important as the editing. He said around half of a video’s quality depends on the audio track. Thinking about it, I agree because, in the end, all editors can edit a video and throw clips together. However, there are hundreds of thousands of music tracks out there to pick from, and the right audio can separate a common editor from a professional editor.


  1. More clips would have been better for the video. Some of the clips were playing for a bit too long, and it made the video seem slow and boring. It moves the video along and keeps the viewer excited to watch the video. In editing, there is a consensus among editors that something should happen within every 10 seconds. However, for these shorter practice clips that I’m making, I believe that the clips should switch around every 5 seconds instead.


Apart from the critiques, I also learned the fundamentals of colour-correcting and colour grading. If you’re curious about what these techniques are, I’ve written a short description of them and why they’re important at the bottom of this section. We also decided that I was ready to start another practice video. I chose to edit a car commercial (using stock footage). My mentor also encouraged me to do a voiceover for this video for the fun of it.


Lastly, I’ve gotten my new PC all ready to go. It certainly is a lot faster in the areas I described in my last post: The software’s boot time, the video playback, and exporting. I’m pleased that I’ll be able to have a much more satisfying editing experience from this week on.


A short explanation about color correcting: Colour correction is the process of fixing colour issues within footage to make it more appear visually appealing and natural. Colour correction often makes dull footage more vibrant and clear. Colour grading, is taking it a step further and using tools to portray a certain emotion or atmosphere in the footage and is used commonly in films. There are many ways to colour grade, and it’s important to know what you’re trying to do, with different footage. For example, you’ll see an eerie blue tint in some dramatic fight scenes, while the go-to colour grade for wedding videos is a dreamy and creamy look.


Next Steps

I’ve already gathered the music and footage I would like the use for my car commercial. Currently, I’m waiting for my mentor to send back the footage for me to download.


I have realized that I set a goal for myself to have a finished, edited 5-minute video for showcase in two weeks. I decided to change my timeline a bit, as I want to spend more time learning and practicing before starting on the videos I want to showcase as my final projects. Those videos, I had also previously planned to shoot footage myself, but I’m starting to reconsider that due to the time constraints. I would need to learn filming skills on top of editing. I’m planning to leave more professional videography for another time, and just stick to what I can do for now. Here’s an updated timetable that I want to follow for the following two months.


Plan Timetable
 Research and choose a video-editing software that would suit me the best.  January 7th (Completed)
 Have a mentor chosen, and paperwork done.

Explore the software and be comfortable with using it.

Have a general idea of the video topics I would like to do (can change later on)

 January 31st (Completed)
Edit some short clips as practice February 1st – May 1st
 Complete showcase video for my robotics team. (not required)  April 30th
 Start working on the first video. May 1st
Have the first video completed, start on the second video. May 10th
Have the second video completed, start on the third video. May 21st
 Have all three of the final videos completed.  May 31st


For these three videos, I plan to make two short 1-minute videos. The first would be a short homemade ad, and the second could be either a montage of outdoor activity or a video edited with footage from someone I know. The third video, I plan to be a long video with dialogue, a-roll, and b-roll. I thought a good idea would be to make a general tutorial on video editing. This would show what I’ve learned over the course of this project and put my editing skills to work while doing so! I’ll run these ideas over with my mentor and ask him for his suggestions in our next meeting.


How to Have a Beautiful Mind

How to Listen

I found that my meeting in which my mentor and I discussed my orange juice video covers this section well. Specifically, when my mentor was giving his suggestions, I tried asked lots of questions of different scenarios, opening up more discussion to that topic. Going into the conversation, I thought that different types of cool transitions added to the video and engaged the viewer. However, my mentor presented his point of view, in which that transitions distracted and confused the viewer. I asked about transition packs available online, that I’ve seen many editors use in their videos. My mentor then asked me to recall when I watched a film that had a transition other than a cut or a fade, which I agreed that I hadn’t. He was able to change my mind that an editor doesn’t need fancy transitions to create great videos.


Another example of this is when my mentor suggested that I should have used more clips for my video. I thought that because I was using stock footage, my choices were very limited. I questioned how I was supposed to find so much good footage to use, and this opened up a new topic of conversation, which was planning my videos. My mentor explained that I should take more time to plan my video’s storyline. I should know the mood I’m going for before I start to edit. Not only would I be able to faster filter out the footage I want, but I would also be able to edit faster because I know what my end product should look like.


How to Ask Questions

During that meeting, I asked what differentiated between a common editor and a great editor. This question turned into a great conversation and gave me a lot more insight into editing at its root.


My mentor replied that it was simply that it wasn’t the technical skill, but more of their creativity. A bad editor spends their time trying to pick out fancy effects and transitions, while a good editor spends their time planning the video’s story and flow. He said that anyone can learn to navigate through the software and use all of its features. However, not everyone has the creativity and weave together a video that is the most appealing or professional as it can be.



Thanks for reading my In-Depth update, if you’re interested to see what I’m up to in my video-editing journey, just give a quick check-in here every 2 weeks to see my latest progress!