Whether you’re a pro-level video editor or cutting your teeth on your first promotional video, there’s a lot to consider when you’re finalizing this all-important content. Too often, though, video editors focus on the wrong areas, concerned with lofty production values and costly equipment. The reality? By keep your attention on the core elements that make or break video content, you’ll be better positioned to produce engaging, inviting and professional-looking pieces that get results. And, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about. Steer clear of these five all-too-common mistakes and you’ll be well on your way to editing success.
#1. LISTEN — a lot
A good example? Many times, editors focus so much on the music that it’s hard to hear what’s being said. Sure, it sounds fine to the editor or producer but, usually, they’ve heard the audio so many times that they don’t realize what it sounds like to the new viewer. To avoid this mishap, set your music levels then go down a notch, if not two. Even if it sounds too quiet, it’s probably spot-on for viewers. Then, if you want or need to increase the music, wait for gaps in dialogue.
Hands down, one of the most common — and worst — editing mistakes surrounds sound and, specifically, your audio mix. As you’re working, keep in mind that there are two core audio components: music and voice. Both are important and both need a true balance to ensure the message and the meaning comes across loud and clear.
#2. Pace it Properly
In that vein, it’s important to understand the overall pacing of your video — music plays a key role here. As you’re watching it back, ask yourself if the music and sound matches what’s on-screen. Are you synching slower-paced songs with calms, more serene visuals and transitions? Are those fast-paced scenes working with the more upbeat beats? Does anything feel mismatched? If so, reconsider your audio options. A poorly-paced video can be tough to watch and paints a not-so-great picture, whether the content is promotional or purely entertainment.
#3. Fully Transition
Transitions are critical to the overall look and feel of a video. Be sure your transitions are clean, clear and complete. Even if you’re pressed for time, don’t cut corners that could lead to incomplete transitions. “Popping” to the next shot is disruptive and can be extremely jarring for viewers. To avoid this, extend outbounds shots or, even, shorten transitions so they can be fully executed.
#4. Don’t Jump Around
Likewise, it’s important viewers don’t feel like you’re jumping around too much in your video content. Hold scenes and other visuals for at least two to three seconds before moving on — you want to avoid that “blink and you’ll miss it” notion, which could leave viewers feeling confused or, even, cheated. Not ideal.
#5. Watch it ALL
This final tip comes down to paying attention to every shot and every surrounding. Simple things like garbage in the background, glare from the sun or shooting a person from a bad angle can throw the quality and credibility of your video content, without you even realizing it. The good news? These issues are easy to avoid when shooting or, even, in editing. So do your best to watch each video like it’s the first time, and really drill down on what you — and your viewers — can see in every single shot.