Editing Techniques

Transitions & Cutaways

When it comes to transitioning between your scenes for your marketing videos, less is more. Fade to Black and Cross Dissolve are the two most commonly used transitions and would normally be all you need for a simple marketing video.

Using simple cuts when there is motion in the scene is an effective technique to give your scene a sense of flow. This simple technique can be used for any motion in your clips whether someone walking in your scene, to showing a manufacturing process.

Holding Shots

Ken Burns

The Ken Burns effect is a pan-and-scan technique used to bring life to still photographs in video.  

A normal still photograph when used in a video has a tendency to kill the pace of a video and ruin its flow. Even if the still photograph is the perfect image of what you want to show or represent.

A very simple and effective technique to retain the flow and motion of your video is to use 'The Ken Burns Effect', which adds a sense of movement and flow to your still images.

The following video shows the ken burns effect, the process is simple to do in any video editing software.  To learn the technique for your chosen software simply search for "Ken Burns effect [Final Cut Pro]", or whatever software you will be using.

On-screen text / graphics

On screen, text is an essential, yet very simple technique to use in your marketing videos. On screen, elements should be used to reinforce points to your viewer.  These elements may be the key features or benefits of your product/service, your value proposition, call-to-actions, or just displaying your company branding or name.

Other Tips

Holding Shots - When you are recording your footage, it is a good idea to hold the first and last 5 seconds of your shot.  This is to create a lead-in, and lead-out time to allow room for editing.  This will make editing much easier.

Clip Length - Your video will be made up of many different types of shots.  When shooting a number of different shots to produce an overall sequence for your video, each shot making up the sequence should be less than 3 seconds.  In most cases, however, sequences look best when clip lengths are shorter than 2 seconds to maintain the flow of the sequence and stop the viewer losing interest.

Of course, this doesn't apply when someone is talking directly to the camera like the example video above.

Stock Footage - There may be some shots that you would like in your video but you just do not have the technical equipment, access, or expertise to shoot.  In these instances, it is worth taking a look at what stock video footage exists that could be of use.

If you are paying for video stock footage from services such as Shutterstock and Adobe Stock Video then costs can begin to run high.  

However, there are a number of websites that offer free video stock footage: 

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