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Digital Video Editing for a Comedy

Video Editing To Comedy

digital video editing for comedy
digital video editing for a comedy

In this digital video editing lesson, We’ll talk about digital video editing for a comedy. In comedy, the digital video editing has an important role. A joke can fail or succeed by changing one frame or two, so understanding and learning the art of digital video editing in a comedy is very important.

What kind of comedy is it?

The type of comedy you work on will have a lot of influence on the video editing. This is why your first job as a video editor will be to find out what kind of comedy it is. For example, in character-based comedies like Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Austin Powers, Peter Sellers and so on, the editor will have to meet certain expectations from the audience regarding the comic character. In this cases, if the comic character is doing a good job, you shouldn’t do too much editing.

In Satires, the humor can be vastly exaggerated and one of the editor’s decision will be when to stop the joke. If the joke is at the expense of the other, the video editor will highlight the brutality of what happened to the victim up to a certain limit, when it is no longer funny.

If the joke is at the expense of the other, the video editor will highlight the brutality of what happened to the victim up to a certain limit, when it is no longer funny.

Make sure you completely understand the type of comedy you are editing and what is it purpose. Is it to make the main comic character look very funny or crazy or is it the situations that need the focus.

Timing in digital video editing for a Comedy¬

In verbal comedies such as sitcoms, the video editor can’t do a lot but using his timing sense. The timing sense is an important tool the video editor must develop when working on a comedy. The editor should keep asking himself, how long can we pull that joke on? When do I raise the rhythm of the editing? And when to put the punchline?

In sitcoms timing will also be to decide how long the crowed laughter is going to last.

The only way to decide what’s the right timing for each joke is to simply try. There are many ways to show each joke so be patient and don’t be an afraid to keep trying new ideas.

Get involved in production

I recommend visiting the shooting set when you can. It will help you to get into the atmosphere of the humor in the film and you can also give the director notes that will help in the editing room. Visiting the set might be hard in feature films, but can work great on sketches, short films or even sitcoms.

Make sure the everything is clear

When the audience is confused, he won’t be relaxed enough to laugh at the jokes. Many directors like to show unusual camera angles – personally, I thing that is the kind of thing that interrupt the comedy. In a case like this, you should have a talk with the director and to understand what id more important for him? To show these great camera angles or that audience will laugh?

The main tip you need to understand here is that the more realistic your situation is going to be presented (even when it far fetched from reality), the easier it will be for the audience to relate and to laugh at it.

Reaction shot – the #1 tool for digital video editing for a comedy

The reaction shot is a very important tool of the comedic editing. It is a shot that shows how the characters in the situation react to the situation. I recommend looking for the good re- action shots in the going through the rushes stage. The reaction shot allows the audience to relate to the characters and express what they are feeling, but can’t express it. It also gives time for the audience to laugh before the joke continues.

 

In this example, Dr. Evil talk about his childhood life. The reaction shots show us how the other characters are starting to understand that he is crazy and the more they realize it, the more we are on the same level and the scene becomes funnier.

If you want to edit a comedy, I really recommend watching lots of comedies and understand what is it that the video editor does, that makes the joke work.

Continuity Editing Techniques

The Continuity Techniques of Video Editing

video editing lessons
film school online

The art of editing is divided into 2 schools ‚Äď those who claim video editing should be noticed and those who claim the complete opposite. Most film today try their best to keep continuity going and to draw less attention to the editing as possible.

Making the continuity possible is, first of all, the production’s job, but if they failed to do so, it is the editor that will have to fix it. In this article, I will introduce you to some awesome continuity editing techniques.¬

 

continuity editing the definition

Films are rarely shot in the order of the script. Even inside the scene the order of the shooting is determent by locations limitations, actor’s schedule etc. (you can read about the factors of production schedule here) continuity is a system the filmmakers use to keep things consistent between two shots that will be edited together.¬†The elements that usually can break continuity are such as lighting, character’s¬†movements, sounds, backgrounds and object placements, It’s something that is very hard to pay attention to and even in blockbuster films you can see mistakes like that.

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Let’s see some continuity editing examples:

Continuity in lighting

Continuity in lighting means that the colors in the frames are the same in every shot. Sometimes the director might shoot a dialog where the close-ups in it were shot in two different places. I mean each character were shot in a different place. The element that can break our continuity here is most likely to be exposure and lighting of the shots¬†– They should be the same. The editor’s job is to do whatever it takes, to help them look as if they are talking to each other. In this case, the editor might need to do some color correction to fix the continuity problem. That is usually done by the extremely skilled colorist.

Continuity in objects

Here is an example of a very common mistake, when one of the characters is smoking a cigar and the size of the cigar changes on the different take (first it’s long, then it’s short and then long again).
Or let’s say an actor¬†is holding a glass on the right hand and on the next take he is holding it in the left hand. In this case, there isn’t much the editor can do to fix it but simply choosing a different shot, but if the best take is the one that the actor is holding the glass on the different hand, I would say ‚Äď use that. If the actorr performance is good enough, the discontinuity would not be noticed.¬†In the movie Pulp fiction, there is a scene where John Travolta needs to stick a needle in Uma Thurman’s chest. On the close up of the¬†chest, there is a red mark, but when she gets up with the needle in her chest, the red mark is gone. The scene is so full of energy and actors give such a great performance that it is not noticeable.¬

continuity editing techniques

The first thing you need to do before editing a scene is to go through all of the material and see if there are shot that might cause a problem. See also ¬†if there is are a solution you can give them. For example, if a character is facing right and on the next shot it is facing left, you can fix it with a flop effect (an effect that changes a direction of the frame). If there is a discontinuity in the action of the actor or in an object in the scene, a good solution can also be putting the third shot in between the problematic two if it’s possible.

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Make it a ritual before starting to edit a scene to look for discontinuity possibilities and when you finish editing the scene, look for it again.

After all of that, I recommend watching Jean-Luc Goddard’s film, Band -a- part, Where he introduce to the world of cinema a new kind of editing possibilities by creating obvious jump cuts and discontinuity. He did that for political reasons to claim, that when you watch a movie, you should be aware that it is just a movie, so you won’t be manipulated so easy. Today jump cuts can appear in the mainstream films, but only if it serves the premise of the film.

9 Tips to Know When to Cut In Digital Video Editing

Cut The Right Way

When you ask experienced video editors,¬†how they¬†know when to cut a shot, they will answer,¬†that they just feel it. There is some truth in that,¬†but here are some tips that will help you to “feel”¬†the right time to cut a shot.


These are very technical and simple tips, that will make¬†your editing a lot better,¬†and will lessen the amount of what is¬†known as “Jump cut” – when 2 shots are not cutting smoothly.

So here we go:

Know your digital video editing software

Become familiar with your video editing software.¬†Know it’s tricks!¬†The goal is not only to know how to cut the shots together but to do it in an easy and fast way and to be¬†able to solve any problem you encounter with the footage you get.¬†Knowledge of the editing software tools will help you do just that.

Keep Continuity

You can read more about continuity in the article – Continuity editing. but for now, what you need to know is that I’m talking about continuity between the shot and the one after it.¬†For example lets say we connect a shot where the character¬†lit a candle and then on the next shot he is holding the candle¬†when it’s already half melted. This may jump to the eye of the viewer.¬
Now:
It may look like something that you can’t fix as an editor. They should have paid more attention in the shooting, right? Well…wrong. As a video editor, you will be expected to fix stuff like that and sometimes there are ways to do that. In our example, if you must connect the whole candle shot¬†with the shot where the candle has been melted,¬ try to push as many shots between them as possible,¬†maybe some extreme close-ups on the faces or the hands¬†so that the-the viewer will forget the size of the original candle.¬†Sometimes it will be the small changes that¬†the viewer will not notice right away,¬†but he will feel something is wrong and won’t know why.
take a look at the first clip of this Mistakes In Movies РPulp Fiction mix uploaded by UnusualVisual.

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Cut in action

A great trick in digital video editing to soften the cuts is cut in action, but it should be planned during shooting. Cut in action means to cut a shot in the middle of an action, and to continue the action in a different angle. If a character gets up from the chair, we can shoot him starts to get up from a long shot angle and then continues on another angle maybe a closer one. For this to work the character has to perform the action at any angle in the same manner and the two angles should be at a difference angle of at least 30 degrees in their direction.

The 30 degrees Law

I’ve talked about it in the article Basic camera angles & movements in film,¬†but I’ll repeat it here quick.¬†do not try to connect two different angles If their positions are less than 30 degrees from one another,¬ it will not work. Even if it’s from Close-Up to Longshot. They just look too much alike.

Let The Character in

another nice trick is to start on an empty frame and let the character enter into the frame. Also, if there is a character in the frame that walks out, you should let her out completely until you move to the next shot

Cutting in the middle of camera movement

If for example the camera Tilts UP or turned in a Panlet her finish the movement and even¬ wait for half a second after she finishes.¬ Do not cut it in the middle of the movement!¬ The same when entering a shot with camera movement.¬ You should start it about half a second before the start of the camera movement.

Finish the action

Let the actor finish the action before cutting to the next shot.¬ Unless you make what is called “cut in action” (we’ll talk about it soon).¬ When we cut in the middle of an operation,¬ we feel that something is wrong with the connection of the shots.
That is because usually the actor doesn’t do the action exactly¬†the same way in the two takes taken from the two different shots.

Look at the actor’s eyes

The next tip required some emotion in it. It’s not a law you can follow blinly without feeling it yourself. This is a tip I got from a book called In The Blink Of An Eye, a very recommended book by¬†Walter Murch, an academy award winning film editor. ¬†The trick here is simply to look at the actor’s eye to understand when he finished to deliver his emotion. This kinkind of cutting by bits. When you see the actor change his eye direction or maybe even blink, it can be a good time to cut. You’ll be amazed as to how emotions can be expressed by simply blinking.

Now this is the most important rule:

Provide more information

A shot always has to provide more Information.¬ if the next shot will not provide any new information,¬ so why did you cut to it?¬ The video editor should always ask himself,¬ what the audience need to see right now¬ and what will he want to see next?

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You’ll have to remember that these rules are for¬ smooth classic video editing.¬ sometimes that is not what the scene needs,¬ but even when you want to to bring a jumpy atmosphere to the scene,¬ You should know these rules so you can break them:

Please watch what we’ve talked about in this fight scene from¬†Raging Bull:

Video editing software – Choosing the right one for you

video editing software
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There is is no shortage today in video editing software that are free, cheap or expensive and While in the past video editing was reserved only for professionals, today the possibility to become a video editor is actually open to everyone.

I would like to review some of the important features that your video editing software should have. When you start looking for your video editing software, you should go through these options, so you can make a better and faster editing.

¬ “When I started editing on my home computer,¬ I said to myself, ‘Well, I could be at home studying for a class or I could be at home editing a video”
¬† ¬†¬ ¬†Joseph Gordon-Levitt quotes¬ ¬

Free or paid video editing software

Well, the first thing you need to consider is if you want to get a free software or to pay for one. Of course, every body will prefer a free software, but you have to remember that free software is coming with a price. The free video editing software, usually, comes with a limited set of features and are used mainly for home videos. You have to understand your needs. If you are working on a very small production, this software might be great for you. ¬†¬

The features you should check while choosing video editing software

video editing software must no. 1: Re-size picture to feet your needs

The most basic tool in any video editing software.¬ The intention is the possibility to change the size¬ and proportions of the image.¬ Most programs allow you to do it quite easily.¬ The problem is usually when making the picture bigger.¬ In most of the amateur software, making the picture bigger will hurt the quality of the video.¬ You should check how your editing software deals with that challenge.

video editing software must no. 2: Volume Control

Every basic video editing software will give you the option to increase or decrease the volume.¬ And the more complex ones will give you…¬ well, more complex options like distorted the sound¬ or to control the sound with the equalizer.

video editing software must no. 3:¬ Work with layers

The ability to combine two or more audio channels¬ or several channels of video in the film.¬ This is also a basic feature that should be in every video editing software. When you work on your video, you might want to add titles, effects, alpha graphics and more. On a big project, you can easily find your self with 5 doe layers and at least 6 audio tracks, so you should want to be able as much lat=yers as you need.¬

video editing software must no. 4:¬ Work with Key Frames to make complex effects¬ (and not so complex ones)

This is a very important concept in editing.¬ It allows you to play with the effects and create properties that change along the shot.¬ You can put several keyframes on the effect and every keyframe¬ will have its own properties and that’s how the effect will change during the shot.

video editing software must no. 5:¬ Fix picture with color corrections

The basic software will let you  highlight a picture, play with the contrast and adjust the color controls in the picture. In the more complex ones you will have the option
to choose the areas, you want to color in the picture.¬ You have to remember that no matter how high quality the material is, it is most likely that you will need at least a basic color correction,¬ so it’s an important element.¬ There are software programs (such as Avid and After Effects) that measure the amount of color in an image and they can tell you if the picture¬ has too much of one color and not enough of the other.

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video editing software must no. 6: Find out what kind of formats does the software accepts

One of the frustrating things about working in the digital age is the multitude of files.¬ The problem is that any editing system absorbs different kinds of files.¬ The video editing system should communicate with as many files as possible – You should also check what kind of files it exports and their quality. If you need to work with HD files, make sure your video editing software is working well with them.

Here some more things to consider when buying a video editing software:

What kind of computer you have?

How much Ram and CPU does your editing software needs?¬ This will determine how fast the software will work.¬ You have to remember that you can always add RAM to your computer.¬ So you should pay attention that your computer meets the conditions required.

How professional do you need to get

As I said there are a lot of video editing programs.¬ If your goal is to make something small or simple editing from time to time, you can use software like IMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (Windows).¬ This software is good for editing trips¬†and¬†holiday videos.¬†For these who want to become most professional- Premiere, Final Cut, and Avid.¬ If you’re serious about becoming a professional editor,¬ you may want to take classes in the software you are learning.¬ There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, but nothing replaces a tutor or courses.¬

Big Tip:
Good editing is built on your habits
and if you’ll learn by yourself,

you can create yourself a bad work habits
right from the start.

Take a look at the professional video editing software

The three most professional video editing software in the market right now are:
Avid, Premier, and Final cut.¬ A final cut is a great software for beginners. Its only disadvantage is that it works only on Apple’s Mac computers.¬ If you are planning to become a professional video editor,¬ I also recommend starting with Avid.
Why Avid?
For the same reason that when I wanted to learn guitar, they told me to start with a classic guitar:¬ If you master the Avid, you can learn fast to control any other software,
but here is more:
Most broadcast work with that software, mostly because it can handle very large and complicated projects. It is a very stable software and I think she manages the media files in the best way than the other two. It is also the best software to work if you are sharing the same project with other editors.
It will probably take you some time to learn it and to get the hang of it, but once you do, it will be worthwhile it. Another disadvantage¬†is that it is ¬†an expensive software.¬
The thing I like most about Avid is that it forces you to work in an orderly manner and to know what you want to plan ahead.

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On the other, hand if you are planning to use lots of graphics then Premier or Final Cut are more recommended.¬ Premier’s clear advantage is the perfect orientation with other Adobe software like After effects and Photo Shop.¬ Eventually, all the video editors have the software,¬ So I do recommend playing with all of them and see what works best for you.