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by Tyler Hitchcock
Sup Haters, I’m back to disappoint!
Now that we’ve all become expert filmers, we have some beautiful shots that the world “needs” to see, but how do we go about doing it? Editing! Pick your favorite software and go nuts. I prefer Adobe Premier Pro (APP), but I started on Windows Movie Maker. You have to work with what you got.
Before you start editing the footage you need to organize it, though. Mike ThienesÂ from Bald E-gal taught me this. He told me that every clip that you’re going to keep needs to be labeled: Rider_Spot_Trick. For example: Clay_CircusRail_Cab270 or Clay_CircusRail_SpittingLifeStyle. On top of that, I like to organize folders as well. Make, Bails and Misc for each rider. This will all come in handy once we get into editing. I will usually do all of this once I get home from filming or the next day so that everything is still in my head and I remember what all happened.
Once everything is organized I’ll open up my APP to start a new project. I’ll import not only the footage, but all the folders that are holding the footage. Just to keep everything organized. Once it is all loaded up, drag everything (if you’re editing a full video, work with one rider at a time) into the time line. Once in there, you want to organize it even more. Put shots that you think would be good to open up the edit towards the front of the time line and thing you think would work are enders at the end. Put all the other tricks somewhere in the middle. Pretty self explanatory.
What makes a good opener? A heavy bail? An artsy lifestyle shot? Something unrelated to snowboarding? The rider talking (Be careful with this one. If you don’t have proper audio equipment it will probably turn out poorly)? Yes to all of these, but make sure the opener trick is a hammer. Something that get the audience’s attention, something that make them want to see more. Get them stoked to keep their eyes glued to the screen.
What makes for a good ender? Obviously their best trick of the day/weekend/season, whatever your editing, it has to be the best trick. Something that closes it all up. Puts the signature at the bottom of the page and putting a feeling of completeness into the audience’s heads. Don’t end it with a flip off or on to something unless its something that has never been seen before or if it was done with an incredible amount of style. In today’s snowboarding world style is everything.
Editing can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Remember, the Internet is your friend. There are hundreds of different tools that can help you become a better editor. Ultimately, you need to find your own personal editing style. Look at John Stark. He has mastered that VHS look. How did he do it? With hours of research. Playing around with different tools, watching hours of tutorials, grabbing an old VHS camera, using it, and figuring it out. Everyone has their own niche with editing. Your job is to find yours. Google what ever trend you’re looking for, whether it’s adding a lens flair, a film burn, an old film look, or you wanna try adding your own visual effects and go all Hollywood on it. Find tutorials and play around with it.
Once you have it organized it rough placement, watch through it. Do the placements make sense? Figure out what, if anything you want to slow down. DON’T SLOW DOWN EVERYTHING!! Only slow down hammers and stylish things. Preferably you only want to slow portions of tricks, not whole shots. If you have the ability to ramp shots, do it. Ramping shots will gradually slow something down and then gradually speed it back up. You can usually hear the ramp instead of seeing it.
Remember all of those lifestyle shots I told you to get? Those babies are gonna come into play now. A rule of thumb when using lifestyle shots is after every third trick, or so, add in a lifestyle shot. The lifestyle shot should, but doesn’t have to, correlate with either the clip before it or the trick after it. The lifestyle clips add to the audience’s experience. After all, your job is to get the audience to feel some sort of catharsis. (caÂ·tharÂ·sis /kÉ™ËˆTHÃ¤rsis/: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.) You want to make them feel some sort of emotion because of your edit. Whether it is getting them hyped on someone, getting them to want to go snowboarding, or even getting them watch more of your videos.
Make sure you trim the fat.Â Only show what you need. If a trick is sloppy and not anything special, get rid of it. The rider will be made fun of for it if it’s in there, so save them the embarrassment and delete it. This also means don’t let the clip run on too long. Did the land the trick? Is the clip still going on? Why? do we need to see them ride away until they stop? No. The only time that is acceptable is if it’s the ender or if he gets hit by a car on the way to the end of the clip. The shorter the edit is the better. People these days have a short attention spans.
Once you’ve got it all organized and in place, its time to add the music. The music can almost be anything. You want it to match the style of the rider. You know the rider. What does he/she listen to? Did they have something in mind already? Is it gonna have a heavy beat to make the riding seem even harder or is it gonna be easy listening and let the riding speak for itself? That is completely up to you and the rider. Music is one of the most important parts about editing. It can either make or break your video. It can make bad editing look amazing, or great riding look like dog piss.
Music has a crazy effect on people. Everyone listens to music. Everyone has their own personal opinion on what is good and what isn’t. You can’t win over everybody, but that’s not your goal. Your goal is to get music that matches the rider. That makes them stoked, that gets your friends stoked. Not only stoked on the edit, but makes them want to go snowboarding. Also, when picking music, don’t forget that you can edit the music. Music is just a series of notes in patterns with lyrics, also in patterns, added to it. All music can be edited down to fit your edit.
My philosophy with music is to make the music fit your edit, not make an edit to fit the music. Songs can be shortened pretty easily. You just need to figure out the pattern of the song, or if the song has a part that goes quiet, you can easily put a cut right there, find another spot in the song that goes from quiet to loud, cut there, delete the space between, and put the two leftover parts together. In Justin Henigin’s season editÂ I did that with the song. That way when the song ended, so did the edit. It gives the audience a sense of closure.
One thing that helps integrate the song into your edit is to make the cuts between shots happen on a beat, or have a trick landed on the beat. This helps the edit flow better with the song, and helps it feel complete. Mike Monzoori is a skate editor, and on Ride Channel’s In FocusÂ he did an episode on integrating music to edits. He basically reiterates what I have been saying, and shows you a few insider tricks to make it all easier to do.
Make sure that you turn the sound from the footage down so that the music is easier to hear. For the most part, though, you want to have some of the sound from the clips still there. In the biz we call that Nat Sound, or natural sound. People like to hear somebody landing on the rail, stomping the trick, getting hype from buddies, or people yelling at us telling us, “Get off my property or I will call the cops.”
So you’ve got the music in there and you think it already to go, don’t you? Well you’re wrong. It’s time to do some color grading. This is what sets apart the amateurs from the pros. Color grading and color correction (which you’ve probably heard of) are two different things. Color correction is done in camera with white balance, iris, and ND filters. Where as, color grading is done in editor. Most editors have the ability to adjust colors. Its usually under “Video Effects.” I will usually play around with “Levels” and “Brightness and Contrast” until I get something that is pleasing to look at. If you have a low quality of footage you won’t be able to do room much editing to the color, but a little will go a long ways. With higher quality footage you get a little more playing room. Ideally you want to have a consistent look between all shots.
Now that you have your clips color graded you’re done, right? Wrong again! Lastly you need to put titles in there. Now this is optional. If its a season edit the title of the edit will probably have the name of the rider in it. If is not though, you’ll probably want them in there so that the audience knows who the riders are. Plus, people like seeing their names on the internet. (Why do you think I’m writing this? To help you out? No, I wanted to see my name on Yobeat.) Keep them simple. If people can’t read it, what’s the point? Get them to enter at the beginning of the clip and either fade them out or cut them once the clip cuts. If you want them to move, you’ll need to put a motion blur on them. This makes the movement look more natural and not so forced.
You have got the titles in now, you go to the beginning and watch the edit through. Looks good right? Ready to be uploaded for the world to see! Just kidding. You aren’t done yet. Once you have all of the above done, take a break. Go do something. Poop, eat, call your girl/guy (no judgement here on Yobeat. We covered that last week), go hang out with friends, watch TV, or whatever. Just step away for a little while. Once you’re done doing whatever you just did, go back to your computer and watch it again. Taking a break when you think it’s all said and done is my number one rule! Taking that time off gets your mind off of the video and gets you focused on other things. This is key. Watch the video now that you’ve had some time to clear your head. You’ll be amazed at how much it seems to have changed. Little things you missed. The shot is too dark, or that clip doesn’t end on the beat exactly, that shot went on for a little too long, or you accidentally left a clip in there that you thought you deleted. Once you fixed that you are done.
You’re ready to export your video. Exporting is different across every platform. Just google “How to export HQ with ‘from your editing software’” and you’ll find out exactly what to do.
Once you have it all edited and exported, before you upload it to Youtube or Vimeo, watch it one more time to make sure you didn’t miss anything that is wrong with the video. If you think it is worthy, send it to Yobeat, or you can just upload it and if its sick enough people will inevitably find it. Just don’t be mad or discouraged if it doesn’t get posted. Thousands of edits are sent in on the daily. Not everything can be posted. Just keep doing what you’re doing, keep having fun, keep snowboarding cause eventually, with a lot of hard work and perseverance, through struggles and mistakes, things will happen. As long as you’re having fun, who cares if your video makes it to Internet fame?