Personal editing guidelines

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CrackTheSky, Jun 7, 2017.

  1. CrackTheSky

    CrackTheSky Administrator Staff Member

    When you are editing a video, do you have your own "personal guidelines" that you try to follow, or allow to lead you when you're stuck? These aren't hard-and-fast rules, but general principles that maybe help to define your style. I'm not talking as much about anime/song choices, but things that are more editing-specific. Allow me to share a few that I live by:

    • Internal sync is preferable to external sync. This is my own taste, and it can be highly contextual, but when I'm working on how to pace and sync my video, I'm always looking for scenes that can make use of internal sync. I've found that this mindset has actually helped me recognize where little, subtle movements within a scene can sync to little, subtle sounds within a song, and these otherwise minor moments of sync end up contributing in sneaky ways to a video's flow.
    • Hard cuts are preferable to crossfades. This has been a major mark of my editing for the past four years or so, and something I've been very intentional about in most videos made during that time (in most videos I've made in that time, you can probably count the number of crossfades in each one on one hand). I could write pages on this, but in general, I feel that when done correctly, hard cuts actually make for a smoother, more visually interesting experience than crossfades do.
    • Simple is better than complex. I mean this more from an "effects" standpoint (as there can still be "effectsless", or nearly so, editing which is still "complex"), but I greatly prefer simpler videos. I've also come to realize that I suck at effects and don't have the patience and time to do anything really special with them. This has bled over to the point where I will often ask myself if even simple effects (like color manipulation or camera motion/zooms) are really necessary, or if there might be a more effective route (such as in my first bullet point above).
    • Let the scene do the talking. This is pretty general and can mean a number of things depending on the situation, but I'd rather the viewer get so immersed in the video that they don't recognize the editing, or if they do it's not until the video's over and they've thought back on it. What this looks like practically tends to mean that I'm focusing on matching the feeling of the song to the scene. Beat sync is secondary. I want to make sure that each scene I place on my timeline is conveying the feeling and meaning of the song in a tangible way.
    • Scene selection should flow. This has actually hampered me a lot in the past, but it's a mental block I can't quite overcome. As much as I enjoy some videos that are able to essentially throw together a bunch of random, disconnected scenes into a greater whole, I can't bring myself to start a train of thought in a video without seeing it through to a logical break point. This manifests itself with my videos being essentially "sectioned", with stretches of scenes that all show the same setting. I'm conscious of making sure there aren't illogical breaks in scene color or character positioning with relation to one another, or even clothing changes between adjacent scenes. I feel this, in combination with the above point, makes it necessary to do more mental mapping when I plan my videos, but also makes for more consistent storytelling.
    I have several more but I've talked enough. What about you? Do you find yourself leaning on certain guidelines when you edit? Do these guidelines reflect what you look for in AMVs that you like, or is your style completely different from those?
    ZoroIttoryu and Voice From Moon like this.
  2. Voice From Moon

    Voice From Moon Member New

    I don't even know from where to start. Taking broad look I'd say I go with somewhat similar mindset, but not that extreme. And I guess I'm on similar boat for entirely different reasons. To me simple means flexible. Since effects(entire look) should be decided from step one I end up starting without them(since I'm yet to come up with anything interesting), so in my case scenes become effects in themselves. Regarding simple hard cuts, I take approach "If something doesn't add to it then don't do it", so in other words I use loads of hard cuts too. It goes without saying that scene selection is crucial part for me.
    I guess I'm not well versed in arts or very creative so most flexible approach is the key to me. I can start practically from nothing and snowball into something, or retry until it happens. And then refine it until hatred for whole world is developed.
    I remember that I started things as a mere stories without slightest care for synchronization and somewhere along the way I have developed very odd liking for that damn thing. It becomes so self destructive when you're so tempted to synch up as much as you can and on top of that trying to do it in interesting ways to not make it boring and repetitive, and at the end the whole thing crumbles so easily. It somewhat like creating a clock. Every little gear adds up. mess up one, and entire clock will fail to do his main job. And I'm yet to learn how to properly approach this problem. At the end of the day I'm asking myself if what I've done is interesting, and in what way I could shape it that way. All fixes have this thing in mind. Whole process boils down to fixing problems which pops along the way, and then searching for new ways to fail, in hope of finding stuff that works. Since the whole thing is on-going process I have no clue how my entire outlook going to change in future, but no matter what it won't stay the same for certain.
  3. inthesto

    inthesto New Member

    1. don't edit
  4. exkcal

    exkcal Wielder of Windows Movie Maker

    I would say our styles are very similar. But I do find that too much internal sync just makes me cringe. In my opinion, if you can allow the scene to be upwards of 20 seconds and it works, go for it!
  5. I tend to focus on story and how it fits with the lyrics first. Though sometimes focusing on the lyrics hurts my story telling so I'm still kinda trying to find a balance between the two. Otherwise I'd say I tend to keep my style pretty simple. Usually hard cuts, little to no effects, if I need something to transition it tends to be fades. On occasion you might see me do something in after effects but it's usually pretty rare unless I think I need it to show the story better. I've been told I need to focus more on dynamics so that's something I need to focus on more going into the future. However I'd say my style is pretty similar in that I keep it pretty simple but I know I do have things I still need to work on which makes it hard for me to straight up say my style is _. As it's still kind of developing even though I've been editing for a while now.
  6. I'm dope, and I make dope shit.
  7. ZoroIttoryu

    ZoroIttoryu Pirate Hunter

    I probably have the same guidelines as the ones you outlined.
    My most focused thing in my videos is probably sync, i should really focus more on conveying emotions and have a story/concept : (
    Its really fun to see how other editors think about what and how they edit, nice thread!
  8. exkcal

    exkcal Wielder of Windows Movie Maker

    I would say this video demonstrates my style 100%.
    (Couldn't edit previous post so bare with my double post)
  9. FoxJones

    FoxJones the Foxiest

    hmm.. Personal guidelines eh..

    1. Music is the King -
    Music is really what makes the music video. Music dictates the phasing. Music is the base where to build on. Music very often already has a story in it, which can be heard and interpreted, and this leads to creativity.

    2. Concept is your council -
    Steward chooses the anime to use, Chancellor negotiates how to make music work with the anime. Your spymaster may find inspiration from other works if necessary... I usually just boot the f*ker out. When talking about animemusicvideos it's obvious that music itself isn't enough and it needs the concept to create something interesting for the audience. While I see concept to be the major point, I understand it still has to use the guideline that the music offers.

    3. Editing style is the army - You work with what you have. While you can buy flashy editing software and source material, it's the troops (skills) that you have, which you go to war (editing) with. These can and should be trained. Experiment with different concepts and try out styles to find the one that works for you. Be versatile. If you only have cavalry, the spearwall of editing block will ground your forces.

    4. Lip-sync is the clergy - Those pesky f**ks always seem to try to sneak into my projects, even though I have ordered them several times that church should be separated from the state. If there is a time that I need the old farts, I will call for them to make some silly comedy AMV.

    5. Effects are the workers (peasants) - These guys should just shut up, be quiet, and do their job! They should work in the background, to support the concept which in the end makes the music look good. If you give too much attention to them, they will just overthrow the goverment and the result is a bloody mess.
    ..except if they come and offer crosseffects. Crosseffects are always received with gratitude!

    ... on a side note, I'm 36 hours from clocking 1000h in Crusader Kings 2.. I need help
  10. Nate

    Nate Nate The Old School Otaku AMV Contest Coordinator

    The only guideline I think I actually follow that I have is to make what I like.
    I generally let the music lead me where it wants the video to go. If it demands internal sync I do that. If it demands external sync I do that. Lip Sync? Crossfades? Effects? That's what I do.
  11. UnluckyArtist

    UnluckyArtist Member

    I might have a few, guidelines make everything easier.
    • The music is the trigger - If the song you look at doesn't actually move you emotionally in some way, it'd be better not to waste your time with it. Notice how in your best work, the song gave you chills or actually made you lol, etc. Also, putting down the music you're using for the video on timeline is the very first thing to do. Regular editing is just the opposite cause you're really syncing audio with the footage, not the other way around.
    • Don't work Against the Anime - Anime is already edited to completion. Chances are, very well. Don't try to work against the flow of their editing to where it becomes unrecognizable to regular viewers of said anime. If it has a certain style of transitions or lots of close-ups or whatever than show that in your own edit and unless you're intentionally flipping the whole atmosphere by making a drama funny or whatever then keep that same atmosphere.
    • Rules of Filmmaking matter - Continuity, character growth, not suddenly changing the pace too much, even the lighting matter even in a music video. If you're trying to tell a story, you want people to follow what's going on? There are some rules you gotta follow.
    • Timeline Puzzle - Putting together something on the timeline is like solving a big puzzle. First start with putting up the pieces you KNOW will fit and figure out where the other pieces go as you scrub around for those clips you already feel good about.
    • Effects are the Icing on the Cake - After mixing the batter by knowing what you're trying to do in the first place (concept), baking that cake by putting the puzzle together and have the basic editing rules set in place then worry about how the effects look and adjust them to work with everything else already made to have a beautiful finished product that someone would like to eat.
    Not necessarily in order, sometimes I worry about effects while i put the puzzle together, but I pretty much keep all that in mind but then remind myself that there are no rules, just have fun.
    FoxJones and CrackTheSky like this.
  12. Replay

    Replay Administrator Staff Member

    My guidelines~
    • Create the one scene that is in my head for the idea
    • Make everything else up as I go
  13. Joskua

    Joskua Taco Queen Staff Member Queen of Tacos

    I never noticed this thread before D: seems quite funny to try to write an answer as this a question i've kinda had in my head for sometime but never thought of the full answer, maybe writting everything will help me

    The combo comes together - I see other guys hearing a cool song and starting to look for an anime, or picking an anime they want to edit and try to find a song that matches, and I think both approaches are quite good and valid BUT in my case the combo needs to come out as I listen to the song, I've noticed these are the videos that actually keep me motivated, if I start with either anime or song and end up finding the other element after a while I prolly would start the videos but it is 90% sure I'll drop it.

    Lyrics and mood matter - Songs always portray ideas or even stories, lyrics always develop in a certain way and they are my base for the videos, maybe I can't lyric sync perfectly in most cases BUT at least certain verses can somehow remind me of a scene/moment of the series, I think that's why the combo needs to appear while I listen to music? This would be an explanation... And also we just don't have lyrics, we have the mood melody creates, the feelings music conveys and will determinate the overall atmosphere of the video (maybe the lack of lyrics explains why I feel affinity and take less time picking scenes with instrumental songs, as I tend to go slightly less "linear").

    Trying to find my style - I want to edit a video and see people watching it without credits and say "lol this is definitely from Joskua", I still don't know how I will achieve this, but for now I try to use songs I really like or inspire me ideas that I haven't see in other videos, and I even tend to write down my ideas and dump the most conventional ones reminding me there are already lots of good videos that present the same idea or have many similar elements (for example, at this point I think we don't need more Hyouka dramatic crossovers where the girl dies, if an idea like that appears in my head I instantly discard it), I'm not saying doing a video like this is something bad, but it is not the path I want for my videos.

    FX are a support, not the goal - I love seeing nice vfx but IMO they need to be done to support the video, they need to help creating the necessary scenes to tell the story, show the concept or bring the certain atmosphere to the AMV, not just random fx "because they look cool", tho I consider achieving a certain imagery/aeshetics with fx is a valid point.
  14. Enigmo

    Enigmo Member

  15. Dissonance

    Dissonance Empress of the World

    I totally agree. If I hear a song and automatically a video comes to me, it's 90% more likely to be made than me searching for the combo. One video, that I will finish dammit, has been a very slow work in progress for 5 years and it was one where I found a song and I'm still trying to gather the anime for it. This has led to waaaay too many procrastination excuses.
    For me, if I don't see *something* while I listen to a song, I actively avoid that song. I actually hate the radio and almost always listen to my ipod.

    One thing many of you have touched on that I know I need to work on is self control with effects. There's just... so many pretty ones. [​IMG]

Share This Page