How Do I Make Videos That People Will Actually Want To Watch?

Today my wife had the television on and the program was one of those old classic black and white movies. What a treat to watch a master film editor work. The scenes built on the story and didn’t have a bunch of graphic pictures that you see in today’s movies.

That got me to thinking. Today many of the “video experts” tell you that the way to make good looking video is to watch what everyone is doing today on TV.

But that’s wrong. Just because someone has a video editing suite in their computer doesn’t make them video editors. In fact, all it does is make everyone think that it takes no brains to become an editor. Just take your raw video, cut out some scenes, add fancy transitions, paste in some credits, and you’re done.

But watch an older movie and see how the edit builds on the story. No fancy transitions between scenes. The transitions are just fades and cuts.

I was privileged to spend a month with an expert, my friend Leonard S. Smith, Jr., an Emmy winning member of the Directors Guild of America. We spent one full month editing thirteen hours of video into a 40-minute video. It was truly magic to see how he worked. And often we only got one or two minutes of finished video in a day!

Today you can get hundreds of transitions because some software programmer figured out how to write the code. But having those transition doesn’t make them work.

I know, you see them all the time on TV.

Here's a question to ponder: about those geometric transitions you see on TV, are they there because of good editing or because the “editor” had so many that he/she just had to use them?


Jim Folliard
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Founder, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer & Editor