Adrian Ardelean


Day 10 - How to Edit a Dancing Video

Hello, hello guys, so here we are again with another post. But this one is a very simple one I'm going to be talking about the perks of being a dancer and the influences it will have on your editing style. 

So I will be mainly talking about the process but also about the flow of editing, cutting to the rhythm and how to create energy through fast cuts and slow-motion. 

Obviously this is just my method of doing things, so as any artist knows you will have to find your own method and your own voice in this craft.

The flow of editing

So obviously if you're new to video editing you are probably just editing as you go and also taking a long time to trim. So the first step I would recommend is BE ORGANISED! Try and separate your clips into folders; such as 'Close ups' , 'Wides' and 'B-roll' this obviously depends on the type of project you're doing. Things change in documentary style editing but I'll explain more in a different post another time. 

After you have separated your clips and labeled them accordingly, you have to start building a story. For this particular project I gave myself a brief of creating a short 17s clip and tried to capture the atmosphere of the Breaking Convention Park Jam. I did that because the track I discovered on the FMA (Free Music Archive) website was limited to 17s, which then leads me to the next step which is... *drum roll* .... Sound Design and Music.  

Let's give some credit to our talented sound colleagues from the film industry, without them our videos would just be like a powerpoint photo presentation, beautiful yet soulless. So I would advise you guys to learn a bit about sound and rhythm. If you're not really into it perhaps try to work with someone else to complete your videos. I personally add the track and then cut the video to it, but it still feels like something is missing so for me. I find that doing it this was means that the sound dictates my cuts not the other-way around. 

Cutting to the rhythm

This is the fun bit! Now you've found your perfect track (and hopefully got a sound designer on board), you should have found the direction you want to go in to create the  mood you want to achieve with your video. Some events or some videos work with just slow-motion and some work with just normal speed. I like to combine the two (and not with speed ramps). 

I found that building up the energy works better (again subject to everyone's preference). I usually start my videos with slow-motion, maybe a drone in the background and then slowly add some faster movements in there to give the viewer a tease, and then after a point explode with faster cuts. 

To give an example, for this particular video I tried to add an explosive dancing move on the 4th beat. The song is in a 4/4 signature so it makes it easier to time it well. Also try not to cut on the beat but sync the movement with that particular beat to add more dimension to your video. 

Creating energy through fast cuts

Hitting the beats are important but so is framing your shots. You want to make sure the eye doesn't got too crazy on the screen because the viewer needs to stay focused on the action that is happening. For example if you framed most of your shots with the subject in the centre you should have the following shot centred as well. A great example is Brendon Li's analysis of his camera work which you can find here

I hope this is enough to help you guys learn a bit about editing recaps and dance videos. I must apologies if some things don't make sense! I'm a filmmaker not a writer so feel free to drop me an email with any feedback!