Here are 5 fast tips for every fast-cut edit sequence

Are you having trouble speeding up the pace of your edits? Brandon Li has a video that will help you make fast-cut edits like a pro in no time. Fast-cutting edits can look awesome and really grab your audience’s attention. But the technique can be tough to do, as well. It’s common to feel like the clips are just not coming together, and the narrative of the video is confusing.

These five tips, inspired by Brand Li’s YouTube video “5 Fast Tips for Fast-Cut Editing” will help solve those issues.

Tip 1: Simplify your shots

Keep in mind when you’re making your fast cuts that the brain still needs to register what is happening in the frames. By simplifying what is shown in the shots, the brain will have the time it needs to process. There are a number of ways to simplify your shot.

Center your subjects

First, you should center your subjects in the frame. Our brains tend to focus toward the center of the frame when watching videos before it moves to the out edges. However, when your video is moving fast, the audience won’t have time to focus on the outside edges of the frame. Keep the important stuff in the center of your frame because that’s where people are going to be looking.

Zoom in on your subject

The closer you zoom in on your subject, the less background there is to distract the viewer. Therefore, the audience will have an easier time focusing.

Use silhouettes

Tree silhouette
Silhouettes are most effective when the subject being shadowed is easily recognizable

Silhouettes are an easy way to simplify a shot and have subjects still register quickly for your audience. For instance, we can register the silhouette of a human in just a few frames.

Tip 2: Punch in/out of your subject

Li recommends trying shots where you start wide on a subject and then immediately punch in. Likewise, you can go close on a subject and then punch out to a wider shot. Both ways are great cuts that will add movement to your video.

Tip 3: Keep the same screen direction from shot to shot

birds flying
Always keep your subjects moving in a consistent direction between shots

It’s important to keep the subject moving in the same screen direction from shot to shot. If you aren’t familiar with what screen direction is, it’s the direction things are moving in the frame. If you want your individual shots to be associated with each other, you need to have your subject moving in the same screen direction. It creates a better feeling of flow.

Tip 4: Follow a dominant shape/color/luma between shots

It will create a sense of intentionality between shots in the sense that things are happening for a reason. It adds an extra layer to your visual storytelling.

Tip 5: Establish a cause/effect between shots

This means completing an event that was started in a previous shot. You create a ton of unexpected connections when doing this. For instance, you can show a volleyball being spiked and follow up with a baseball being hit with a bat. When you are able to connect seemingly unrelated things, it will help create a sense of story.

We hope these five tips will help you improve your fast-cutting skills. Share with us what fast cuts you’re able to make.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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