Work to Finalize Your Video

Congratulations!  At this point, you’ve assembled your footage, put it in the order of your storyboard, watched it with a critical eye and now are ready to take your video to the next level: the rough cut.

Rough cut is the first assembly of a film which the you (or the editor) prepares from selected takes, in script order, leaving the finer points of timing and editing to a later stage.  Think of your rough cut as the draft paper that you’re ready to share with a larger audience to get feedback.  You have the core messages that you want in the order you want in the video and have the visuals, b-roll, to best support your message.   At this point, you want to watch your video from your intended audience’s point of view – or even have them watch it with you.

Arrange a test screening and be sure to not over-introduce your video.  Show the video and have a set of questions ready for a discussion to get insights and opinions that can enhance your video.

Example Questions

  • Who do you think this video is for?
  • What are the major issues and themes in the video?
  • What was the key message that came across?  Were there other messages?
  • Was there a request for action?  If so, what was it?
  • Could you understand all that was said?  Were there any confusing audio or visual components? (If so, you might need subtitling.)
  • How did you feel while watching the video?  (Ensure the feeling viewers felt, particularly watching as the intended audience’s perspective, is what you intend.)
  • Was there too much information or too little information in the video to support the message?
  • What was puzzling or unclear?
  • Did the video keep your attention throughout?
  • Which parts were slow? Moved too fast?
  • Do you know where to go for more information or get involved from the video?

Moving your video to the fine cut

Once you get the feedback from your rough cut, you will take your video one step closer to completion: the fine cut!  The fine cut is when you are making the slight tweaks and enhancements, ensuring the transitions are optimal, pacing your music, etc.  Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Think about what motivates each cut? Is there an action to carry the cut or a compositional relationship?
  • What is the relationship to movement and the pace of movement?
  • Does someone leave the frame?
  • Does someone fill the frame?
  • Are we following someone’s eye?
  • Is the cut motivated by a sound?
  • What is the relationship of words to images?
  • What is the relationship with words and images to sound?

SPOTLIGHT:  Choosing the right music for your video

Music can give voice to a point of view, either a character or a storyteller.  It can express an opinion or an alternative idea.  It can imply what is not seen, or comment on what is seen.  A primary mistake when integrating music into video:  It is often used as a cheap dramatic crutch.  Music should compliment the voice and visuals – it should not substitute but complement.  Be wary of your choice of music.  Be mindful of your audience and choose music that will work for them – it might not be what works best for you…

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