How to Edit Your Videos into an Entertaining Video



helmet cam



Editing Point of View Footage Into an Entertaining Video

Point of View footage alone isn’t meant to create full videos, but since most of us don’t have paparazzi following us around there’s only so much we can do.  Here is the general procedure I follow when creating a POV video along with some tips on how to keep viewers entertained.

You have now shot your footage using tips from my previous blog ‘GoPro HD HERO Mounting and Filming Tips’.  It’s time to edit!


Importing Footage:

Once the footage is on my computer I convert it to a format more compatible with Final Cut Pro. Depending on your system and editing software, you may or may not have to do this, or you may have to find different settings that work best with your system.

To convert my footage, I open the clip in Mpeg Streamclip’s free software [http://www.squared5.com/] and convert it to Apple ProRes 422 video at Full Quality.  Because clips shot on POV cameras are so long and a lot of the footage is scrap, I always go through the long clips in this program and mark “IN” and “OUT” points in the video and only convert the small portions that I will use.


Steps:

  1. Find the first frame of footage you would ever use (but make sure you have extra footage because you can always cut out excess video later). Press “I” to mark an “IN” point.
  2. Find the last frame of footage you would ever use. Press “O” to mark an “OUT” point. Your timeline will now look like this.

helmet cam

  3. Choose File a Export to Quicktime. In the Compression settings, choose Apple ProRes 422. Drag the Quality to 100%. Choose your proper Frame Rate, 30 or 60fps in most cases. Hit “Make Movie.”
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each clip you want to use. Apple ProRes 422 is a very high quality video, therefore large file sizes. If you convert the entire .mp4 clip to this format it will take a long time and result in a massive file size.


Beginning the Edit:

Before I ever place clips in the timeline, I choose a song for the video. Lay that song down in your timeline, now you’re set to begin the edit.  Here are some tips I always keep in mind when editing.

 

  • Keep your video quick and to-the-point. Most videos out there are too long and therefore boring. If someone closes your video before it’s over, your edit has failed its mission of keeping the viewer entertained.
  •  

  • Never cut to the same angle. If your current view is from a helmet cam, never cut directly to the same helmet angle, this draws out your video and bores the viewer. Just because you know you’re on a different wave or doing a different trick doesn’t mean the viewer can tell the difference. Make sure you divide your video up by cutting from one angle to another, and then back again.
  •  

  • Edit to the music. Try to start and end certain clips to the beat of the music. You don’t have to cut everything to the beat but the video looks cleaner if it matches the music.
  •  

  • Make it a story. If you followed my shooting tip by shooting the same trick from different angles, you’re able to edit from one angle to another to create a small story or sequence. Even if you didn’t intentionally shoot this way, some clips may go back-to-back better than others and might even look like they take place in the same spot.
  •  

  • Watch your video over and over. The more you watch the video during the editing process, the more things will start to stick out at you if you don’t like them. If you aren’t motivated to keep watching your video over and over then it will probably be boring to the viewer as well. I watch a 1-minute video about 100 times during the editing process.


  • Finalizing the Edit:

    I find the best thing to do before finalizing the edit is to turn off my computer for the night. When I wake up I will open up the video and watch it again with a fresh eye. If anything sticks out, change it, but if not you’re ready to export the video and put it online.


    Export and Upload:

    Make sure you export your video using Youtube and Vimeo’s recommended compression settings.

    helmet cam

    More info can be found here: http://vimeo.com/help/compression

    Here is one of my videos where I followed the above guidelines and created a couple sequences by running the same paths over and over again while shooting from different angles.

    Keswick Backcountry Snowkiting in Slow-Mo from Big Fall Productions


    Brendan Schnurr
    ~Big Fall Productions

     


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    Comments

    By Mike B
    18 03 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Thanks for the nice write up Brendan. Since I’m an amateur editor I have been using iMovie, You inspired me to try Final Cut PRO.

    I’m also going to try “editing to the beat”. I have been doing it backwards - silly me!


    By John L
    19 03 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Excellent job Brendan, useful, simple directions. When are you starting your own blog?


    By Cram
    20 03 2010 at 05:53 AM

    Who are you kidding?
    You always have the paparazzi following you around!
    wink
    awesome writeup!
    -=c


    By BigFallProductions
    24 03 2010 at 06:25 PM

    I tried to figure out iMovie in highschool and it didn’t make sense to me. Final Cut Pro just worked how my mind thought an editing program should. Lay down the music then start importing the viz, you got it Mike.

    Thanks for the positive feedback guys, excited to see your videos!


    By Mahlah
    26 03 2010 at 02:18 PM

    Great job Brendan!!


    By Max Allen
    24 12 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Hey Brendan,

    Thanks for the write-up!  Both the editing and filming articles were extremely helpful.  I am in high school and I just got a GoPro for christmas.  I have been dying to start filming and editing my friends and I skiing, surfing, and skating.  I have iMovie right now and I am wondering if I should switch to Final Cut.  If so which one should I use?  Final Cut Pro, Studio, 7???  Also, the importing process seems like it will become a problem soon.  Do you have any tips on keeping the files from becoming out of control and overloading my hard drive?

    Thanks,

    Max Allen


    By BigFallProductions
    26 12 2010 at 06:09 AM

    Hey Max,

    Merry Christmas! You can get by with iMovie but Final Cut Studio is ideal for advanced features. Final Cut Express doesn’t work with GoPro footage well and doesn’t give you the 422 compression you need to work with. I recommend waiting a bit though as a new Final Cut Studio will be released early this year and should work a lot nicer with GoPro footage. It may even cut out the conversion process.

    As for keeping room on your hard drive, work on one project at a time. When you have perfected your project and exported it as a 422 file to keep on your computer and a h264 for the web you can delete the files…but even that’s hard to do for an editor. I have ended up with 4 external hard drives so I rarely have to delete footage unless I know I will never use it again.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    Brendan


    By Matt
    29 05 2012 at 08:20 PM

    Brendan,
    Thanks for your two write ups.  I just got a go pro and am using it to catch me and my friends wake boarding.  I currently use iMovie.  I like shooting in 720 @ 60fps.  Unfortunately iMovie doesn’t support that high frame rate and drops it to 30. I would like to have some sweet slow mo shots, however when i run them it always comes out choppy.  How do i get those buttery slow motion effects?  Do I have to shoot 120fps?(not an option as I have the Original Hero HD)  Or do i need software that can edit in 60fps?  I would like to upgrade but the $300 price tag on Final Cut Pro is a little daunting.


    By Rob
    08 06 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Very nice direction and footage, really, really enjoyed this, keep going!


    By Warren Reed
    04 10 2012 at 02:11 AM

    hey man, thanks for the great tips.  I’m actually working on using the gopro to shoot a movie, i’ve been making small tuts for my online course (at open u. of tanzania), so lots of experimenting, but i think it could make a regular movie very interesting, a diff look and all that.  prob is aas u say, framing and long shots are waaay to long, so diff compensating needed.  it’s the best camera for the price by far, and nice and discreet, too.  appreciate ur work, and any tips for my situation if you have or know where i can look.
    asante sana
    Warren


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