Video Making

5 by 5 – How to edit a video

For the past couple of months, I have been asked “Bro, how do I edit a video ?” and “Can teach me how to edit ?”

I decided to share my thought process when editing a video. In a way, what kind of story that I want to tell my viewers.

5 by 5 – What is the concept ?

This is a technique that I learned from Vimeo Video School and couple of video makers online. This is a technique where you need to tell a story in 5 video clips where each is video clip is only 5 seconds long. Initially, you may find that it is too short to show what you want others to see. You may find some difficulties in completing your story in just 5 video clips. These are the issues I faced when I first started. Over time, you will realized, it is more effective in making your story or video interesting to watch or perhaps engaging.

Over time, I reduced 5 by 5 to 3 by 5. It means that I need to tell a story in 3 video clips and each is only 5 seconds long. Somehow or rather, I find that using odd numbers of video clips is simpler. Like you have an intro, body and ending. If 5 by 5, you have intro, body, body, body and ending. It is like back in the days where my English teacher taught on how to write a composition. That’s how I work around this technique.

So I made this a simple video where it revolves around my son. Don’t focus on the shakiness of the video clips. I made this video for keepsake purposes. With this video, I will share my thought processes on editing or storytelling.

What is the story ? – I want to show the fun he had, all the running he did and any unexpected stunts that he may pull. My equipment of the day was just my Canon 60D, Tokina 11-16mm and Canon 100mm.

The first 3 clips (3 video clips by 5 seconds)  The first video clip, I was trying to create curiosity where you can see a crowd is looking towards one direction. 2nd clip, I made a close up shot of a drummer. The last clips, I revealed that it was a performance.

The next 7 clips, I wanted to tell a story that my son was running till he heard a loud music. He ran towards the music. The last clip, it was the performance.

The next 3 clips, my son is running and trying to copy what the bigger boys did. I am trying to show that we are running to another destination.

The next 5 clips, it was a new place where all the kids playing water. The 2nd – 4th video clips, I was trying to show again that my son wanted to do what the bigger did but he is afraid. My son and bigger boy in red singlet running into my camera. The following clip, I showed that another big boy in yellow singlet running into my camera. Next, I revealed that again, my son is copying whatever the bigger boys did.

The last 3 clips, my son and previously bigger boy in red singlet, formed a brother relationship. As you can see, in a way, he is looking out for my son. Sharing his chips.

Mini Stories – What I did, I was creating mini stories. These mini stories made up my one big story that I want to tell.

Syncing with Song – This is what I interpreted from Stillmotion. Your story should not be dictated by the song. The song should enhance the story that you want to tell. In this case, I chose the song because it is able to complement or uplift the spirit of all the running and freedom these kids enjoy. BUT, I chose at only certain tempo to introduce a mini story.

Pretty much, this is the skeleton of how I edit my videos for both corporate and weddings. From this skeleton, I will explore and create the story that my clients want to share.

There are so many ways going about on how to edit. For a start, you can try this method. Create a mini stories to make up one big story. Keep your mini stories to 3 by 5 or 5 by 5. Your editing starts when you go out to shoot. Remember that.

I am sharing my mistakes. I am still learning. Feel free to comment or feedback. I greatly welcome them.


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