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Weekly Video Tip: Essential Basic Editing Techniques: Part 1, Jump Cuts

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By Stephen Schweickart

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the world of so-called “editing effects” when you get your video into post-production. That bin of clock wipes and page peels looks like a bowl of candy that amateur editors just can’t wait to stick their hands in. However, I would suggest you don’t do it. These effects scream bush league and will make your video look like it was produced by Mrs. Weaver’s 4th Grade My First Home Video class. In this series, I’m going to give you some simple editing techniques that will get you through your video in the classiest way possible.

First up is a cut. Keep this simple—not every transition needs to be fancy pants. Most of the time just letting one shot cut to the next with no distracting animation is the best possible solution to get from shot A to shot B. It really couldn’t be any easier.

Step 1: Select your clip from the bin
Step 2: Use the handles on either end of the clip to trim it to length
Step 3: Drop the clip in the timeline and drag it up against the previous clip so there’s no gap between them.

And that’s it, folks! No muss, no fuss, just a good, quick transition that doesn’t grab your viewer by the face and scream, “HEY LOOK I’M TRANSITIONING TO THE NEXT CLIP!”

Using simple cuts and staying away from the stock transition animations is the fastest way to work, and the easiest way to keep your video from looking like a Power Point presentation. It’s clean, it’s classy, and it doesn’t muddle up your video.

Keep it clean, keep it simple, and by doing those things you’ll keep it professional.

We’ll see you back here next time when we unearth the mysteries of the illusive L-cut.

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic visit VScreen’s site at http://www.vscreen.com/.

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