When you cut or edit a video, you should always pause and ask yourself one simple question: “Why?” Every cut, edit, and alteration that you make to your video should serve a purpose – not the least of which being to make your video ‘flow’ better from one scene or view to the next.
At first, the intricacies involved in cutting and editing videos to make them flow better can seem difficult, which is why it is best to start with the basics. In particular, there are 5 ways to cut and edit videos that can dramatically improve their flow, and you should know them all:
One of the most popular types of cuts is the ‘jump cut’, which basically involves moving forward in time by cutting the video so that the subject appears to jump from one position to the next. It is commonly used to show the passage of time, get rid of lulls and pauses, and speed up events in a video.
The problem with the jump cut is the fact that it can be jarring and if used tactlessly could actually interrupt the flow of a video rather than helping it. That is why it is best to use jump cuts strategically, and as a tool to set the pace of the video.
Cut on action
Basically this type of cut involves cutting from one shot mid-action to another shot that has the same action. In doing so it can help to smoothly transition the perspective from one camera to another, without breaking up the flow of the video.
In action sequences, this type of cut is often used to make the sequence wider and tenser. It can also be used in other sequences, however, as it means you don’t have to wait for a pause to shift perspectives.
L cut and J cut
Both the L cut and J cut are similar to one another, and are essentially opposites. With the L cut you’ll cut the video to the next scene, while still playing audio from the previous scene. On the other hand with the J cut you’ll start playing audio from the next scene, before cutting to it later.
Generally the L cut can be used to help to provide context to the dialogue or other audio elements while not interrupting the flow in the way a cutaway would. Similarly, the J cut can do the same but in reverse.
Balancing cuts with flow
The cuts highlighted above are all important, but as you can see what is all the more important is using them in the right circumstances to trim out pauses, change perspectives, provide context, and so on. That is why a key part of editing a video to flow better is to balance it out – so the cuts don’t affect the flow.
While it is subjective, you should try to use the minimum number of cuts possible that will allow you to still end up with a tightly cut video.
Adding transitions carefully
Another aspect to keep in mind are the transitions that are used in your video. While transitions can make a video look more visually interesting, if they are too long or jarring they will interrupt the flow. As such, transitions should be added carefully and only in specific places where they will accentuate the video without affecting the flow negatively.
If you want to start to try to cut and edit your video using the methods listed above to make it flow better, you should give Movavi Video Editor a try. It is an easy to use video editor that will let you quickly split your video into segments, merge them together in the sequence that you want, and ensure that they flow perfectly.
With the features in Movavi Video Editor, you can improve your video in other ways too, and add effects and filters, blur video, enhance its quality, add transitions, insert text, and much more. Just remember before you edit your video in any of these ways to ask yourself why you’re doing so and how it will help to improve your video.