Pacing is one of the most importantthings to get right for your edit but it's also a little tricky becausethere's no formula I can give you and pacing really varies from project toproject so what I'm gonna do in this video is just share with you a bunch oftechniques that I've picked up over the years and that I use in every single oneof the videos I edit.
We're gonna be talking about where to place yourindividual cuts down to the frame that you cut on, but also looking at thebroader structure of your video, the length of different sequences withinyour video to have a natural flow that keeps your viewer interested throughoutthe entire thing and feels very natural.
Before we jump into that, one of thebiggest misconceptions about pacing is that it's basically just the speed ofthe cuts in your video and it's not.
While the speed at which you cut canimpact your pacing, there's a lot more to it than that and a lot more subtletiesto be aware of.
Pacing is even important before you start cutting clips at all.
For example, with music it's super important to choose the right track toput behind your video so it fits with the mood and you can achieve the paceyou're going for.
So for the intro to this video I chose to use two differenttracks, one of which was very slow and classical in style to reflect that olderkind of distant from the city feeling in Central Park, and then I also chose adarker moodier hip-hop track to go with that darker more modern vibe in thesecond half.
If I were to keep the entire edit the same but just swap those twotracks it wouldn't work at all.
It would just feel off.
So no matter how cool that track youfound for your video is, make sure before you throw it on the timeline that itreally fits with the pace and the mood of the video that you want to create.
Andonce you've done that we can get into actually cutting some clips up.
One ofthe biggest pieces of advice that I can give you for cutting your Clips is tonot always cut directly on the beat of the music.
This gets really monotonousafter a while and it'll also encourage you sometimes to not cut in the rightplace, because it's always best to cut in the spot in the clip that feels best for theedit, and that might not necessarily fall on the beat.
If you cut too early thenyou're cutting off action and making that first shot feel incomplete orinterrupted by the next one, and if you cut too lateyou're leaving empty air after the action has already taken place one goodtechnique is to cut on motion or impact.
So for example, with this shot of thehelicopter blade rotating around I chose to cut right after it swept past thecamera and left the frame.
This way it's not like I'm interrupting that motionhalfway through, but it's also not like I'm letting it happen and then leavingan extra half second afterwards.
So that way, by cutting at just the right time itfeels like that big motion is kind of carrying us through to the next shot.
Ifyou're struggling to figure out where to place your cuts one thing I'd recommendis actually watching your video without music or sound, and that might sound alittle ridiculous but I actually edited several sequences in the intro to thisvideo without having any sound.
I just took my headphones off and edited basedentirely on what I was seeing, and this is a good way to prevent yourself frombeing distracted by the music and the sound and just focus on the flow of thevisuals.
Now of course sound is incrediblyimportant.
It's 50% of your video, but this is just a good exercise for notgetting caught up in that monotonous beat of the music and really focusing onwhat feels right.
Another thing to be aware of when you're cutting Clips is toavoid an abrupt change in speed or energy.
For example if you have ahyperlapse and then you place a static shot with no motion before or after that, it's gonna be a pretty abrupt cut between those two clips.
Whereas if youput some other shots in between those two where you can kind of slow thatmotion down gradually, then you have a much smoother sequence.
For examplethere's a subway sequence in the intro to this video where I needed to get froma shot of the subway moving past the camera at full speedto a shot where it's completely stopped and people are getting on.
So how do youdo that? Well, I took a few different shots.
I tookone where the subway was moving but you could see that it was coming into thestation and kind of slowing down but still moving quickly, and I put thatright after the shot of it going at full speed.
And then after that clip I putanother shot where you can see it visibly slowing down almost to a stop.
That way instead of just cutting from the subway moving quickly to it notmoving at all, we have those two shots that allow you to see it gradually slowto a halt.
This way we're going from a high energy shot to a much lower energyshot but we're not doing that abruptly and breaking the speed and the energy ofthe video.
We have that smooth flow throughout and the subway sequence isalso a great example of having kind of a smaller subsequence within your video.
Sequences like this are not only a great way to organize your edit narrativelybut they're also a great way to tie together very fast cuts.
They'reespecially effective in that way when you tie the sequence together withsomething like a sound design or a similar motion.
So for example in thehelicopter sequence within the intro to this video, I have that helicopter rotorsound behind all of the shots in that sequence which ties them all togethereven though they're quite fast cuts.
And then if we look at two other subsequences within the intro to this video- the horses and setting up the camera onthe bridge- then we can see that I've actually animated in a scale in effecton all of those shots.
So we have that motion pushing in throughout the entiresequence which really just blends them together to feel like one shot.
So whenyou see that and you hear that same sound behind all of them or you see thatsame motion, even though it's a bunch of different shots really fast, you kind ofinternalize it as one fluid motion.
That's why, especially when you have tocondense a ton of footage down into a short video, sub sequences like that areabsolutely essential for structuring your video.
But if we want to talk about structure there's also a lot more to it than justthose short fast-paced sequences.
We also have to talk about the broad structurethat encompasses the entire video.
Now of course broad structure may not impactflow and energy quite as much as those individual cuts between your clips, butit's super important for keeping the viewer engaged throughout the entirevideo and not breaking their attention with an awkward change in pace.
Mostfilms or videos have different sections.
So for example the intro of this videohas two sections: that lighter calmer sequence in the first half, and then thatdarker moodier sequence in the second half.
And I would always recommendspacing these sequences out somewhat evenly.
If the sequence is too short thenthe viewer gets dragged on to the next one before they were even able to getimmersed in that first one, and if it's too long they get bored of seeing thesame thing over and over again and they lose attention in your video.
That's whyI would recommend trying to keep them at a pretty consistent length throughoutthe entire video.
I usually try to go for at least 30 seconds but not longer than60 for a given sequence.
A really good way to keep track of this when you'reediting is to use solid layers or text layers on a layer above your clips, andthen you can basically just drag that layer to encompass the entire sequenceand it gives you a visual representation of how long that part of the videoactually is compared to the other.
If we use my Faces of NYC video from lastyear as an example, we can see that it has five very different sequences, butthey're each about 30 to 40 seconds long so you don't get particularly bored ofany one of them by the time it's over, but you also have just enough time toget into it by the time you move on to the next one.
Whereas if the firstsequence of the video is 20 seconds and then the next one is a minute and a halfand then the other three are all 20 seconds, it's a much more awkward videoto watch because you're getting very bored of that long sequence but then youdon't have enough time to even understand what's going on in the shortones and it's just a mess.
Once you've got that right, you also mighteven want to take the opportunity to change the pace of your video in betweentwo of those sequences.
A “pace transition” like this is a really good way to keepthe viewer engaged in what they're doing, but if you mess it upit's also a huge opportunity to break that pace in a bad way and completelylose your viewers' attention.
To give you a really bad example of a pacetransition, what if you're watching a video and it's very slow and calm andthen all of a sudden it just cuts to like heavy metal? You'regonna be thrown off by that because it's abrupt and it interrupts the pace.
Butif you have a more subtle transition and it's done smoothly, you kind of buildslowly up to it and you're aware that a change is happening but it doesn't takeyou out of the video, you're a little more accepting of it.
You're like okaywe're changing things up here I like this.
A good way to subtly change thepace of your video is by doing what I would call taking a breather, so having amoment where everything kind of builds up and then stops entirely and you havekind of a moment of rest before you move on to that next sequence with adifferent pace.
So for example in the intro to this video after that firstsequence the song kind of builds up and then stops, and there's like maybe 10seconds of very quiet like almost no music while that second track builds up, and then we get into that second pace.
And the key here is that you becomeaware that the first sequence is ending before the second one starts, so you'renot just immediately transitioning to something new.
You're aware that a changeis going to happen so you can broadly transition into it and be more acceptingof it.
A change in pace should also be motivated by another change in yourvideo like location or music as we talked about before.
So for example inthat intro edit we not only switch the music but switch from a very light greytheme visually to a very dark grey theme visually, and we also switched from thevery central part kind of away from the city nature type vibe to a very likeheart to the city Times Square very modern feeling.
Whereas if we transitionto that much faster darker pace but what you were seeing on screen was stillCentral Park and the horses, that's just gonna be a little confusing because whywhy did we transition to the same thing, you know? So don't do that.
And finallylet's talk about perhaps the most important transition in your video, whichis the ending.
It's important to wrapeverything up properly, because a bad ending in the video is basically liketaking this really long inhale and then you just don't exhale it.
Veryunsatisfying, very awkward, very not ideal.
And a super common mistake thatmight result in you having that long inhale with no exhale feeling in theending of your video is just ending too abruptly, where the viewer has absolutely no idea that you're gonna endthe video- they don't see it coming at all, and then it just happens like you just ran out of footage, which probably a lotof times is the case.
What you could do instead is build up very noticeably tothe ending, or what I like to do with most of my videos is have a good amountof time at the ending.
So we have that last long shot that allows the video tokind of slow down and end rather than just cutting off.
I think I'm gonna get alot of comments about talking with my hands in this video, but that's alright.
But now that we've talked about the best way to end your video, I think it's timeto end this one.
So I hope you've enjoyed it or especially learned something newfrom it, and if you did and you do take some techniques from this and apply themto your own workflow feel free to share that work online and send it to me.
Tagme in it and I'd love to see it.
But that's all for today.
If you enjoyed it, feel free to show your support by leaving a like on the video, sharing itwith your friends, or even subscribing to my channel.
I upload new filmmakingtutorials every week or so ish.
I've got some big projects coming out in thenext month or two that I'm incredibly excited to show you, so subscribe for that.
Keep creating and I'll see you in the next one.