If you don’t know who John Grisham is, no worries. You don’t have to. But I’m gonna tell you about him anyway.
You most likely have seen some movies made after his books: “The Firm” with Tom Cruise, “The Pelican Brief” with Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts, “Runaway Jury” with Dustin Hoffman, etc.
Well, this John Grisham dude used to be a lawyer (hence all the legal thrillers he’s so famous for). And he told many interviewers that the life of an attorney is pretty boring.
All day doing dull paperwork, reading the updates on specific laws and creating contracts for clients. And, as a novelist, he quickly realized that nobody wants to read about that.
What people want to read, he said, was a story about the guy who took all the money from the mob leader, left the country with a beautiful woman and went to party on the sunny beaches in Bahamas.
Which leads us to GoPro videos.
If you want many people to watch your videos (on YouTube or Facebook) you have to…
1. Don’t shoot boring stuff
Pretty straightforward, huh?
But seriously. What would you rather watch?
A walk in the park?
Or some awesome cliff jumping?
Now, if for some reason your activity is not as sexy as cliff jumping, then you have to make it sexy through your story, camera movements, funny moments (pattern interrupt) or any other means that you seem fit.
Let’s say you’re not the best skateboarder out there. Hey, neither am I.
So you cannot make a video with you doing the wickedest tricks because, well, you can’t do wicked tricks. Let alone wickedest.
Well, you can try to do the tricks and edit the video as great fail compilation. Now there’s a video people will watch. :)
If you take dramatic intro shots - you know - where you get people excited about what’s coming up next (some greatness hopefully) and then you drop fail after fail, you might have a chance at creating a memorable video.
Did you notice what I’ve just said? Or written I should say.
A memorable video. Not a memorable rider. Nor a memorable trick.
Alright, let’s talk at length about shortness
2. Duuude, make your video short!
Watch yourself how anxious you get when you have to watch some web videos that is longer than 5 minutes. Oh wait, did I say 5? I meant 3 minutes. Or maybe 2?
The internet shrinked our attention span.
We want it now.
Get to the point. Cut to the chase. Trim the fat. Grab them fast and shake them hard.
Do I have to elaborate more on this?
My problem is that I don’t always do what I preach. All my videos could have been shorter without losing any watch-ability.
But let me say this no one complained that a web video is too short.
3. Cut on music beats
This is big. No. THIS IS BIG.
Music stirs emotions like crazy. So when you combine moving images with a good tune, you get an emotions evoking machine on steroids.
Some decent footage can be made into a great video with the right soundtrack.
Speaking of which - if it’s hard for you to get a cool royalty free soundtrack you can create one yourself with Magix Music Maker. Just saying.
Since we’ve all watched so many music videos, we almost expect the action to be cut to the beat of the song. So apply this simple, yet effective, video editing technique to your GoPro action sports videos.
Oaky. Let’s talk about video editing techniques.
Don’t be discouraged by the fancy name of this feature (available in most video editing programs). What you can do with it is preatty amazing, that’s why you wanna master it.
With this you can gradually alter effects from one intensity level to another. Or you can animate objects around.
Example: You can start a shot in black and white and finish it in color. Or you can animate an…
5. Alpha mask
OMG, another fancy term…
Well, bear with me coz this will get you almost to pro level. :)
With alpha masks you can apply effects only in certain areas of the shot. So if we take the black and white opening shot as an example - we can only make a portion of the frame in black and white. Like the upper half, or the lower right corner, etc.
This technique allows you to blur faces for instance.
With this you can draw people into the video by softening the edges of the frame.
It creates that cinematic feel that you know it’s there but you can’t really put your finger on. But once you understand the vignette effect you will be able to spot in other videos.
By no means is the subject exhausted. I could go on and on. There are many details into producing a great video that actually gets tens of thousands of views on YouTube.
But when I started editing videos, I didn't care. I just wanted to shoot and edit for the joy of it. And most of the ideas that I’ve used to edit or shoot videos came as revelations while actually doing it.
You will get creative only if you start and keep going.
So don’t take any rule as sacred. It’s there to be broken if you feel so. The most important thing is to have fun while making videos.
Get a camera. Get Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus and send me the links to your video when you have them up on YouTube, Facebook or Vimeo.
Meanwhile I’ll be eating popcorn and I’ll be watching John Grisham movies.
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