Reply To: Judge My Video Editing Skills Please

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Wow. That’s pretty amazing, and a huge leap forward!

In terms of editing, you’re clearly at a level where you’re starting to get constrained too much by the rockstar video editor. In particular, the editor doesn’t support transitions beyond simple cuts. I use blender’s video sequence editor to edit material (a bit of a learning curve but it’s open source and completely free):

There’s various places where some sort of a blend transition would work better, for instance at the time when you introduce the cops. You’re changing location quite far, so a simple direct cut is not the best way to indicate that you change location. Actually you’re using a sort of match cut, where there’s no content to the match. A match cut is very powerful, it’s good to use them (sparingly) but if you do, use them well.

There’s also some places where I’d try to cut better on the action. A good one is right at the start, maybe the red light could have been emphasized and then when it flicks to green, you can move back to focus on the moving car. E.g. car arriving at light and breaks. Cut to traffic light. When traffic light switches to green, cut back to starting car. Basically, cut on action is the main rule of the continuity editing. Our brains are used to this.

There’s also what you show in each cut which you can think a bit more about. For example, the way you delay the following of the protagonist’s car along the road in the few seconds after, I’m not sure why you introduce the car that’s following it? Doesn’t really needs to be shown. And the moving back and forth is a bit confusing.

During the chase, there are also some continuity problems, where I can only understand the geometry because I know the layout of the city very well. Maybe your audience will be forgiving. Best ask someone who doesn’t know the city to see if you should move the camera a bit differently. Here again I think you should think about cutting more on the action, rather than “the car moved out of my frame so I need to change the camera”. Some shaking on the camera can enhance the feeling of the chase.

Story is good. I especially like the ending. The phone conversation is cut short which is something I’d address. Perhaps I would introduce the protagonist earlier and more clearly link it with the car. Maybe show her getting out of the car with a gun before the action starts? I got it immediately, but still. In a continuity edit that’s the sort of thing you would think about. Or maybe you want to keep the mystery for a bit. 🙂 That’s fine too.

Also occasionally the 180 degree rule is violated. It’s not that you always have to stick to it, but if you violate it, think carefully. It creates some visual confusion with the viewer. A simple example again is your final shot. We see the protagonist from the left, then from the right, for apparently no reason. It feels out of place. I also didn’t get why the cut is necessary. Generally, I’d try not to cross the line of vision (unless you intentionally want to create that effect, and of course this happens).

Finally, there’s places here and there where, in my view, you can cut some material out to improve the flow without taking much away from the story. We don’t need to see the entire trajectory of everything. Your audience is very good at filling in the gaps.

Anyway, these are just some things to take away and think about. Obviously you should realize your vision for your project. Regardless of all the comments, I should say, this is really excellent work. You’re on your way to become the next Spielberg. 🙂