Hemisferic, Valencia, Spain

Music Video Editing Tips

Here are a few basic editing tips for creating music videos (and other videos as well). The technique details apply to Adobe PremierePro, but the concepts are the same with any video editing software.

Jump Cut

* Definition: A cut within a scene that leaves out a small part of the action, creating a discontinuity in the flow of events.

* Technique: In PremierePro, in the sequence or timeline window, cut a small, unwanted section from a given clip in a timeline, or cut a clip into parts and rearrange the parts.

* Example: Vlog Brothers -- Jump cut between 0:11 and 0:12 (among others).

Crossfade

* AKA cross fade, cross dissolve

* Definition: To reduce the opacity of one scene or clip from 100% to 0% while simultaneously increasing the opacity of another scene or clip from 0% to 100%.

* Technique:

1) In PremierePro, apply the "Cross Dissolve" Effect to the boundary between two adjoining clips on the same video track.

2) In PremierePro, overlap two video clips (on separate video tracks) in the sequence or timeline window, and use automation/keyframes to change upper video track from 0% opacity to 100% opacity.

* Example: Stylus Symphony Movement 2 -- Cross fade from 0:48 to 0:49 (among others).

Overlay

* Definition: Adding one scene or clip on top of another scene or clip, where the overlaying scene is either semi-transparent or otherwise visually mixing with the underlaying scene in terms of color, lightness, hue, etc.

* Technique:

1) In PremierePro, in the Effect Controls window, under Opacity, choose a value other than Normal in the Blend Mode drop-down box.

2) In PremierePro, in the sequence or timeline window, overlap two video clips (on separate video tracks) and reduce opacity of upper track, generally between 25% and 75%.

* Example: See "Stylus Symphony Movement 2" (under "Crossfade" above). Most of the video uses various overlay techniques.

Windows

* Definition: Multiple windows depicting smaller scenes within the larger video frame.

* Technique: In PremierePro, in the sequence or timeline window, overlap two or more video clips (on separate video tracks), and reduce the Scale and Position of each clip (in the Effect Controls window, under Motion).

* Example: See "Stylus Symphony Movement 2" (under "Crossfade" above), at 3:21, among others.

Crop

* Definition: To trim or remove part of an image or clip, usually from one or more of its four sides (top, bottom, left, right).

* Technique: In PremierePro, apply the "Crop" Effect to a clip, increasing one of the four dimensions percentages.

* Example: Stylus Symphony Movement 3 -- Crop of image on the right at 2:48 (among others).

Mirroring

* Definition: To reflect an image as if in a mirror, duplicating the image in reverse across an axis.

* Technique: In PremierePro, apply the "Mirror" Effect to a clip and adjust the parameters as desired.

* Example: See "Stylus Symphony Movement 2" (under "Crossfade" above). Most of the video uses mirroring for the underlying images.

Cut Within a Scene

* Definition: A cut within a scene where the change is different enough to appear natural and not cause a jarring discontinuity, as with a jump cut (see above).

* Technique: In PremierePro, in the sequence or timeline window, add two clips from a given scene so they are adjacent on the timeline, but with enough difference between the clips that the transition seems normal.

* Example: Mumford and Sons -- Cut within a scene between 0:50 and 0:55: the same scene, but a different enough angle to work without jarring.