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Easy ways to get your Final Cut looking good.

No matter what your photography friend with the £2000 camera says, a film is often made in the editing room. Editing allows you to condense an hour of raw footage into five minutes of high-quality content. Here are some simple tips on how to achieve that:

  1. Music is magical - there is something about the human brain that instinctively understands rhythm. There might be scientific explanations for this, but you didn't come here to learn stupid science! When editing your film, if possible, synchronise the cuts with the beat of the music. Not every cut needs to be on the beat, but try to move the scenes along with the rhythm. Edgar Wright is a master of this technique; take a look at the starting car chase scene in Baby Driver and you'll understand what I mean (other examples include James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy).

  2. Golden graphics - whether it's titles, credits, or adding an arrow in a freeze frame pointing to your hero falling through a portal in the background (okay, maybe that's too specific), graphics always enhance the visual appeal and quality of your film. Adding images is relatively simple in any editing software, but creating them can be more challenging. I recommend using Canva, a free and user-friendly tool. Just remember to export the graphics as PNG files with transparent backgrounds. Trust me, you'll appreciate this tip soon enough, young padawan.

  3. Film, film, and film some more - this might be the most simple tip, but possibly the most difficult to implement. If you want a well-edited film, capture as much footage as possible. Always create a shoot schedule, but whenever you have a spare few minutes, film additional shots. Film the wall to the left, the empty chair, or a close-up of your character's hands. While this may be trickier for scripted films, it's a lifesaver for documentaries. Many times, I had to cut between two answers in an interview and used spare footage of the subject shuffling their feet or shaking their knee. You can never have too much footage, and isn't capturing moments why we entered this field? Therefore... FILM EVERYTHING.

  4. Subtitles should never be subpar - Subtitles are not only for foreign films (remember, English language films are foreign somewhere else). They can appear in your films for various reasons, such as someone speaking a different language, poor sound quality, or a thick accent. There are numerous options to make subtitles interesting, including using different colours for different languages, experimenting with placement, and making them appear and disappear in an exciting manner. Sometimes, you can even integrate them physically into the scene. Just remember that film is an opportunity to tell stories through visual media, so seize every chance to make your visuals captivating!

(Photo by Wahid Khene)

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