Videomaker tips on time manipulation

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Our friends over at Videomaker magazine are generously sharing their expertise and articles here in the Creator's Corner. It's a good thing, too: Videomaker.com teaches every aspect of video production, no matter your skill level. You will find hundreds of articles and videos about audio, video and lighting, tools and techniques, video editing and special effects, how to find financing and distribution, and much more. Their first guest post is all about "tips on time manipulation" -- in other words, techniques on keeping your video moving at a good pace.

The problem with movies, and perhaps, also, the greatest thing about them, is you just can't show everything that happens to your character. It would take too long, and be extremely boring. So how does one go about editing out the unnecessary content? By manipulating time to your liking.

One way to portray a passage of time without taking a lot of time to show it is with the use of cross-dissolves. A commonly used application of this technique is the long walk on a deserted road. This is usually a wide shot of the character, way off in the distance, walking towards the camera. As an editor, you could allow this scene to play in its entirety, with the character taking the 10 minutes to actually walk to the camera. However, since this would be agonizingly boring to watch, it's a perfect time to add some cross dissolves.

Start by establishing the scene and allow the character to walk for about five seconds. Using a cross-dissolve transition, cut to a part of the footage where the character is closer to the camera, maybe half the distance or so. Again, allow the character to walk for about five seconds. Use another cross-dissolve and cut to a point where the character has reached the camera, but continues walking. This will give the viewer the impression that your character just walked the whole stretch of road, without actually having to view the whole journey.

There are many ways to you can use this technique, as well as other time manipulation techniques, such as a montage, time-lapse, speeding up or slowing down your footage. So, be creative in your editing, and remember, as an editor, time is always on your side.

For more ideas on how to manipulate time in your video, check out Timeline: Time Control at Videomaker.com.




127 Responses on "Videomaker tips on time manipulation"

  1. Sara says:

    maybe you wanna take a look at the "1-Minute-Project" on my channel ... Timelapse, Velocity... a lot of ideas for other youtubers how to bend time and space :)


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    videomaker.com rocks. it's one of the best in the planet. this cross-dissolves thing is interesting. i'll try it one day.. i also found this article ( http://jessicabyrne.com/video-marketing-tips.html ) useful.. go visit it.

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