Tips on video editing

NPPA editor of the year Shawn Montano of KWGN-TV in Denver knows what it takes to craft a great visual story, even in a hurry.  “I like to milk a shot for everything it has,” he says.If I can let a shot run for 5 or 6 seconds, that’s going to save me” when there’s not much time to edit.

Montano believes in using lots of natural sound and what he calls “tight shots with meaning.”  Close-ups should either be part of a sequence or illustrate what the story’s about, he says. “If they don’t have meaning, they aren’t important to the story.”

At an NPPA workshop last weekend, Montano shared one of his editing mantras: the more the eye moves, the more information a person gathers and retains. Montano uses movement in shots to lead the viewer’s eye to a specific point, and then edits to a shot where something important is at that same place on the screen.  The technique is subtle but effective; his stories seem to flow, and that’s what he wants.  “Anything that’s jarring makes it more difficult for the viewer to comprehend,” he says.

Montano has just started a great new blog, Edit Foundry, to share tips on video editing.  Among them:

I don’t just put up any old shot.  I’m thinking about what [a person is] saying and trying to find video [that’s] relevant.  S.W.A.P – syncronize words and pictures.

Watch this story first, and then read what Montano has to say about how he put it together.