Plan Your Edit

STEP 1:  Review your content

Now that you have all of your footage together – hopefully labeled and logged – you can start to create a sequence that will best communicate your message to your audience.  Ideally, after each filming session, you reviewed your footage and took note of which footage was the strongest – and potentially which footage may not be optimal due to lighting, sound or composition.

Use your logs and any applicable notes to compile footage you want to use in  your video. Watch the footage with a dispassionate, critical eye and ensure you note the strongest footage you have: the best b-roll, best interview clips that support your message, etc.

STEP 2:  Create a Storyboard

When editing an advocacy video, always keep in mind your intended audience – what is the story and the visual and audio components that will best support the message and move your audience to the action you’re seeking?  After you’ve reviewed your footage, you can start to create a storyboard of your footage that outlines the flow of content you want and the visual and audio components.

Before you select your editing tool and start to move around and edit your footage on your computer, we recommend doing this storyboard, or a paper edit, which may save you quite a bit of time.  Have individual pieces of paper that contain:

  • A description of the clip with the who or what (often direct quotes you want in the video)
  • Note how this content contributes to the video – why it is neeeded
  • Note any applicable factual information, location, a relationship, mood or feeling
  • List the timecode of the footage – or where you can find it

No you can start to move these pieces of paper around to create a storyline.

Watch-out for:

  • Non-linear development of necessary information; holes or backtracking apparent in progression.
  • Same message repeated in several ways – choose one
  • Redundancy in what’s being said, similar messengers (all elected officials, for example) or the visuals
  • A sequence that doesn’t add to the development of the film
  • False ending – ensure there is a space for action and it is clear
  • The film is resolved early on and doesn’t go anywhere

What’s next?  Choose Your Editing Tool

SPECIAL NOTE: Thinking about using narration in your video?  If so, check-out this post on voice and narration.  Also, if you think you may be having more than one language in your film, check-out this post on translating for video tips.

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