Now, you might be thinking that the magic of live action films comes from the filming itself. While you’re not entirely wrong, it is the post production video editing which really separates your Levant from your Scorsese. From music, to special effects, and slow motion shots, there’s a plethora of techniques that are used to make your video magic.
Four Part Narrative
At Liquona, we don’t operate a simple drag and drop job. Our experienced editors implement tactics and stylistic choices which determine the four parts of a video’s narrative:
- The order that the audience receives the information in
- The amount of information the audience receives
- How the audience is supposed to feel about events, characters, and plot development at any given time
- How the audience is supposed to experience the pace of the narrative
You may think that video editing is simply cutting out bloopers and piecing together the rest of the footage. However, our team of video editors use technical elements to enhance any live action video.
Slow-motion is a great asset to add emphasis and elevate the importance of the topic being spoken about. A slow motion shot brings your attention back to the words of the narrator, or character on screen.
- Imagine Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. A slow motion shot would add to the sense of surreality.
- Instead, picture a standoff in ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’. A slow motion shot as Clint Eastwood draws his gun in an epic fight would build tension and suspense.
- Take yourself to Paris and imagine two lovers embracing at the Eiffel Tower. A slow motion shot would add to the feeling of lust and romance.
How can you enhance slow motion shots?
Well, it can be paired with a combination clips at different speeds, also known as time remapping. By manipulating the speed of clips you can change the outcome of the story.
You might want to use time remapping to help transition you from one scene to another. These sorts of shots really work for event films because of the volume of content caught throughout an event. This also helps to create the feeling of a busy event, while also adding to the pace of the film.
Pace and Duration
If you’re trying to create excitement or action, or tension you’d employ a fast cut rate to convey the sense of conflict – the viewer has little time to think and simply has to perceive the storyline at a speedy rate. (Warning, really fast cuts may lead to faster heart beat).
However, it isn’t only a fast cut that will build excitement, action or tension (to name a few, pacing achieves all of the emotions in between, too). Take Tarantino, he’s what some describe as the master of pacing. The director doesn’t just use a fast pace to achieve engaging content for his viewers. He actually uses the ‘dead space’ – otherwise known as the slow, quiet parts of the film, to build tension. This is a clever way of mixing the pace of a film to lull viewers into a false sense of security – when actually he is building tension – the viewer doesn’t know when the next dramatic twist will come.
You know there’s a jump scare coming when the music gets shrill.
Music pacing is another key factor that will affect the outcome of the storyline – it highlights to the viewer how they should feel. If you’re trying to create excitement you wouldn’t use a track with a slow or quiet beat, because there is no indication to the viewer that they should feel excited.
Music is a tool that can easily be manipulated to suit and enhance the video’s narrative. One tip, it to start track faster, and then cut it off, or cut to a quieter part of the track. This can help mould the viewers attention and draw focus to something.
You’ve seen The Mummy: Scorpion King, right? Us too, and wow. Now here’s an example of how special effects affect the overall narrative and believability of the storyline. We really can say the Special Effects let them down on this one.
Special Effects (when done accurately) should elevate the production value of the film quite significantly. James Cameron’s Avatar is a stunning example of special effects and CGI done well, considering it was made way back in 2009.
Now, look at the likes of Stranger Things, Susperia, Black Swan, Gravity, Interstellar, and Inception – these are just some of stunning SFX. Special Effects allow the non-possible to become possible. Spacewoman lost in space? No problem. Multidimensional dream? Not. A. Problem. Talking aliens? We got you.
Colour grading isn’t just about adjusting the lighting of a scene. Editors grade shots with warm tones to create a happier, dreamier, or romantic mood. Conversely, grade something with bluer tones and you’ll create a more subdued feel, quite literally, making the scene seem ‘blue’.
There are boundless opportunities to manipulate the colouring of a scene, or entire video or film to create certain emotional responses from your audience.
Often, at Liquona, we’ve used colour grading to adjust the live action shots to suit the brand’s colours. For instance, Talion’s brand film has been washed with a blue tone, to reinforce and emphasise their brand colours and ultimately brand identity.
We take video editing seriously. Our post production video editors are highly skilled, and experienced in their field. More often than not, it is the video editing that can make or break a project. The wrong pace, lighting, or colour wash can affect how the viewer perceives the video, and after all, they are the most important end user. Take a look at our live action portfolio here.
Contact us here if you’d like a quick chat about live action filming, or any other moving image production you’ve got in mind!