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Your Advise about editing talking heads/static/monotonous Videos

Nov 19, 2013 10:23 PM

Tags: #video #static #head #talking

you know the type of video, its a guy sitting in front of the camera talking for 10 minutes, how do I make it exciting (well sort of) and avoid boring the hell out of my viewers?

 

Im a beginner so Id love to read constructive criticism of my methods (and not so constructive , Im a big boy). I basically try to add b-roll material when possible, but a lot of the time isnt possible and I dont have a lot of clips to intercut, so Im lately using a lot of transitions after a spoken "paragraph" or subject has been exhausted. Since Ive been working mostly with camtasia, Im not really familiar with premiere and its transitions, and Im not a professional editor, so Im not sure if by inserting transitions every 10-15 seconds Im doing something wrong. Adding these transitions is the only way to add a bit of energy, movement and variety to the video if I dont have b-roll. Also which transitions would you recommend as an equivalent for a full stop?

 

What Im fearing is an unprofessional look, but if I try to keep it more polished, the result is an incredibly boring video. Whats your advise to make a talking head video exciting, and yet, professional looking too?

 

is there a sort of bible that talks about the finer points of editing these type of videos (the static videos of a person talking in front of a camera, IMO the most common ones) in premiere pro? a tutorial perhaps?

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2013 12:11 AM   in reply to CptHatteras

    B-roll is your friend. If you don't have that shoot with more than one camera. If you don't have that shoot at 1080 and edit in a 720 timeline. That way you can have your 1080 footage sitting at 67% of actual size then jump it to 100% on jump cuts without it looking aweful. You know what I mean? It makes it look like you've got two cameras - one wide and one close-up without losing resolution. Still not pro but it's a little trick to fake two cams.

    I've done it with two cams and you can jump around to make it look like four. Scrounge up a little b-roll in the middle to throw them off and you look like a right production company.

    DON'T use transitions on a continuos talking head unless there's a clear break in time.

     
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    Nov 20, 2013 12:26 AM   in reply to CptHatteras

    Well then use the 1080 jump method and only use a transition when the subject completely changes and even then only use dip to black. To spice it up use a L cut to have your audio come in while it's still black before the video to add interest. While in the black you can add a sound effect for mood or emphasis or text to drive home the point. Break it up with subtle soundtracks for each block. If it's a doctor talking about cancer very subtally put in some gloomy music but after the fade when he talks about the kids he's helped SUBTALLY put in some happier music. Place a vignette arount the talking head to focus the viewer on the speaker.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 20, 2013 8:09 AM   in reply to CptHatteras

    Assuming only one interviewee, the two techniques I use to 'mix it up' are B-roll and graphics.  Bullet points are especially useful, especially if animated.

     

    Having said that, I am of the mindset that this is the kind of business where you get what you pay for.  If the Docs don't want to fork over the dough for a professional camera and post production crew, then their video will just not be as good as it could be.  Plain and simple.

     
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    Nov 20, 2013 9:18 AM   in reply to CptHatteras

    I like adding text and graphic overlays that illustrate the point.  This is especially good if the subject mumbles or the audio is difficult to hear.  You actually "hear" it better if you see the words at the same time!  Also, think of the cool graphic overlays in something like "Sherlock"!  Okay. so you don't have to go *that* overboard but think about the subtle arrows and highlights and pointers they use to draw attention to important parts of the screen.  If there are no "important parts of the screen" consider importing graphics or still images that illustrate what the subject is talking about.  I've been following a few "Coursera" courses (www.coursera.org) and it's really interesting to see how professors jazz up their lectures (or don't!)

     
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    Nov 20, 2013 1:19 PM   in reply to CptHatteras

    I have nothing available for viewing at the moment.  On the projects I use that with, the clients weren't mine.

     
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