Case Study: Use Simple Editing Techniques and Planning to Take Your Videos from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Executive Summary: Simple match cuts and other creative editing transitions made a big impact and helped to take this project from ordinary to extraordinary. All it took was some pre-production planning and creative thinking. These are all relatively simple techniques that you can implement in your own company videos, in fact, most of the shots didn’t even require any specialized equipment. 

Checkout the completed video below and then go behind the scenes to see how we pulled it off. 

The Charge from our client: Campus Rec wanted to create a video to highlight the inclusive nature of their facilities and programs that welcomed students, no matter their fitness or skill level, body shape, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Using student responses from a recent benchmarking survey conducted by campus rec, we were able to develop authentic messaging that spoke to the reasons students participated in campus rec activities. We then worked with campus rec to identify a range of students who could speak to the inclusive nature of the programs and their own personal reasons for participating. 

Using Match Cuts as a Visual Hook to Make the Video Pop: Once we had our story down we wanted to add a hook to up our production value and take the visuals to the next level. Our associate producer and editor, Ryan Savage had a great idea of using match cut transitions. Match cuts are when you use the visual layout, or motion, from a previous scene to bring the viewer into the next scene. The cut can be motivated by a variety of factors but in our case we wanted to use match cuts to keep the pace of the video moving and create a through-line connecting the individual experiences of our five featured students. Here are a few examples from the finished video.

Extra credit: If you want to do a deeper dive on match cuts check out this video.

How to Plan Out Your Match Cuts: 

First we wrote a visual script for the video. You can take a look at our actual script and shot list here.  This determined all of our camera motion that would allow us to cut seamlessly from one shot to the next. Once we had the script written out, we drew storyboards. These are essential for communicating your visual ideas with the rest of the crew. You can check out some of our examples below.

Finally, we developed our shot list, which you can view here. Again, this is just another document to keep us organized so that we have a running list of which shots we need to capture at each location as well as any specialized gear we’ll need.