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Tips for Editing Action Videos

You got some great footage with your GoPro on your last ski trip or you would really like to accentuate some of your stunts? Ending up with a good action video doesn’t just begin and end with great scenes; cutting and editing the footage is also a part of the process. Here we’ll give you 5 tips on how to edit action videos and end up with professional-quality results.

1. The Planning

You come home from an adventurous holiday and just can’t wait to upload your photos taken with your GoPro to your computer. After a quick look you’re certain it will turn out to be a brilliant video of your holiday!

Just have a bit of patience. Instead of just cutting and editing away, take your time and consider what you want the video to look like when you’re finished. This will save you a lot of time and effort while editing and the end result will be a video you can be proud of.

Before beginning with the editing process, you should look at everything you have and make a storyboard. Write down which sequences you especially like and save yourself the headache of trying to locate them later. Then you can put these clips in a more harmonious sequence. Just take your time and try out several different combinations - let your creativity know no bounds!

You can learn more about recording eye-catching material with the GoPro in our article
“Tips for Action Videos.”

2. The Music

Before actually editing your video you should decide on suitable music. You should take care when selecting which music to use since it will have an effect on the overall tempo and mood of your video. You should also perhaps avoid using original song recordings since they do not bring a lot of excitement to your video and it could end up being a bit boring. You do, however, have the possibility of using original recordings a bit more artistically. For instance, you could use an original recording at the beginning of your video as a kind of intro.

Here’s an example:

When choosing which music to use you should also pay attention to the licencing.
This will become important should you decide to upload your little masterpiece
to an Internet platform such as YouTube or vimeo. Inform yourself about the
licencing specific to the music you choose. You can also take a look at
freemusicarchive.org and shutterstock.com, both of which offer licence-free

3. The Editing

After the preparation phase you’re finally ready to begin editing! An action video is very often a recap of the day - from packing your gear up to the actual action. Generally, such videos should be between one and three minutes long. When editing your video, you should try to take on the perspective of someone who was not there to witness the action first-hand. What would they find particularly exciting and entertaining? Do the scenes you’ve edited together make sense or are they a bit confusing?

You should also pay attention to the length of the clips you choose. Long sequences shown from the same perspective can get boring quite fast. You should try to film from as many different perspectives and angles as possible in order to achieve a more exciting end result.  

4. The Finishing Touches

When you’re happy with the raw edit of your video, it’s time for the next step: putting on the finishing touches. This gives you another opportunity to let your creativity run wild and add things such as effects, text, and transitions. When adding these, however, you should keep in mind that you should not overdo it since adding too many extras can make your video appear unprofessional and absurd. It’s best to use quick and clear transitions and to use text elements sparingly.

One of the most popular effects to use is slow motion. This effect is extremely useful for accentuating breathtaking stunts and showing the sequence slowly and in more detail. The opposite effect is the time lapse, which increases the playback speed. This effect is created by taking individual photos shot over short intervals and editing them together into a video. This is a useful effect to employ when you want to show something like traveling to the spot where the action’s going to take place or packing up all your equipment.   

5. Get Inspired

The whole process of creating a brilliant action video can be more cumbersome and time-consuming than you might think. It’s important to just keep at it and in
the end you’ll be rewarded with a great result. If you should lose motivation while editing your video, don’t despair! Find some inspiration on the Internet and get remotivated. You can always find new spectacular videos, for instance, on GoPro’s YouTube channel. Maybe you’ll see something completely new that you’d like to try out yourself.

Another incentive is uploading your videos online when you’re finished. If you’re pleased with the end result of all your hard work, you can upload it to an Internet platform, present it to other adrenaline junkies, and get a bit of feedback on your video.

If you only want to show your video to friends and family, however, you have the possibility of uploading your GoPro film as a private video on YouTube. This will prevent the video from appearing in public search results and only people to whom you send the link can see the video.

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