Visual Storytelling

This post will be about The Aesthetics of Editing, a chapter of Visual Storytelling– Videography and Post Production in the Digital Age. It is the work by Ronald J. Osgood and M. Joseph Hinshaw and describes how you can create effective and reasonable video shooting. They focus on the editing and show a lot of skill to make it professional with detail explanations and plenty examples. When you finish to read the chapter, you will get the significance of editing that you casually see daily.

The authors explain that the 1980s advancement of music videos like MTV influenced greatly on contemporary editing. They think that it motivated editors to create short narrative stories in videos. They got freedom since then and came to test new techniques and try new things. People nowadays, especially the young generation, use some editing applications well and process photos and videos they took. So editing is getting more familiar than years ago. But if you upload videos you take on YouTube or something or you show them in public, it’s better that your works are well-organized and tell audiences something. Then, I would like to  cover some techniques I learned form the chapter.

“Editors should approach the tack to ensure that every cut in a program has a purpose, with the goal of keeping the edit transparent to the viewer” (Osgood & Hinshaw, pp. 230-231).

Image and Sound “a picture is worth a thousand words.” If sound is added, the story become much clearer.

Shot Order The scene begins with a person pointing a still camera and clicking the shutter. The next shot shows another individual looking towards the camera in surprise. The audience will interpret the scene that the person hears the camera click and turns to see that the photographer has already taken the shot. But if the shot order is reversed, starting with the person looking towards the camera, the audience would then assume that the person knew the photographer was going to take her picture. Like this, shot order takes an important role on people’s interpretation. In this sense, a scene that begins with a wide shot of a building and then closing up makes it easy for people to figure out where the scene takes place. The shot is called establishing shot.

B-roll is to cut from the picture of the reporter describing an event to a series of shots that visually enhance the story. It is very common in nonfiction storytelling.

Continuity refers to maintaining story consistency form shot to shot and within scenes. A jump cut is a series of who shots that lack continuity. Continuity is also broken when screen direction is reversed.

  • Physical continuity– relates to all the items used in the production (e.g. a sunglasses that the talent is wearing, the time displayed on clocks in the background). It must be consistent. This type of continuity can be checked before shooting begins and someone can be given the responsibility.
  • Technical continuity– refers to technical inconsistency from shot to shot. This can be caused by changes in lighting, audio levels, or quality of the image. The crew must ensure that cameras are white-balanced and natural sounds match from shot to shot.
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