Steve "Jocko" DiGiacomo of WAKEtv gives Wakeboarder.com users the rundown on some good editing tips when you're putting together your own wakeboarding videos from footage that you've shot yourself.
Jocko not only has made 13 hour long wakeboarding videos in the WAKEtv series, he also has years of experience shooting professional video for the Nickelodeon and other networks, as well as editing footage and training cameramen.
What do you think the "typical" playback speed should be in wakeboarding videos?
About the speed, yes most professional wakeboarding videos slow it down some. When you edit digitally, you have the option of not only timing the trick to the beat of the music, but
with the ability to stretch time by adjusting speed, you get the ability to time both the takeoff of the trick and stomp the landing on another beat. It's pretty cool and it really adds to the video.
The adjustments I usually use are increments of 5% between 50% and 90%, unless it's an instructional where I can go as slow as 35% on one particular trick. It totally depends on the music you're editing to. The music is the foundation, then time the tricks to the beat of the song.
In Adobe Premiere, there's a way to place a marker in the timeline. Set your song and play it from the beginning and mark the beats as you tap them out for the whole song. Then time each trick to the markers in the song. Then it's just a matter of timing out the stomping of the landings.
What about video transitions?
When you're making a video and you have transition effects available, please do not feel the need to use each of them. Certain transitions between clips require certain effects, but you can get your point across better with less distraction. If you're making a wakeboard video you want the wakeboarding to be the focus, not the editing. (If you're making a video about video editing, then use all the wipes you want!)
For example, to show that time has passed, you wouldn't use a cut or a short dissolve. Instead you would use a wipe or dve move (digital video effect like flying the top layer out to reveal the bottom clip or peeling it down or something) These transitions can emphasize that time has elapsed between the two different clips. Use this maybe once when changing to a new rider.
When you're just editing one rider's tricks together, using wipes like stars or barndoors or shutter wipes can really distract from the impact of the wakeboarding tricks. Use a short dissolve here to blend all of that rider's tricks together seamlessly. Long, slow dissolves can emphasize the more dramatic clips. Dissolving, or mixing two clips together is best used when the two clips are related. Seeing them both at the same time overlapping doesn't work as well with two unrelated clips.
But when you are changing topics, going from one rider to the next, say the last clip was a monster 313 but the next clip is going to be a rider's headshot, you might be better off using a wipe or dve move. Both clips are on screen during the transition, but they are not mixed. They are being seperated by the wipe pattern. This gives you a much different feel during the transition. If we would peel the 313 off diagonally from the upper left corner, we would reveal the rider's head behind it, but we would never see the two clips mixed together. That's the effect you're going for here, the seperation. This is where your audience WANTS to see a transition effect.
It's either in the seperation of the two clips or the mixing of the two clips, but only one works with each situation. Wipes and dve moves keep the two clips seperated during the transition which implies a new topic or new scene or new part of your story.
It's easy to watch your video and be able to say, "That should be a wipe" or "That should only be a dissolve" Each transition blends two parts of the story together. Ask yourself, has time gone by? Has the topic or focus changed? Is this part of the story different from the last part? If time has gone by or the story has changed, you can then use a wipe or dve move to emphasize the change. If not, stick to cuts and short dissolves.
Transition rules are almost always violated by beginner editors. Spend some time to learn how to use effects in your videos and only use an effect if you need one. Unnecessarily blasting your audience with effects for no better reason than because they're available on your computer makes your video difficult to watch.
And for god's sake, don't ever, EVER use a heart wipe in a wakeboard video. I know, your computer may be able to do it, but please, never ever use it. We thank you.
To see the videos Jocko has done for wakeboarding, check out WAKEtv.com.