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Slow Motion Video Editing

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 9/17/2009

Here are some tips for editing with slow motion.

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    Slow Motion Editing

    Editing slow motion requires certain rules to be applied, but many of the principles found in non-linear video editing are going to be extended to slow motion as well. Since slow motion is used usually only in relatively short video clips you find that you have to be very specific with how you implement the slow motion clips into your video editing project, how you alter those clips, and how you cut and arrange them. Here are some tips for editing slow motion.

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    Short Slow Motio Clips

    The first thing that you have to remember is that you should not over use slow motion clips when constructing sequences, or arranging sets of video sequences. Slow motion is a device that cannot be over used because it tends to be very dramatic and can lose steam quickly. Try to relegate these clips to less than ten seconds a piece and do not stack them up against each other. Try to keep them several minutes apart at the very least.

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    Clear Editing Tips

    If you are going to use cuts the create a short slow motion sequence you should try to use some principles of classic editing. You may want to avoid more visceral and unconventional editing styles because you need to be able to convey emotion and events clearly to the audience. You already have applied a stylistic effect, so you do not want to compound it with an obvious editing style. Cut on the action, allow for clear clips, and maintain motion between clips. Make sure the spatial reality of the scene is very clear.

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    Adding Slow Motion Effects

    If you are applying slow motion to a clip when editing you have a lot of freedom, but you still may want to apply some limitations to you. Do not slow down the video clips too much otherwise they will be a little trying to the audience and will take up way to much time. There is not always a standard for slow motion speed, but often a seventy percent mark is a good round about number to shoot for.

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    Non-Sync Sound

    If you are going to add slow motion to your video clip in post-production video editing you will almost always want to remove the sound from your clips. This means all the clips you choose have to convey their own story elements without sound. These clips have to be highly visual and maintain a quality without any dialogue or sound effects. Often times you may just want to slow down a clip a little bit for montage moments. If you do want to keep dialogue in a slow motion sequence it is going to look ironic and cliche at this point and should really only be used for comic effect, though this as a comedy device has already seen its peak.