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  • Writer's pictureMathias Choo

3 Storytelling Techniques in Video Editing to Master

Updated: Apr 10

In this series of blog posts, I'm thrilled to share the knowledge and experiences from my time as a speaker at the BloomrSG MCN Accelerator program. Across five detailed articles, we'll explore the nuances of digital storytelling and video editing - from creative techniques to overcoming industry challenges. Whether you're an aspiring creator or a seasoned professional, these posts are designed to offer valuable insights into the art of digital storytelling and the intricacies of video editing.

Insights from a Video Editing Workshop: Editing for Engagement

 

In this third instalment of our series, we delve into the art of storytelling through video editing, exploring three key techniques that elevate a simple edit into a compelling narrative.


1. The Power of the Cut


Cuts and transitions are more than just editing tools; they are storytelling devices. Inspired by RocketJump Film School's "Cuts & Transitions 101", we explore how different cuts - from the simple cut to more complex transition effects - shape the rhythm and pace of a narrative. Understanding when and how to use these cuts can profoundly impact the viewer's experience and the story's flow.


2. Crafting a Narrative Arc

Unsure of how to structure your videos in the edit? Introducing, the Narrative Arc.

The Narrative Arc is a foundational structure used in storytelling to create a satisfying and cohesive tale. It serves several purposes and follows 5 stages:

  1. Introduction/Exposition: Sets the stage by introducing characters, setting, and the initial situation, helping viewers become invested in the world and people within the story.

  2. Rising Action: Builds tension and develops the plot by presenting challenges, complications, and developments that propel the protagonist towards the climax.

  3. Climax: Acts as the turning point of the narrative where the main conflict is faced head-on, often resulting in peak emotional intensity for the audience.

  4. Falling Action: Allows for the aftermath of the climax to unfold, where characters react to the events of the climax and the narrative begins to move towards a resolution.

  5. Resolution: Ties up the story’s loose ends, resolves any remaining conflicts, and provides closure to the narrative, leaving the audience with a sense of completion.


Utilising this structure helps in crafting a narrative that is engaging, easy to follow, and emotionally resonant, enhancing the overall impact of the story.


Using Mr. Beast's video, "$456, 000 Squid Game in Real Life!" as a case study, let's break down the classic narrative arc structure.



  1. Introduction/Exposition: The video launches straight into the premise with 456 players competing for a grand prize in a series of games.

  2. Rising Action: The stakes rise with each game, interspersed with contestant backstories, ramping up the investment in their journeys.

  3. Climax: Tension peaks in a game of musical chairs between the final two contestants, deciding the ultimate winner.

  4. Falling Action:  The second-place contestant receives a consolation prize, winding down the competition's intensity.

  5. Resolution: The video wraps up with Mr. Beast acknowledging the inspiration behind the challenge, against the backdrop of the victorious contestant and their prize.


This analysis provides insights into structuring content to keep viewers hooked from start to finish.


Well, how could the Narrative Arc be applied in short form content?

Lets analyse this TikTok video by how.kev.eats.


  1. Introduction/Exposition: The creator sets the scene, announcing a meal at the world's top-rated restaurant.

  2. Rising Action: Anticipation builds with the creator's entry, staff greetings, and menu perusal, all setting the restaurant's tone.

  3. Climax: The main event unfolds as the food arrives, and the creator savors the first bites.

  4. Falling Action: The meal progresses course by course, culminating in the final dessert.

  5. Resolution: The creator concludes the experience with a personal review, bringing the culinary journey to a close.

3. Juxtaposition: Creating Meaning and Humour

Juxtaposition in editing - placing two contrasting elements side by side to create meaning out of their similarities or differences - can create meaningful or humorous content.



A great example is in the opening sequence of The Try Guys', "The Try Guys Make Tacos Without a Recipe". Notice the contrast that the editor creates by juxtaposing their cooking skills (or lack thereof) and the expected outcome, creating humour and engagement.


Here, another simple but effective and hilarious use of juxtaposition through editing.


Conclusion

The above techniques demonstrate the depth and versatility of video editing as a storytelling medium. By mastering these, editors can transform their content into engaging, emotionally resonant stories that captivate their audience.


Stay tuned for our next post where we will share tips on enhancing the impact of your videos.

 

To stay updated for further explorations into the craft of editing and filmmaking, stay connected. Subscribe for more insights and discussions.

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