If you’re an old fart working in editing and post-production (like me I mean… I’m not a spring chicken anymore) and you haven’t taken time to dive into the world that is short-form internet video let this article from Vulture called In the Messy Land of Internet Video, the Editor Is King be your introduction. Or better than that is 25 Edits That Define the Modern Internet Video. It’s a nice round-up of what Vulture magazine deems worthy of the best edited (viral?) internet videos. This list runs the gamut of the short life of short-form internet video reaching all the way back 9 years, an eternity on the internet to old YouTube videos, some Vines and of course TikTok. While the stodgy Casablaca loving film intellectual might dismiss all that is silly on the portrait-oriented slab of Gorilla-glass they hold in their hand, they are missing some great escapist entertainment. And even if a lot of it is mindless, dumb (even misogynistic at times) there’s a ton of it that is well thought out, well produced and amazingly edited. Even if a lot of that lot is made to look like it’s simple and sloppy.
What’s truly amazing about some of this content is that a lot of it is basically edited in camera. And my “in camera” I mean in the app that it is created in. While you can take your mobile-captured clips and do a cut in iMovie, Premiere Rush or even the comparatively sophisticated LumaFusion much of it is all done within the TikTok (or similar) app. And since the more detailed editing techniques of J/L cuts, audio transitions, trimming and frame f*****g aren’t really part of the package a lot of that editing is done by trial and error. And redoing. And redoing a redo.
Those of us that are old enough to remember hooking two VHS VCRs together and editing with the pause button because we didn’t have a flying erase head can probably appreciate a lot of what is going on in these apps. Perhaps you experienced the early tape-to-tape editing consoles like a Sony RM–440 which were limited in their ability to fix a problem and had to start your edit from scratch when you didn’t see the glitch at the top of the project. Or maybe you’ll remember the in-camera shooting/editing exercise of film school where if it didn’t look right when you were done you had to do it over again.
Think back to those days and you can appreciate the hours spent with a tiny mobile phone on a mini-tripod with a ring light redoing hidden transition cut to get it just right. Hell, just search TikTok head spin transition on YouTube and you’ve got your whole day set.
Ignore this stuff at your own peril while you edit away on the 6th video in your 20 video corporate interview series. You’re probably making more money than most of the TikTok transition YouTubers in the search above but you might not be having a much fun. I know, I’m deep into my own corporate video series between this blog post and taking the dog out for a walk since we have a gasoline shortage right now and I don’t dare drive to the office.
On a personal note, I’ve got two young boys and as they’ve wanted to get into this internet world of content creation they’ve realized it’s a lot harder and more time consuming than they thought to actually make engaging content for the world to see. I set them up a TikTok channel for our new(ish) dog and they enjoy creating videos about him. But they got a lesson in the algorithm recently.
Early SirRiggy videos were mainly simple, silly affairs and despite hash-tagging away, views were limited.
Once they started getting this idea of in-camera-TikTok-app editing things got a bit more sophisticated.
And then came the realization that maybe tagging a consumer product might help in the viewership.
But leave it to the random encounter with a dog gone crazy, a dead possum and a realization that dad give me your phone, this will make a great TikTok would be the video suddenly got views into the thousands and in little boy’s minds … went viral.
It isn’t always the editing, or the concept or the quality. There’s a lot of unknowns that go into making the internet video that you can be proud of or that gets a lot of views or that gets a lot of likes and comments or that ends up making you millions. Sometimes it’s out of your control but you don’t get anything from the content creation if you don’t try it. Any hopefully have fun in the process.