Pacing is an abstract concept – but it is one that is relatively intuitive. Fast-paced videos are exciting and intense, whereas slow-paced videos are more relaxed and thoughtful.
The manner in which you cut a video will have a big part in determining its pace – which is why it is important that you understand how to set the pace in the first place.
What Affects the Pace?
While there are numerous factors that can affect the pace of a video, the ones that you need to concern yourself with as an editor are the selection of shots and their duration. When a series of quick shots are placed one after the other, the video pace will be fast. On the other hand when longer shots are placed together, the pace will be slower.
The contents of each shot are important as well, and shots that contain more action will definitely increase the pace. On the other hand wide shots with little (or no) action will slow things down.
Generally when you think of a fast paced video, you’re likely to think of action sequences – where a sequence of quick shots show the action from various perspectives. On the other hand when you think of slow paced videos you’re likely to think of dramatic scenes where longer shots allow the audience to linger and absorb every detail.
Finding the Right Pace
If you want to know what the ‘right’ pace for a video is, you’re out of luck. The fact of the matter is that there is no ‘right’ pace per se – which is why setting the pace of a video is so tricky.
It is up to the editor to find the right pace for each video individually – normally through a mix of intuition, experience, and experimentation. Looking at examples of pacing in film can help as well – to provide ideas of how to pace your videos.
Depending on the content of the video, you should be able to start to find the right pace as you cut it together. Wide shots that contain a lot of visual information should be on screen for longer so the audience has time to digest them, while close-ups don’t need to be on screen for that long and can be cut in and out of quickly.
By starting that way, as the structure of your video takes shape you will be able to ‘see’ its pace – and can then decide whether it needs to be faster or slower at any point.
Adjusting the Pace
To be honest adjusting the pace of a video is relatively easy – and simply involves the timing of your cuts. If you want to make a video faster you can cut from one shot to another more quickly, whereas if you want to make it slower you can linger on shots or insert cutaways.
Sometimes you may want to show repetitive shots of the same action from different perspectives. That will slow down the pace and expand time, while giving the audience more information to absorb. Another way to achieve that is to use slow motion, which is easier than you might think and you can learn how to slow down a video in a few steps using Movavi Video Editor.
While you’re cutting and altering the pace of your video be sure that its flow remains intact. Make no mistake it will take time, practice and experience before you’re comfortable with pacing the videos that you cut and even longer before you’re confident that you’re able to find the right pace for any given video.