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Cutting A Music Video?

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anna holck
Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 2:38:31 pm

When editing a music video, what would you say the rules are to cutting on the beat, lyrics, and other stuff?
Like, what if you want someone in your music video to run or something like that.. do you still have to cut to the beat or lyrics?
I am really confused on this topic.
What i really just wanna know is how to cut a music video properly?

And also how do you plan a music video? How do you write down when to cut to the next angle?

Thank you so much in advance!

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James Dow
Re: Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 2:42:30 pm


You might want to post this question in the "Art of the Edit" forum. Mark Suszko is great at offering suggestions and explanations pertaining to edit theory. Its a music video, so there are no rules.


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Shane Ross
Re: Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 15, 2015 at 2:44:15 pm

Watch lots of other music videos and see what they do. Cutting on the beat isn't always can be. There is no hard and fast rule. Watch how others are cut.

Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Vince Sanchez
Re: Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 16, 2015 at 1:14:54 am

Most people consider cutting on the beat to be quarter notes, remember there's lots of other kinds of notes; whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteen, etc so lots of "musical" places to cut. I also try to mix up my cut lengths to keep it interesting. Like; cut,cut,cut, let it play for awhile, cut, cut, etc. Its all about feel, even if something is technically in time it may not feel right in the context of the song.
My motto is let the song dictate the cuts.
Hope that's helpful.

Vince Sanchez
Intel 12 core Mac 2.66
Intel Dual Quad Core 3.0
OSX 10.4.11
Premerie CC

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Alex Udell
Re: Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 16, 2015 at 2:25:28 pm

It's important consider what you are doing overall.

Usually you've captured multiple performance takes of the artist in various settings.

So these can be cut to the music rhythmically. Multicam features make this a pretty straight forward

It may also be that you are integrating some sort of story.
These scenes can be cut independent of the main edit…because the run time of the song is not as important in telling the story part.

then portions of the story elements can be introduced back into the main edit as "cut aways" even existing on a higher video track so that it's easy to adjust their pacing and how they are intercutting with the performance part.


Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX

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Jon Doughtie
Re: Cutting A Music Video?
on Jan 19, 2015 at 4:00:08 pm

Cuts are a transition element. IMHO, like any transition element, something must motivate them.

Musical elements (downbeats, into or outro of instrument, vocalist, etc.) can motivate a cut.

Reframes of subject might motivate a cut.

Ultimately, what motivates the cut? What drives it? What demands it be there?

Don't look at it exclusively through a tech "lens", seeking a tech "function" that will give you the formula.

Also look through the "story" lens. Beginning, middle, end. Large or small movement. Energy levels/changes. Emotion. Frame composition and content.

And now you are having some fun! I am sure you will make something terrific.

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