Try Making as Many Edits as Possible Using Eye Trace

The story for this post is We’re Shootin the big ones.  You are going to need to watch the piece several times and read the blog entry a few times before this entry really sinks in.  Please stick with this entry.  It will make your editing better right away.

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This is a story about setting up a fireworks display.  I used this opportunity to think about eye trace with as many edits as possible and do it with a limited amount of time.  I only had about 2 hours to edit this story. In my last post I tried to explain what eye trace was, in this post I’m going to explain how I used eye trace to make edits.

At [:02] into the story I have a tight shot.

He picks this item up.  Before it leaves the frame 100% I cut to another shot.  Your eyes are watching the item go up and so your eyes are in the top middle of the frame.  Next, I looked for a shot that..

  1. Matched the action
  2. Has some action to look at in the middle of the screen to maintain eye trace

I found one.

I’m keeping your eyes in the middle of the frame.

This gentlemen walks screen left.  I looked for a shot that has action screen left.

This is the shot I found.  I wanted something more screen left but I didn’t have it.  So, this was the best shot that I could find.

Not only am I looking for what is in the shot, I’m looking at the action in the shot and how it maintains eye trace with the next edit.  It’s really interesting to think about.

The next time I use eye trace in this piece it at [:08].

I’m looking at the next shot and what’s going on.  I’m thinking ahead.  In fact during this piece I was often thinking at least 3 edits ahead. For this edit I’m thinking about the end of the shot.  When it’s start isn’t nearly as important as when it ends.  I’m thinking about eye trace to the next shot.  I wait until the guy walks far enough screen left just as he bends down I make a cut.

Notice this gentlemen is screen right, maintaining eye trace, and he moves subtly to our right. His movement helps the edit.

The next shot at [:11] the action is also screen right.

But the next shot at [:12] is not a great edit.  The viewer’s forced to move their eyes all the way screen left.

My new goal is a perfect eye trace production.  The day I get that done I’ll definitely show you!

If I had a shot to move the viewer’s eyes from screen right to screen left this shot would of worked better.

This shot does work for eye trace on the next edit.  I’m thinking about eye trace as much as I can and making as many edits as I can work. The gentlemen walks screen right

Just when he gets to the point I want him at, I make a cut.

To the interview that’s set up screen right.

Again, with this edit I’m thinking about what happens at the end of the edit more than what happens at the beginning of the edit.

I hope you see how thinking about eye trace can add a little something extra in everyday ordinary stories.

There are several other instances of eye trace in this story. Watch where there is some movement in the story.  A person walking or something coming into screen.  Notice all the edits I’m paying attention to eye trace.

So here’s a test for you.  The next time your editing a story, think about the end of the edit more than the beginning of the edit.  Is something moving?  Can you use eye trace to make your edit better?

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