Telling a story with video

I’ve been editing video for many years now and I’ve been teaching for almost 10 years, yet creating a course was a big deal. I’ve created courses that I teach as workshops and I’ve been “threatening” to create an online course for years. I’m really happy that the 5DayDeal folks came a long and “forced” me to get off my tushy and actually do it. :)

I was honoured and terrified when I was asked to create a Final Cut Pro X course for the 5DayDeal, which is running May 19-24 2016. The sale is a huge bundle of video editing tutorials and plugins that would be amazing for anyone even remotely interested in getting started in video or increasing their existing knowledge – here’s the link –

So why do I love video (and, by extension, why should you love it)? The thing I love most is that it gives me so many tools for telling a story.

To begin with, you tell the story by deciding how to shoot it. By using composition and camera movement, you can tell your story in very different ways. For example, if you shoot a person talking from an angle looking up at them, they will seem powerful and strong. If you should at an angle looking down at them, you guessed it, they look smaller and weaker.

It’s when you get into the edit suite though that you can really go to town with the mood and feel of your story. And this is what I am really passionate about. If you’ve shot for the edit, you’ll have plenty to work with to have a lot of fun in the edit suite.

To start off with, what shots you choose and how long they go for can help create a mood. Just shaving off a couple of seconds can speed up a scene and change the mood or angle of the story entirely. You can make people look like great orators or shifty salesmen by tightening up a scene or adding pauses in, for example. Pace is super important.

As an editor, your job is to cut, cut and cut some more. You want to tell your story as succinctly as possible. That’s not to say your video should only be 5 seconds long, but you want to make sure that if a shot doesn’t help move the story forward, it has to go, no matter how beautiful it is or how hard it was to get the shot. And that’s a challenge sometimes, especially when I’ve shot said beautiful shot but it’s also really rewarding when you know you’ve made the right decision.

The other two huge aspects of editing that I use a lot and are really important in creating the mood of your video are sound and colour. No surprise that these are art forms in their own right.

Sound and music help create the mood and it never fails to amaze me how effective they both are. Imagine the movie Jaws with happy music, it would change it completely. Sound effects can affect things massively, but don’t go overboard and use every effect you have in your library. Subtly here is the key.

And then there’s colour. Colour is something people may not think of as a storytelling tool, but imagine a scene that is dark and brooding or a scene that is warm, bright and happy. Once you start noticing colour, it becomes one of the first things you see and, once you understand how it works, you’ll be super chuffed to be able to work with it.

So if you’d like to learn more about some of the nuts and bolts of video, go on a click on this link to get an amazing deal on one of the biggest collection of video editing and creation content around. Assuming of course you’re reading this before May 24th 2016. If you’ve missed the sale, not to worry as I’ll be making my course available on it’s own. Simply get in touch at and I’ll let you know how you can grab it. :)

Lee Herbet was born in the Middle East, grew up in Africa, lived in Europe, New Zealand and now calls Australia home.

Lee is a trainer, videographer and photographer. Lee worked in the Apple world for 10 years as a trainer, which was a great place to feed his creative spark. He now has his own company creating corporate videos and running workshops around the world on photography and video production.

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