Video creation is an exploding field. Just about everyone is starting to do it — for personal use, business promotion, trying to get famous, making travel videos, teaching and training, and more. Everyone and their mom is throwing content out into the world, which brings about a rather important question — how do you make your videos stand out from the crowd (in a good way)?
Today, we’re going to go over three tips that you can start implementing into your videos. The goal here is to get an edge over the competition in a sea of content. You might think they seem basic, but trust us, these kinds of things are what set the beginners apart from the pros. Let’s dive in!
How to Make More Unique Videos
1. Give Every Cut a Purpose
It’s easy to jump back and forth between camera angles, then throw in some B-roll, and call it a day. But do you realize that every time you show a new clip, it’s an opportunity to give your audience new information?
Every time you cut to a new piece of footage, that’s another opportunity to speak to your viewer. We’re not just talking about transitions, either. Those can work, but just doing a zoom blur gets a little old after a while!
Cut on Impact and Action
Giving every cut a purpose is all about timing. You can cut away from B-roll at any time, but if you want to have the most effect, cutting on impact and action is what’s going to do it. Cutting to another piece of footage at a logical time helps piece things together in your audience’s mind a lot better.
For example, if your clip is a skater doing a jump, sure, you can cut while he’s in mid-air. But wouldn’t it make more sense to cut just after he lands? It brings it to a logical conclusion in the minds of your viewers and finishes out the piece better than cutting while there’s no action going on!
Match cuts are cutting from one piece of footage to a very similar one. Even if you have just B-roll of a person standing there not doing anything, you can still get a match cut out of it — think of cutting from one person’s face to another in exactly the same position. It adds another dimension to your film and proves that you thought the whole thing through in a bit of a creative way.
It also makes your audience understand that you’re conveying a message more profoundly than just the words or the subject. Maybe these two things are related and share a common thread. Of course, it could be that there’s nothing deeper at all, and you just think it looks cool. If you’re in that second group, your secret is safe with us!
Match cuts don’t need to be static. You could lead into the next shot with a particular motion, such as someone throwing something in a particular direction and picking up on that movement in your next shot.
You could have the camera motion creating the transition, such as swinging around from one person to another. A nice way of linking shots together is by getting your characters to look at whatever’s coming next and following their line of sight. The list of ways to transition your match cuts is endless, and only limited by your creativity!
Choose Your Cut
There are a lot of different ways you can actually accomplish great cuts. Check out some of these terms and play around with them in your next edit!
- Match Cut
- Jump Cut
- Cross Cut
- Smash Cut
- Invisible Cut
The bottom line is that standing out requires being creative, and when it comes to your cuts between footage, creativity is all about giving points of connection between clips. There are just a few examples here, but you can also try and discover your own new ways to give your cuts new meaning. There are endless ways you can achieve this!
2. Focus on Audio
For most people, what comes to mind immediately when faced with anything audio is “get high-quality sound.” That’s important, sure, but what we’re talking about here is not just quality audio. To stand out, you want creative audio.
Yes, there’s that word again! But, so many filmmakers simply find a piece of music, slap it on their project, and say good enough! But audio is more than just music or dialogue. Things like ambiance, sound effects, risers, foley, and other things come into play too. The little touches are what really give your video life, and what takes it from okay to pro.
Imagine a scene set on a busy, bustling street corner. By all means, add some music to it, but if you really want things to come together in a professional way, add some typical street corner noise. Maybe the sound of tires on the road, the murmuring of people having conversations as they pass, a honk or two every now and then. This cements the scene in a way that simply music and dialogue fail to do!
If you’ve got a skateboarder landing a sick trick, give a satisfying thud when they land and a little bit of awed applause! The opportunities for creativity abound here, and it’s not that hard to do either. You can record sounds from real places or download royalty free sound effects.
Even something as simple as adding location ambiance can help your video feel a lot more engaging and professional. Your audience is likely to not pick up what it is that makes your video stand out, but you can be sure they will notice it!
3. Get Off The Beaten Path
We’re not just talking about your travel habits here! This is about your shooting and editing habits.
You just need to take a look at a couple of videos in the same niche side by side. You might notice that it looks almost like they’re actually trying to blend in. They’re using the same transitions, the same fonts, the same color grades, and the same structure as everyone else! It’s hard to stand out when you’re just another person making just another video that has nothing different from the rest of them.
Of course, we’re all guilty of following the well-trodden path sometimes. It’s natural to see something that someone else has done and want to try it in your own work. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but the fact remains that if you want to stand out, you need to be different from the rest.
Remember, there are an infinite number of websites your audience could be visiting and videos they could be watching instead of yours. You need to be the rainbow on a rainy day, the white spot on a black dog, that one person wearing a pink suit to work. You need to be seen!
Let’s be clear here, though — we’re not saying to just do anything weird, crazy, or ridiculous to stand out. Make your videos high-quality, engaging, and convey a message to your audience. The key is to be constantly questioning yourself about how you can break new ground and go against the grain to tell your story.
When it comes to being human, there are only a finite number of stories to tell. To be a successful video-maker, you need to find new ways to tell old stories, and be able to push the envelope visually!
The three tips we highlighted today may sound simple, but putting them into practice can make all the difference in making your videos stand out from the crowd. Give them a try, and let us know in the comments how they worked out for you!