A Guide To The Best Video Editing Effects

Ever wondered how you can inject more life into your otherwise boring videos? Many friends I know shoot videos on their camcorder, come home and cut the movies to DVDs or upload them online.

The problem is, many of their videos are dull and uninteresting. How do you create more fun and pizazz in your productions? The professionals know a trick or two that you don't! I'll share 6 of their tricks here with you. Many of them can be done using simple video editing software.

1. Old Movie

One of the best video editing effects to add to any video is an "old movie" effect. An old movie effect brings you back to the old days - giving a nostalgic feel and a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

An example of an old movie effect

The great thing about old movie effects is that you can also use them to cover up any mistakes you have in your video. For example, if I took a video and it contained defects like a camera shake or a dirty lens, adding an old movie effect would cover it very well.

2. Dissolves

If you have a video cut (from one scene to another) that looks too abrupt, you might want to add a dissolve effect. This allows one video clip to fade slowly into another - creating a seamless effect.

I like to use this for vacation videos - if I switch from one destination (e.g. Paris) to another (e.g. London) - it's a good idea to use a dissolve to link the two clips. You can also add in a black frame to the video and insert some text to explain you're going into another video segment.

3. Comedy

You know what's one of the best video effects you can use to spice up your production? That's right - it's a comedy effect. Make your videos look like Charlie Chaplin. Make your audience smile and laugh.

Some great effects in the Game Your Video app

Interestingly, one of the best tools for doing this lies in an iPhone app. The app is called "Game Your Video" and it rocks. You can capture a video into the app and then apply any number of video effects into the clip.

There's a stock Charlie Chaplin effect that I use very often and it always makes the kids and the wife laugh till they tear in the eyes. What the effect does is to make your clip black and white, then add some comical music into the production. Try it - it's real cool.

4. Widescreen

Now for another video editing effect which helps to add life to your clips - the widescreen effect. You know those Hollywood widescreen movies with the black bars at the top and bottom? You can add that effect into your videos for some variety.

Most video editing programs allow you to edit your video into a 16x9 format so as to get a widescreen effect. Make sure that when you do such edits, you check your subjects to ensure they don't get cut off.

5. Time Lapse

If you want to show in your video a progression of a project (e.g. the construction of a building) - you may want to use a time lapse effect in your videos. Time lapse videos are really a combination of still digital photos linked into a production. They are painstakingly shot over long exposures using a still digital camera mounted on tripods.

A fantastic example of time lapse video

See how the stars and sky move so beautifully in the video above? That's the power of the time lapse effect. You need to be extremely patient to get such effects though but the end result is really cool stuff.

6. Slow Motion

Sometimes, one of the best video editing effects you can insert into your clips is to slow things down. Use the slow motion effect in your video editing program to create a sense of comedy.

If you slow down a video clip, both the video and audio will slow down - if used appropriately, it can be really funny to watch. Imagine a large, lumbering man coming towards you, opening his mouth and saying words really slow - you get the idea.

Wrapping Up ...

Well, that's great - you've seen some of the best video effects used by professionals to make their videos more interesting.

Try these out the next time you're editing your videos, and I'm sure you'll add a lot more zest into those otherwise boring videos! Good luck and happy filming!