How To Make a Story in the Edit

This video takes you through the process of piecing together a documentary or any video with a story. You'll see the workflow, how the edit is put in a workable space, and how you can recycle certain parts of the shots you captured to strengthen the narrative. 

What I Took Out of It

  • For platforms such as YouTube, don't leave the best for last. Show the viewer what they'll see in the video in the beginning. It's the promise that what they will see throughout that is going to be of value. It'll be worth their time. 
  • Secondly, recycle media. If you've used all the best shots at the start, use the same shots, but use different angles. Not only is this economical, but it also strengthens the overall setting and story. If people see the same place and person in the same setting but from a different angle, it builds rapport. It's therefore important to shoot as much as possible, even when you think you won't use it. This leads me to the next thing I learned. 
  • If you don't have the footage, get creative. Zach, the creator of the video, didn't have the shot he needed for the first time exposing himself to the cold, so he made a montage using clips he shot in his bathroom. 

In the End

Content is better than nothing. So, instead of consuming too much or thinking about the gear you'll need to shoot something, go out shooting and make something. The difference between having a great idea and creativity is that you have to make the thing, take the photo, shoot the clips, and put it all together.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Wouter is a portrait and street photographer based in Paris, France. He's originally from Cape Town, South Africa. He does image retouching for clients in the beauty and fashion industry and enjoys how technology makes new ways of photography possible.

Log in or register to post comments
1 Comment

I absolutely love the conclusion you've made here. I used to postpone my ideas until I obtain certain skills in Photoworks or get a better camera instead of my old one, but mistakes are inevitable and we just need to learn from them instead of being scared to make them. Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction, that's it.