7 Steps To A Good Skydiving Video

By Mara Schmid

Sometimes I like to play “bad skydiving video BINGO” in my head when browsing videos on Facebook or Youtube. Forty seconds of unnecessary canopy flight that for some reason didn’t get edited out? More slo-mo than a Michael Bay movie? Using “Free Falling” for the soundtrack? Can we enforce beer fines for bad videos yet?

 

Avoid annoying everyone but your mom (actually, yeah, your mom too) by following these seven handy tips for making a good skydiving video!

 

1.Choose a story! Think about what story you want your video to tell. This could be anything, from the beauty of freefall, to your 1000th jump, to the story of your favorite boogie you just attended. The important thing is to know what you want to convey to people, because that dictates what clips you use. You don’t want to use a carnage clip in a story about the beauty of freefall, for instance.

2.Start grabbing clips and throwing them into a rough order on your editing timeline. Keep most of your clips on the shorter side. You may think those 20 seconds of you flying to the formation are awesome, but most people will probably be bored and stop watching the video. Keep up the pace.

3.Use multiple angles. Everyone is wearing video capture devices these days, so grab other people’s footage to use in your edits (with their permission of course). Bonus: you’ll get to see yourself in the video instead of only seeing footage of everyone else.

4.Don’t overdo it with the slo-mo and gimmicky cuts and effects. The worst offender is the rewind. Take that out of your toolbox and burn it. If we never see a rewind in a skydiving video again, the world will be a better place. Same thing with the crazy transitions and stuff. Unless you’re making a Star Wars parody, stick to simple jump cuts (straight from one clip to the next with no transition) for at least 99% of your video, and use transitions sparingly. Same thing with slo-mo. Using it once or twice in the edit can highlight a really cool moment, but more than that and you’ll make the edit feel slow and people will get bored.

5.Once you have your rough edit done, cut 50% of it. But what about all the awesome footage you’ll lose, you ask?! It’s not as awesome as you think it is. Especially when you’re starting out, you’re going to have way more footage in there than you really need to tell the story. Keep thinking about what story you’re telling and ask yourself if you really need that clip, or if the clip really needs to be that long. Trim the fat and your video will shine.

6.Make sure you find royalty-free music or have rights to the music. Nothing sucks more than uploading a video only to have it be taken down after 15 million views (hahaha) because of the music. I know you want to use the latest Taylor Swift song you love so much, but unless you’re BFFs and can get permission to use it, you’ll be better off finding some free music to use. Or find a newer artist who will be stoked to give you permission if you reach out about using their music in your video.

7.Consider adding footage beyond the skydive. Whether it’s high fives after landing or a special cameo by Taco the dropzone dog, ground footage (gasp!) is an easy way to make your video memorable.

 

Happy filming!

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