Thoughts On Editing Videos

These days I spend a decent amount of time on YouTube watching videos of long distance motorcycle travelers and enjoy experiencing their long rides from my computer or phone. I find it a much better use of my free time as opposed to watching the news and getting depressed or angry or both.

Since I create videos myself, I’ve started paying attention to the way people edit their videos so that I can make mine interesting as well. I have to admit that I’m a little confused at the moment. I’m confused because I find that the videos I’m watching are so drastically edited that they don’t tell a proper story. I understand that nobody wants to see a 5 minute GoPro footage of someone riding a scenic road, which is then followed by another 5 minute GoPro footage of another scenic road. The best 5 or 10 seconds of each scenic would do the job just fine, which is what I do in my videos. But I feel there is an unwritten rule that you need to squeeze everything down to a 10 minute video, otherwise nobody is going to watch it. In my opinion, that’s what ruins the story.

I don’t want to see a 5 second clip of you drowning your motorcycle in a stream and then immediately move to another 5 clip second of you riding in a different state or country. If you were writing a book about this ride, you would have dedicated a bunch of pages to the drowning incident. You would explain how you walked the stream first to find the best path. Then explain how you removed and dried your air filter. Talk about fellow travelers who helped you get your motorcycle out of the water. A lot of stuff happened there and 5 seconds doesn’t do justice to the incident at all. All that is part of the adventure and nobody gets to see it if you stick to this idea of making your video as short as possible.

I recorded a lot of footage during our North East ride. After editing the footage the length of the video turned out to be 3 hours long. I have split it up into 18 parts, each between 7 to 15 minutes long. This time I took a lot of selfie videos on my phone explaining what was going on and I find that those are taking up most of the time. I’m not editing those out because I think they tell the real story and provide context to the GoPro footage which is basically just wind noise being muffled by music. I could have easily compressed the 15 days into 15 minutes and I’m pretty sure nobody would understand anything.

I’m new to this video editing stuff and I may be going against all conventional wisdom on the subject. The real purpose of creating these videos is so that I can see them over and over again later in life and relive the experience. I’m not trying to become a travel blogger, vlogger or whatever. So maybe that’s why I find these unwritten rules of video editing a little weird. But I would like to hear from people who either create videos or watch videos created by other people. What do you think?