Video Editing for Short Attention Spans

We can get that down to one minute…right?

In today’s go-go no time world, it seems that our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Our clients now often ask us to boil down hours of video into short, succinct video blasts. Training videos that used to be 30 minutes? Now we need them to be 10. 5-minute videos are now 2-minute videos. We ALL have do more with less time!

It’s no secret that lawyers like to talk. They’re paid very well to do it. Our recent challenge in working with a national association of justice-seekers was to streamline their interview sound-bites into a coherent five-minute message.

The two-camera approach worked well for bridging comments. It enabled us to cut for content AND for dramatic emphasis. But even experienced legal counselors can get nervous and try too hard when talking to their peers. Part of our job was putting them at ease. We could usually connect by asking about their city or state. They’re always proud of something there, no matter where it is. That’s part of the low-key approach to interview tone-setting.

Editing content down, and down and down…

After gathering hours of issue-related wisdom, the editing room became a brutal exercise in separating the wheat from the chaff.

Only the best 1 percent could make it into the final piece. Three themes emerged: money-giving, political clout, and networking.

We grouped the sound-bites together according to the theme, saving the best and most dramatic one for the close: “For 50 years it’s been the heart of my practice, but also the backbone.” Cha-Ching. We know a good sound-bite when we hear it.

We dressed up the best 1-per cent with a bookend open and close, featuring music and the organization’s logo. The disparate comments became a program.

Our editing instincts got sharpened into a fine, surgical instrument. We found the message in the mountain of interview answers.