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Off the Pitch Ep. 15: Video Editing and Highlight Reels with Ariel Heiblum

Cover image by Marissa Hondros

This week, Michael sits down with video editor, visual effects (VFX) artist, and creator behind Alchemy Video Ariel Heiblum to discuss highlight reels, and his meticulous process in creating them. If you want a great primer to get started on your own highlight reels, this is the multi-stage breakdown for you.

You can check out Alchemy Video’s YouTube channel here to see all of Ariel’s highlight reels.

Ariel had this to add after he and Michael were done recording – as if he wasn’t already incredibly detailed in explaining his process on the mic:

I realized after our conversation that I didn’t speak about an important part of my process. At some point, it’s important to give each individual shot some tweaks to get it looking good. Color correction, image stabilization, zoom, and any effects. I usually do all of this from within Adobe Premiere, and it goes a long way towards making your highlight reel more cohesive and enjoyable.

Viewers may or may not realize it, but it can take them a few seconds to realize what they’re looking at after a cut. You can make it less jarring by making the cuts as seamless as possible. Have the color match, have the main action in the center of the frame, and stabilize any shaky footage. Sometimes the camera wasn’t on a tripod, or the cameraperson was very zoomed in, or very excited, and the shakiness can be very distracting. Premiere’s Warp Stabilizer is an easy fix for that.

Sometimes you’re working with game footage, and the camera is more concerned with capturing all the action than with focusing on any particular play. In that case, you can try zooming in and re-centering the footage, but that isn’t always a possibility because the video quality can decrease a lot. Remember that you don’t just want to show what’s happening, you also want it to look good! In cases where zooming in isn’t possible, you can highlight the area with an oval on the screen. I recently experimented with desaturating the whole screen except for the part you want to highlight, and I’m happy with the results.

Finally, I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I’m more than happy to help anyone one-on-one. If you have specific q’s about filming or editing, you can reach out on Facebook!

We just had Billy Quach on OtP last week, and due in no small part to his influence, the world of quidditch highlight reels is rapidly expanding. FastBreakNews has their own set of highlight reels for the different regions coming soon, so keep an eye out there!

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