I was thinking earlier about some of the random things I've leared about editing down video from trips that people seem to enjoy. So, I figured I'd try and distill them down to something that may be helpful:
1. Good videos start when shooting
This may sound a bit obvious, but if you get bad video to start with, you end up with bad video to finish. When you start recording something, be sure to think about how you're going to use it. For me, I tend to think in specific edits, so when I'm recording something, I already have a decent idea of what I'm planning on using it for.
2. 3-4 second clips are just interesting enough
My English teacher in high school always said that a paper should be like a skirt: long enough to conver the subject, but short enough to be interesting. I've found that a 3-4 second clip is just about right on average. Apparently, I'm not the only one as iMove 08 uses a 4 second clip size when selecting an edit in the timeline. Now, there are always good places where that "rule" can be broken, but it's always a good place to start.
3. Edit on action
I've found that for me, if I cut the clip on some sort of movement (like a person walking into our out of the frame) it seems a bit more interesting. If you have a video of your significat other walking along the street, look for that moment when (s)he turns into the cute little store, move back 4 seconds from there and you have your edit point.
There's nothing more boring than 30 minutes of badly focused or repetitive video. And your friends really don't want to see your whole trip. All they want are the highlights. I've found that the best way to approach this is to take a song you like and edit a montage. Take items 1-3 above and use those to create a 4-6 minute series of clips set to music. For the one's I've done, it seems that even people who don't know me very well find 4 minutes of decent video set to a good song interesting.
A couple of examples that I've done:
- Feli's Birtday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSqUYmFhKyQ
- Our trip to Amsterdam: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ATUPaK8jBJM
Try it and let me know.