7 Tips for Making an Epic Ski Edit

YouTube Preview Image

So you want to make a ski edit. Your goal might be to take your skiing (or snowboarding) career to the next level. Maybe you’d like to see sponsors knocking down your door, begging you to take their free swag. Or perhaps you just want to capture the memories of an unforgettable season on film to share with your buddies.

Whatever your motivations, you want your ski edit to be good. More than good, you want it to stand out from the crowd. So how do you do it?

Step 1: Get Organized
Most great ski edits start with a plan, so come up with one for yourself. Limit your edit to three minutes, tops. Now think: how will you create the most impact in 180 seconds?

So many ski edits consist of action shot after action shot—can you differentiate yourself from the pack with a storyline or a plot? Can you showcase your personality with still keeping the focus on your skiing? What is going to keep a viewer from clicking the “back” button?

Step 2: Plan Your Shots
Your ski edit should demonstrate your versatility as a skier. Most skiers have one trick that they absolutely nail every time—that’s great, but you’re going to need to showcase more than one trick. Map out the shots, tricks, and locations that you’d like to include in your edit. The idea is to make sure that you have enough footage to pack your edit full of quality shots. Speaking of footage…

Step 3: Work Your Angles
Good filming is an absolute must for a quality edit. It’s very hard to make a solid edit using entirely point of view camera footage you’ve filmed of yourself. Borrow a friend with good gear and a good eye for filming action sports.

Angles matter: you can keep your edit visually interesting by using different types of shots. Don’t be afraid to use a tripod to reduce shakiness, and work with the lighting and weather to produce top-notch material.

Step 4: Edit the Edit
If you know anybody with film editing experience, ask them to show you the ropes. Editing is the step where you transform a bunch of random footage into something with substance. Think about your sequencing carefully. How will you open your edit? Whether you introduce it with your best trick, a crazy scenic shot, or a personal intro, make sure that the first clip has enough impact to engage the viewer.

Keep the content tight and solid. For instance, don’t cut off the landing of a trick. End your edit on a bang. Leave your audience wishing that the edit continued for a few more minutes.

Step 5: Humor—Approach With Caution
Your crew probably shares hundreds of hilarious inside jokes—just remember, they’re inside jokes: the rest of the world probably won’t get it. It’s tempting to infuse your edit with humor, but being funny isn’t always easy, and it often doesn’t translate well into film (especially into a three minute ski edit). If your sole intention is to entertain your buddies, go for it. Otherwise, tread carefully.

Step 6: The Big Music Decision
Music is easiest way to make or break an edit.

Everybody has an opinion about the “right” song to use. Avoiding clichés is a good place to start—certain songs are overused, and you definitely want to avoid something that a pro has already used in one of their segments. Find a song that you really like and that is, preferably, a little underground. Above all, make sure that you have rights to use that song.

Don’t forget that you can—and should—edit a song. Align your footage with the beat so that the shot of you stomping it matches up with the perfect part of the song. Cut out slower parts of a song that don’t match up with the visuals.

Step 7: Upload Wisely
Upload your edit to YouTube and Vimeo using a smart, descriptive title. Don’t forget to include your name in the title!

Submit your edit to different ski and snowboard sites, and encourage your buddies to share what they like. Listen to feedback that you’re given, and use it to make next year’s edit even better.