7 Tips for Making an Epic Ski Edit

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.