Give me a beat: Video editing with my ear

Currently, I’m in a slump with my kickstarter video. The rough cut is laid out. The scenes are saying and showing the things I want them to say and to show. However, I find it bores me and I can’t tell if it’s because I’ve been working on it too long or the video just isn’t that exciting. My gut tells me the video needs to be remastered.

ShinningRecutTo get me back in the editor’s chair, I’m starting with the music. Music conveys emotion and sets the mood. Just watch “The Shining” turned into the feel good movie of the year to hear what I’m talking about. Skip ahead to :51 seconds and feel your emotions swell and your spirits lift as you watch Jack, Wendy and Danny come together as a family.

Music is not where I start. I’ve learned the hard way to start with the script, rather than just taking a bunch of video of people playing my game, me talking about my game, shots of my game dynamically placed on a table with my dog sleeping in the background, and then editing all of that while trying to craft a 2:00 minute, ‘gotta have it’ video is impossible, because it just ends up as disjointed and convoluted as this sentence.

So yeah, I start with the script, but I immediately move to the music because it sets up the beats for all my edits. Getting the timing right for when to cut to a different shot in the video, is easier when I know the music I’m using. The script might be what is said, but the music is how to say it.


When making the video for kickstarter, I had to be aware of using songs I was legally allowed to use. There are a handful of sites out there that offer music, paid or free, but the one I’ve been most impressed with is for the following reasons:

  • High quality
  • Large selection
  • Easy search
  • Inexpensive (IMHO)
  • Downloadable preview .mp3

Unlike other sites that sell “songs,” PremiumBeat focuses on music and scores you’d expect to hear in commercials, television and movies. It’s a great resource for the type of videos you might want for your Kickstarter.

That’s all for now. Time for me to go face the music and get back to work on that video.


2 thoughts on “Give me a beat: Video editing with my ear

  1. Any tips or thoughts on how to pick a song? I mean I know what kind of music I like, but not really sure how one would go about picking a song for something like a kickstarter.

    • Glen, thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog. There are a couple things that I would recommend for picking music:

      1. Pick the music that best fits the theme or ‘feel’ of your game. Is the game a hardcore fantasy RPG or a kid friendly game with bright colorful blocks? The music should reflect that. This is harder than it sounds because it’s possible you don’t even know what your feel actually is. I had this problem with Vye. My first music choice took itself way too seriously. Then when I started watching people play the game and laughing and having fun, it dawned on me that perhaps I had the wrong music for my video. Don’t be afraid to ask others what they think about the game or music choices. Play around with it.

      2. Pick music that tells your audience who this game is marketed for. “Casual players, hardcore or somewhere in the middle?” The music should help answer the question, “Who is this game trying to market to?” It’s easy to say, “My game is for everyone.” I have that problem myself, but in truth, there is a core group of people, better yet a person, you want playing your game. Really look at who that one guy or girl is and pick the music for them. The rest will follow.

      3. Finally, pick music that excites you as much as the game does. This one hits closer to what you’re talking about. Your personal preference holds a lot of weight, because it’s YOUR preference. Picking music you personally like is great.

      Good luck.

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