Use clips that provide visual variety.
Go from wide shots to tight shots, balance people with things or speed up and slow down your clips to play with pacing. If all of your clips direct the eye from left to right, switch it up and make the viewer’s eye travel in other directions. The more shot types you can offer, the more visually compelling your story will be.
Create for the platform where the montage will live.
Details like length and video format can shift depending on where you plan to upload your montage, so do what you can to optimise your video for its intended home. For instance, you’ll want a vertical aspect ratio for an Instagram Reel, but a landscape video for your YouTube channel.
Choose audio that matches the mood.
Music plays a huge role in how viewers will interpret your video. Make sure your audio complements the mood and narrative arc of your video. You want your music to add to the experience rather than distract or even detract from it. If you want, you can even sync beats or peaks in the audio with your clips to emphasise certain parts of your story.
Steps to plan out a strong montage.
Once you have all your clips, you can go about editing however you want. “Get into the rhythm of creating videos systematically first and then work on the creativity after,” advises Park. It can be easy to get hung up on creative choices and details when you first start editing, so stick to the essentials and come back to the creative pieces later. Below is an example workflow you could follow.
Make folders for your media files.
An organised workspace is the most efficient workspace, especially when you have lots of video clips to juggle. You can organise it by file type, such as a folder for audio files including sound effects, voice-overs and background music. Park recommends you keep two separate folders for your B-roll clips — one for the climax moments and one for rest of the footage.
Figure out your who and why.
Before you dive in, make sure you're crystal clear on who your audience is and why people should care about the video. Every clip you select while editing should tie back to your video’s core purpose.