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How to Create a Memorable Cinematic Montage

By Hanna Welch | October 30, 2018 |

greater than 3 minutes

The cinematic montage is a process of editing small scenes in order to make a big picture. The montage could be a very memorable and interesting part of creating your masterpiece. All good montages have a few similar characteristics that make them stand out, and you can use some of them for your own projects. Let us share some professional secrets with you…

Tip 1. Better Way to Tell Your Story

How to tell your story for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Do not use unrelated imagery for your montage. Let the viewer follow the journey from start to finish, from one spot to another. Events should appear in their logical order.

This way the viewer can track the character evolving and easily follow the details. Your goal is to show the change over time.

Tip 2. How to Work With Movement in the Frame

How to work with movement in the frame for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Our advice is to watch how subjects change their positions in every clip and also their relative positions through your composition. You can achieve a more memorable viewing experience by using this visual information to push the montage forward.  

Remember that working with movement in the frame could be more symbolic if you match an object’s movement through the frame with the next shot.

Tip 3. How to Add Visual Effects

How to add visual effects for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Use basic visual effects along with what’s in the frame to enhance your montage’s impact. To give some movement to nature montages, keyframe footage scale, position and rotation. You can transition between clips by creating masks that can be used on an object that passes by, which will help make the cuts invisible.

Another good technique for overlaying visuals is to use the dissolve and opacity controls. This trick helps give a visual representation of what’s going on in a character’s head and creates good parallels.

Tip 4. How to Effectively Add Music

How to add music for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Two main tips for creating the best cinematic montages with music are quite simple:

1) the song should have relation to the content of the story

2) using beats and notes helps give it more energy

Try to find moments where the lyrics of the song match the on-screen action. Match the dramatic tension of the scene to the swell of the instruments. The cutting can take place on the beat.

Tip 5. How to Transfer Files from One Computer to Another

Best way to send large video files from one computer to another

In the process of creating the perfect cinematic montage you will probably face the problem of secure file transfer. We know that you don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription plan if you just need to send big files once. The best way around is to pay a one-time fee depending on the file size, and that’s exactly what you can do using FileWhopper. This service will come in handy more than once, for sure.

Tip 6. How to Add Narration

How to add narration for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Instead of, or in addition to, music, you can add narration to your cinematic montage. The main advantage of using narration is that the voice helps drive the action forward. When the visuals can’t show some important details, the narration fills them in. For creating the best cinematic montage with narration, you need to work on finding balance between what is said and what is seen, and to allow enough time to get as much impact as possible.  

Tip 7. How to Cross-Cut Between Stories

How to cross-cut between stories for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

This type of montage helps a storyteller take an unexciting scene and juxtapose it with footage with more dramatic story that’s going on around it. Just imagine how interesting that could look: calm emotions in one scene and chaos in another. But the two stories don’t necessarily have to be contrasting. You can use chaos and cut it with another chaos scene. Keep in mind the kind of relationship you want to demonstrate to the viewer.

Tip 8. How to Use the Technique of Repeating

How to use the technique of repeating for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Repeating is a specific trait of showing the same thing over and over and over again and it is used in some well-known montages. A sense of existential dread appears by watching the same thing repeated many times. There is a drama for the audience seeing the repetition and the character experiencing it.

Tip 9. How to Use Jokes

How to use jokes for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

Famous filmmakers create hilarious and memorable montages by using jokes almost everywhere. Our advice is to use a rapid-fire approach and try to add as many jokes as possible during the montage. A good way to add a joke is to throw in a few non-sequiturs that make viewers think:“Wait, what was that?”

Tip 10. How to Choose the Right Length

How to choose the right length for creating the most memorable cinematic montage

What makes a montage powerful? Of course, its duration. Basically, it’s best to create a short montage. Even a full three-minute montage can be too much. The main goal is to reveal the information quickly and tell a great story. Remember, you should deliver the idea as fast as possible and try to keep your montage short enough to make an impact.

We have shared with you ten basic tips for creating the most memorable cinematic montage. Making your own film or video can be one of the most memorable experiences. And remember, if you have fun making it, the audience will definitely have fun watching it.

Do you know some other montage techniques we haven’t mentioned?

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