So you had your actors engage in the most epic brawl caught on camera, huh? Well, unless your editing is on point, they might as well be playing pattycake.
There are plenty of things you need to think about when organizing an action sequence: choreography, cinematography, stunts, music, maybe even pyrotechnics. All of these things are important elements in the making of a great cinematic fight, but are essentially nothing without some masterful editing to make it more dynamic. If you need some pointers on how to edit scenes like this, here is Ryan Connolly of Film Riot to give you a few:
Here are the tips Connolly mentions in the video that'll help you make your action sequences more exciting:
Lots of action and reaction
Showing action/reaction shots (or reaction/action) help audiences build anticipation for what's about to happen next—even if it's only built up within the moment between the two shots.
Not everybody can be Bruce Lee—in fact, in terms of their influence on filmmaking, they're the exact opposite. Instead of forcing filmmakers to slow footage down in order to be able to see his punches and kicks, your typical action hero may need the few frames before impacts sped up in order to make them seem more hard-hitting.
Cut frames out of an impact
Instead of slowing down the frames, you can just cut frames out all together to make them more intense.
Add filters to sound effects
It's not enough to drag and drop sound effects into your timeline to sell the illusion that people are getting pummeled on screen. You need to add some filters to them to make them sound as though they were recorded on location, otherwise it won't be convincing.
These are just a few helpful post-production techniques you can use to make your action sequences more dynamic and thrilling to watch. If you have any others, let us know in the comments below!