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Storytelling in the Edit: 5 Essential Principles

Dandan Liu, Documentary & Commercial Filmmaker

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10 Videos (13m)
    • Course Intro

    • Class Project

    • Show, Don't Tell

    • Letting Visuals Breathe

    • Creating Continuity: Sound

    • Creating Continuity: Closeups

    • Transitions

    • Bonus: Everything Serves the Story

    • Bonus: Invisible Editing

    • Thank you!

64 students are watching this class

About This Class

Just learned how to edit your footage, but want to take your storytelling to the next level? 

This class is a companion course to the more technical, Power Video Editing course. While the latter course addresses the nuts and bolts of how to use Adobe Premiere Pro, this course is story-based, addressing 5 essential principles you can apply to your edit to make your story more powerful. 

This course features a mini assignment for each lesson, so you can directly apply every principle to your edit. It will guide you to step back and view your film critically to make better creative revisions. 

By the end of this course, you will have a re-edited version of your work-in-progress ready to post!

These principles were learned on the field from award-winning industry film editors. 


  • How to show, not tell 
  • How to use visuals to their maximum potential
  • How to enhance continuity with sound
  • How to take advantage of close-up shots
  • How to think creatively and critically about your transitions 
  • How to refine your edit 
  • Bonus tips!


A revised version of your work-in-progress to post on the community page for review. 

8 of 8 students recommendSee All

This was such a great course, concise, bite-sized but profound tools to help craft a story. Thanks !
My editing mindset has totally opened in the best of ways. This helped me get over my "editing block." Thank you!





Dandan Liu

Documentary & Commercial Filmmaker

I come from a long line of scientists, so I'm not called the "black sheep" of the family, but the "genetic mutant" as a self-taught commercial and documentary filmmaker. My love of filmmaking came when I embarked on a four year journey living with people of different religions and lifestyles around the world. From waking up at 3 am with Zen Buddhist monks in Japan to running a guesthouse with nuns in Jerusalem, I started making films as a way to understand the local realities around me. These...

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