Video Production

What is supercut

What is a supercut and how can you use the editing technique to make awesome video compilations?

Though they may sound like a scissor wielding member of the Avengers, a supercut is actually a video editing technique used to make quick cut compilation videos.

The supercut definition was first coined in 2008 by Andy Baio, but the format had existed on YouTube since the platform's inception in 2005. One of the best known early supercuts is “I’m Not Here To Make Friends” a compilation video of reality TV contestants declaring the titular statement.

What is supercut

In this article we’ll share a few supercut video examples, define supercut, tell you how to make video compilation and give you a few supercut tips.

What is a Supercut in editing?

In editing a supercut is when an editor is given a group of clips showcasing a particular TV or movie trope and cuts them all together. Read on to learn the step by step editing process you can follow to create your own supercut video compilations.

How do you make a Supercut?

In this how to we’ll assume you have already compiled the clips you want to include in your supercut. If you want to read a bit more about the whole process of gathering clips then read the section entitled How to make a supercut video. 

Step 1: Load the clips in your editor

The first step is to load the video files in your editor so you have them ready to go. We’re working in Premiere Pro so we’ll create a bin for the clips and drag the video files in.

What is supercut

Step 2: Cut the clips down

If the video clips aren’t already trimmed down to just the part you want to include in your video, then you’ll need to edit them down to size. For this, drag the clips into your timeline and use the Razor Tool to cut them at the appropriate points. This step can be combined with the third step if you want to cut as you order your clips.

What is supercut

Step 3: Order your clips

Finally you need to arrange your trimmed clips in order in your timeline – this is just a case of dragging and dropping the clips into a sequence that you think works well.

As mentioned in the previous step, it makes sense to cut a clip down to size and then drag it in order in your timeline clip by clip. This will give you a neater workspace and take less time then separating the two processes. 

What is a supercut video

A supercut is a compilation of clips from tv shows and movies that show a particular trope over and over. It’s often used to make a satirical comment on the use of cliches by the TV and movie industries. If you want to get a real feel for some supercut video examples then check out this playlist from 1upgamer on YouTube.

In it you’ll find supercuts of movie cliches such as ‘he's Right Behind Me, Isn't he?’, ‘there’s a storm coming’, ‘i’m too old for this sh*t’ and many more.

What is supercut

Supercuts will isolate just the moment when the movie or TV trope happens and splice them together with many more examples from different TV shows and movies.

How to make a supercut video

Supercuts are quite simple to make, but very time consuming. It’s not the video editing part that takes time – it’s the hunting for clips to include.

Think about it, if you’re making a supercut of characters saying ‘he didn’t make it’, each clip will be around five to ten seconds long. If you want to make a five minute video you’re going to need to find clips from at least 30 different TV shows and movies; probably more. 

That’s either a lot of trawling through Netflix, online research or racking your brain to come up with examples of the trope. When you do find examples of the trope you’re looking for be sure to make a note of the timestamp when it occurs, and if it’s a TV show, the season and episode number.

Once you’ve found enough examples of the trope you either need to buy and download every episode and movie that contains the cliche, or screen record the moments when the trope occurs. We recommend buying the video files – it’s always good to support art, especially if you’re going to be benefiting from your repurposing of it.

Finally, it’s simply a case of compiling your video files in your video editing software, cutting out the moments when the trope occurs, and lining them up next to one another. The editing process itself is very simple.

What is a film supercut?

A film supercut is a compilation video featuring clips only from movies. It could also be a supercut of a particular repeated thing from a single movie, or a single series of movies.

A great example would be this Star Wars Star Destroyer supercut.

It shows clips from across the Skywalker Saga and Rogue One when the iconic Imperial Star destroyer appears on screen.

Are Supercuts fair use?

Legally supercuts are fair use. They fall under parody/criticism/education so you won’t be going to court for uploading a supercut video. However, you may still get a copyright claim in your video if you upload it to a site like YouTube. 

YouTube analyses videos to detect copyrighted content and notifies copyright owners. The copyright owners can then choose to have your video taken down, or monetise it for themselves.

For more information on using copyrighted music on YouTube, read our guide on Royalty Free Music for Videos.

How to make video compilation

If you use the supercut techniques discussed in this article you should be well on your way to making a video compilation. At its core making a video compilation can be boiled down to three simple steps.

  1. Compile the clips you want to include in your compilation.
  2. Trim the clips down to just the bits you want to show.
  3. Edit them together in the order you like.

If you want to learn more about video editing techniques then check out our blog and YouTube channel. We’ve recently published guides to jump cuts on both, check out the blog post or video to learn more about every YouTuber’s favorite editing technique.

December 10, 2021
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