How time passes is an important element in creating stunning video footage. One good way to illustrate its power and movement is by compressing time. Time compression in video editing is the general process of making the duration of footage shorter than its actual running time. It’s a skill that every video editor should master. In case you’re a budding editor who wants to produce stock videos and other relevant pieces, we’ve listed down some of the most popular ways you can bend some physical laws, even if it’s only in videos.


This is the most basic method of illustrating the quick passage of time. What you do here is speed up everything that happens in the video clips. This is ideal for scenes where the event happens in the same location over an extended duration. A great example is the blooming of a flower or how a cityscape changes from dusk to night.


This might seem like a basic, but it’s a technique that’s difficult to master. The proper cutting of scenes can give audiences an idea of how much time has passed. The editor has to coordinate with the director to patch various scenes together. If you’re using cuts to illustrate the passing of time, you will have to consider items that define the continuity of the scene like the length of the cigarette or the level of the water in the glass.


Remapping is the process of speeding up everything in one scene. It also allows the filmmaker to create variations in speed in a video clip. For instance, imagine a police investigator wandering the crime scene. Typically, the editor would cut scenes to show that the investigator is travelling from an area to another. Through time remapping, all the actions of the investigator is included, but everything is sped up. This gives audiences an idea about what the character actually went through in that particular scene.

These are only some of the techniques that will help you illustrate the movement of time. Other methods include transitions, like the use of fade-to-black technique, in which the scene fades to black and then opens up in another scene. Browse our website to see fine examples of videos displaying the use of these techniques. These will give you a concrete idea of how time works in videography.