The importance of fan edits in our modern society

By Selim Ben Abdallah, S6 FRC, EEB4

First of all, what are edits?

According to the urban dictionary1, edits – which could also be described as fan edits or Instagram edits – are different clips, scenes and/or pictures all put together in a short video with background music. The goal of an edit is to showcase one or multiple fictional characters, celebrities, or even a movie or a TV show.  The clips always follow the beat of the music to achieve a satisfying effect. These types of videos are usually made on apps such as Video star, After Effects, Sony Vegas Pro, InShot, CapCut, Alight Motion etc.


The vast variety of edits

Each editor has his own style and way of making edits, therefore the content shared on social media like Instagram or more recently Tiktok is extremely diverse. 

Firstly, one of the major parts of an edit is the transitions between each clip. They can be elaborate or minimalist: an edit doesn’t necessarily have to include any transitions, as a simpler style often works very well.

 The most popular type of edits are “badass edits”, but you can also find happy, sad, or emotional edits of a character. One can also choose to just edit a movie or a TV show and will choose accordingly depending on the atmosphere of the media (for example, a comedy movie will more likely be edited with a soft/cute style, whereas a drama movie could be edited in a sad way). The choice of the audio and the scenes used in the edit are essential to every type of edit.

An edit is usually – but not necessarily – composed of an introduction, which usually showcases an evocative quote of the chosen character. There are often subtitles during this part.  Then the beat drops and the main part of the edit goes on, sometimes with a few voice-overs added on top of the music. And finally, the edit usually finishes with an outro, which can feature another scene/line or simply the “logo” of the editor. The editor can choose to add quite a large and diversified panoply of effects, overlays, shakes, colour, and quality corrections… The possibilities are almost endless!



Why are edits so significant and valuable? 

Among their many purposes, edits have the goal of causing an emotional reaction to the viewer. They can create a feeling of euphoria, shock (a positive one, of course), happiness or other emotions depending on the edit. It can be so enjoyable that one could even say that edits are addicting (which they are!).  This goes to show that edits have entertainment purposes, due to their aesthetic and to the emotions they convey.

Edits also help you discover new shows or movies, that you might have never heard of before, and seeing a few edits on said movie or show would motivate you to watch it. Furthermore, edits strongly help promote these movies and shows. It also works the other way around, as many people’s first reflex after watching a movie or finishing a show can be to go on social media and look for edits, to fill up that sense of emptiness.

From the viewpoint of the editor, the editing world is full of advantages. Firstly, editing greatly improves and stimulates your creativity. It pushes you to explore, innovate, design, create on your own. Since there are practically no rules or limits to your creativity, you are free to try every style you want, until you find out what you really like and what’s appealing to you and your audience. 

Secondly, starting to edit and getting progressively better at it is easy. There are a lot of free apps downloadable on your phone or computer. Above all, it means that you will develop video editing skills that can be very useful for your future, in any career, especially if that’s what you love to do. 

And lastly, edits are a way for people to express their opinions (on a character, on a movie, on a celebrity) but also to express their feelings. For example, you can use editing as a tool to vent, and put all your current emotions and thoughts into an edit, which can be very therapeutic for a lot of people. Viewers can agree and relate to your opinions and feelings, or they can also disagree. This leads to debate and discussions that tend to be enriching and interesting. Finally, edits are also meant to just channel your inner fan!

Here are a few examples of edits with different styles and themes:

“badass” edit with transitions:

vent (sad) edit without transitions:

movie edit:

plot-twist “badass”edit:


 Source for the featured image: