Editing Funny Pranks Requires Precision and Comedic Timing
Your prank was hilarious in real life. Now, you can make it even more hysterical in video format! This means you should learn the art of editing and comedic timing. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible with a little research and plenty of practice.
Prank videos, especially YouTube Shorts, require fast pacing. Cut out the thirty minutes you spent waiting for the target to approach your friend in the ghillie suit. CapCut Online Video Editor will help you achieve this brisk pace.
Additionally, while you’re in the middle of a prank, you might film in the wrong aspect ratio (but don’t worry, this happens to the best of us). With pranks, you can’t do reshoots. Thankfully, with CapCut, you can resize your video with a preset canvas for YouTube.
You’ll also need a free video maker that can handle big files. For the best results, remember to always use your phone’s highest recording resolution. Don’t fret—CapCut can export files up to 4k Ultra HD.
Finally, prank videos include four key elements: the set up, the approach, the scare, and the reaction.
1) The Set Up
As you edit with CapCut, you’ll need to identify four elements. The set up is the first element, it involves preparing for your prank. It lets the viewer know what to expect. The audience loves when they have information the characters (or prank victims) lack. Follow this principle in your prank videos.
Don’t linger. Keep the set up snappy. Where you got the ghillie suit really doesn’t matter. A clip of your friend putting it on will suffice. Follow up with a clip of them jumping into the bush.
You don’t need to explain every detail. You can show your viewer what to expect. If you’re filming scare pranks, lift the lid, reveal the gorilla in the trash can, then give them a wink. That’s all the viewer needs! Don’t over explain or go into great detail. This will kill the vibe!
The set up is an excellent time to employ CapCut’s many features. For example, you can use stickers to enhance the mood of mischief. As you slip the whoopee cushion into the sofa, add an emoji with a playful grin. Such emojis will set the video’s tone instantly. They tell the viewer, “We’re doing something naughty, and it’s gonna be hilarious.”
Finally, choose the perfect song from CapCut’s music library. A goofy, cartoonish tune pairs well with prank videos. It creates an air of mischievousness. Start the song during the set up, and continue it throughout the rest of the video.
2) The Approach
Use the approach to build anticipation. To do this, you can include a clip of you and your pals waiting, but try your best to keep it short. Your viewers know more than the prank’s victim. This usually creates more than enough tension.
It’s like every scene featuring the shark in Jaws. You know there’s a shark, but the swimmers don’t. This makes you feel nervous for them—it builds the tension up. Prank videos employ a similar technique. However, instead of eliciting nervousness for the target (or targets) of your prank, you should build anticipation.
The viewer knows the prank is coming. Thus, observing the unsuspecting victim adds to the hilarity of the moment. You can highlight that the victim is having a good day. Use CapCut stickers—like a smiling sun and flowers—to emphasize that all is well. But not for long…
This is a great point for adding text. Use one of our preset templates to create a countdown.
While you’re post-processing your footage, look for minor details to emphasize. As the target approaches, are they suspicious? If so, you can use CapCut’s editing features to zoom in on their raised eyebrows. This creates further anticipation and adds a bit of drama into the mix.
Comedic timing is essential during the approach. Skip to the funniest, tensest parts. You shouldn’t include their entire walk through the park, or their lengthy trip around the grocery store. Show the normality of their day, show their suspicion, then move on to one of the best parts: the scare.
3) The Scare
Think of your prank video in terms of a four act structure. The set up, the rising action, the climax, and then the falling action. The scare is your prank’s climax! Your entire video should build up to the cheese slice dropping into your dog’s face, or the snowman catching unaware pedestrians off guard.
While editing the scare, pull no punches. Use every CapCut feature at your disposal! Sound effects, stickers, text! Use them all! For example, the scare is the perfect time for a laugh track. Comedic timing dictates that you begin the laugh track the instant after the scare. Allow the tiniest pause, then deploy that laugh track!
Identifying the length and placement of a pause is an art. Comedians spend years perfecting it. Master the comedic pause with CapCut’s online video editor.
Cartoonish sound effects also fit beautifully. If someone falls, use a “whoosh” sound effect (please note: you should design your pranks with safety in mind, you do not want to end up in any legal trouble). Other great effects include “cartoon boing,” “bubble popping,” and “cartoon bouncing.” These sound effects will add a humorous flourish to your video.
Additionally, throw some stickers in! An animated “ooops” or “what!” sticker will emphasize your target’s surprise.
4) The Reaction
Don’t stop the cameras after the scare, wait for the target’s reaction. In most videos, the reaction is funnier than the prank. You should let your target’s reaction guide your filming technique. Are they angry? Shaky footage emphasizes their rage. Do they laugh? Insert laughing emojis!
In some trends, the reaction is actually the joke! For example: videos where bearded fathers shave and surprise their babies. The baby’s shocked expression is always adorable. Or, in the fake touch screen prank, the target’s reaction is hilarious.
While editing in CapCut, you should know when to end the video. Try to end on a high note by cutting your footage after the funniest moment.
If you master the art of editing, you can fit all four elements into a sixty second YouTube short.