How To, Like, Remove Filler Words

Have like you ever talked like with someone who like uses “like” like, all the time? Filler words like “like,” “ah,” or “um” are often annoying in real life, but they can get reeeeaaally annoying in a video interview. Worst of all, video time is precious and shouldn’t be wasted on words that have no meaning. But what if your interviewee has the bad habit? All is not lost.

#ProTip: Filler words can (sometimes) be removed in editing.

In a three minute video, I once removed 40 seconds of repeated “uhh,” and what a relief it was to the ear! But in order to make it happen, 1) Your editor needs to have the training and software to execute, and smooth over, a multitude of tiny cuts and 2) You need to have extra visual footage, or b-roll, to cover those cuts. For every filler word removed, there is a jump in the interview footage, which would be obvious and even more annoying if you could see it. But just like putting wallpaper over an imperfection, placing b-roll over these cuts make them invisible; instead of seeing a jumpy interview, the audience is seeing smooth illustrations of whatever the interviewee is saying. If successfully completed, everyone will marvel at how well-spoken this person is in an interview, in contrast to their usual manner of speech. And they’ll never know your smug little editing secret.

Katie Rutter is the executive producer of Thing in a Pot Productions. She has received multiple awards for her videos and the overall quality of her work, including being honored as Video Producer of the Year in 2018 by the Catholic Press Association. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our video ProTips in your inbox every month!

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