Dave Maze’s tips for spicing up your YouTube videos

Dave Maze is known for his very energetic videos on his YouTube channel, and much of his popularity is due to his personality. His videos are fun, humorous, and filled with great takeaways and unique opinions.

But it’s not just Dave’s on-camera performance that keeps us entertained. Dave is also very good at delighting audiences with his colorful editing. He takes loads of images and videos from all over the web and incorporates them into his unique videos in a natural way that oozes internet culture. He makes it look so easy, almost like magic (we’re pretty sure that in his old life, Dave was actually a magician).

In his course on MZed, Quick Edit in Final Cut Pro with Dave Maze, Dave walks us through his editing process, one he’s reworked and refined thousands of times over his YouTube journey. In one lesson, “How to Become a Meme Lord,” Dave specifically discusses his process of including other media, such as images, videos, and gifs from various corners of the web to spice up his YouTube videos. Watch a preview of the tips shared by Dave in the lesson above!

How to Download YouTube Videos

As long as you don’t steal or share without permission, embedding other people’s videos into your own is a natural part of YouTube culture. As Dave says in the lesson, “It’s all under Fair Use and helps improve your storytelling.”

Always from Quick Edit in Final Cut Pro with Dave Maze. Image source: MZed / Dave Maze

He continues, “and you don’t really need to extract other people’s videos. You can pull your own videos, pull images from Google Images, those are all things that make the edit and make the video look bigger, they make it faster, and that’s part of the language of YouTube.

The app for doing this that Dave recommends is Downie, which makes it easy to download videos from YouTube or thousands of other sites. On Dave’s recommendation, I bought Downie, and wow! It’s good. I have tried many other browser extensions and free websites, all of which are full of ads, pop-ups and unwanted links. For years I’ve also used MacX YouTube Downloader, which works but the process is slow and clunky, and it loads an advertisement tab after every video download, which is annoying.

Image sources: Downie

Downie, however, is a simple and clean drag-and-drop app with no ads. Or instead of dragging a link into the app, you can use a browser extension that lets you easily click the Downie icon in your browser toolbar while watching a video, and it starts automatically to download the video in the app.

Purchasing a lifetime license is only $20, but Downie is also included in the SetApp monthly subscription which gives you 200 different Mac apps from a wide variety of developers for just $10/month.

Downie automatically downloads and converts YouTube WebM 4k videos to MP4

The beauty of Downie is that it downloads the highest quality video available, up to 8K, and it can automatically convert videos to MP4. This is a huge time saver because often a YouTube video can only be downloaded in 4K in WebM format, requiring you to manually transcode it in another app. Downie does all of this automatically for you.

Looking for free transitions and effects? Add “Green Screen” to Search

Another tip Dave suggested is to simply add the word “green screen” to any of your YouTube searches, and you can find all sorts of free transitions, wipes, titles, templates, and more. Of course, you can’t edit titles, but sometimes you just need pre-existing text that you can apply to your own video.

For example, I just tried searching for “wow green screen” on YouTube, and there are all kinds of memes out there that would make a YouTube video funny. Like Keanu Reeves Eating and Crying, with a green screen.

Keanu Reeves Eating and Crying Green Screen – Youtube

Just make sure the video explicitly states that it’s free and copyright-free, rather than a demo video of a paid purchase.

Using a stack and blur effect for videos that are not in 16:9 aspect ratio

If you want to use a square or vertical video or image, Dave recommends applying a “stack and blur effect”. You’re probably aware of this effect even if you haven’t used it yourself – it’s common on talk shows and news broadcasts.

Essentially what you are doing is stacking two copies of the video or image on top of each other. And then for the bottom layer, you increase the size to fit the 16:9 frame and apply a heavy dose of blur to it.


A few tips: make sure to turn off the bottom layer’s audio, play around with the bottom layer’s exposure, color, opacity and blur levels until it blends naturally into the background- plane and become imperceptible, and try using a border around the top. layer to further separate stacked images or videos.

Lots of ways to spice up your YouTube videos

You can add excitement to YouTube videos by using pre-existing media in all sorts of ways. For example, you can place small images or video clips inside your frame, much like the old look of news anchors. You can add sound effects, and there are plenty of free downloads on YouTube. And of course, you can go wild with animated texts, clip transitions, effects, and more.

But as Dave says, “By simply pulling videos from the internet, finding titles and green screen graphics, it saves you so much time that you don’t have to create them yourself. You can pull old ads, you can find other people’s content that makes sense to reference in your videos. »

In this screenshot from a Dave Maze video, he gives credit to Tyler Stalman for the R5 C video footage.

“But if you’re going to use someone else’s video, it’s a typical rule of thumb to credit them. It’s the right thing to do, in my opinion. You can add both credits to the video. screen, an embedded link button in the YouTube video, and a credit and link in the description.

If you want to learn more about when you can or can’t include other video clips in your own videos, head over to YouTube Fair Use Policy.

Learn more with MZed Pro

Inasmuch as MZed Pro Memberyou also have access to over 300 hours of film training, including Quick Edit in Final Cut Pro with Dave Mazeand we are constantly adding new courses (several are currently in production).

For just $30/month (billed annually at $349), here’s all you’ll get:

  • Over 40 courses, over 600 high quality lessons spanning over 300 hours of learning.
  • Highly produced courses by educators who have decades of experience and accolades, including a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award.
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  • Discounts on ARRI Academy online courses, exclusively on MZed.
  • The majority of our courses provide an industry-recognized certificate upon completion.
  • Purchasing the courses would cost over $7,600.
  • Course topics include cinematography, directing, lighting, cameras and lenses, production, independent filmmaking, writing, editing, color grading, audio, and even how to cast. a YouTube channel.
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Join MZed Pro now and start watching today!

Image source: MZed

Full disclosure: MZed is owned by CineD

Shirley K. Rosa