GoPro Highlights Video: Let’s Break Down the Hero 8 Edit

GoPro recently released their GoPro HERO8 Black + MAX promo video.

Give it a watch if you haven’t seen it already…👇

It features the clips from 45 content creators chosen from a WHOPPING 42,000 submitted clips.

The final edit is 2:17 in length, has 53 different clips and 55 transitions (if you include the beginning and ending GoPro logos).

GoPro certainly knows a thing or two about creating viral highlight reels and I wanted to answer some important questions…

WHY are they so captivating, engaging and inspiring?

WHAT makes them straight up EPIC?

Sure, they feature some of the best footage submitted from some very talented (and crazy) people but I think you can still create something amazing without having to rent a plane and jumping out of it (although that stuff won’t hurt…).

So let’s break down this edit to find out what makes these videos so popular…


  1. Music Choice
  2. Quick Cuts
  3. Emotion
  4. Variety

As you will soon discover, each ingredient has some overlap into the others.

1. GoPro Music Choice

The song choice can make or break an edit.

And the song needs to match the hype of the footage.

The song that GoPro chose happens to have a few tempo changes which allowed the editors to integrate slow motion footage.

Slow motion with the right music provides a nice change of pace which also falls under my 4th ingredient: variety.

When picking music, you can’t just grab anything and use it in your footage.

You’ll get flagged for copyright almost right away and get less distribution.

You can seem to do this with Instagram without any issues but if you plan on posting to YouTube, your best bet is going with Royalty Free Music.

Whatever song you choose, make sure to give credit to the creator or artist.

It’s just the right thing to do.

And Royalty Free Music doesn’t have to suck. There’s a LOT of great stuff out there.

Start by checking out YouTube.

Post coming soon with some Royalty Free Music ideas…

The other necessary component is matching transitions to the downbeat of the song.

It takes a bit of effort during editing but in my opinion, this is a basic ingredient to creating something great.

Edits with transitions that don’t follow the beat of the song are just…unsettling.🤣

This leads into the next ingredient…

2. Quick Cuts

GoPro Edit Ingredients Quick Transitions

Fast Transitions by definition are short.

This also means you need to be selective and only showcase your best stuff.

During the video, with the exception of the wing suit flyer scene in the middle, no scene ever exceeds 6 seconds.


Most scenes are actually 0.5-4 seconds in length.

The average scene length in this edit is actually 2.45 seconds (yes…I actually figured this out and it’s about 95% accurate).

Short clips prevent the viewer from getting bored and losing interest.

It also forces you as the editor to really pick your ABSOLUTE BEST FOOTAGE.

There are a few scene examples from the video that keep the viewer really engaged and if they had been any longer, that would lead to views dropping off because it’s simply not stimulating enough.

The best example of this is the dog running into the sunset.

Not many people would get past 20 seconds of watching the back of a dog’s head bobbing up and down but 1.5 seconds works perfectly.

So the conclusion?

Keep clips short and keep the viewers wanting more!

This also helps with engagement throughout the video. Less people will drop off the video if you keep things dynamic.

If you REALLY want to step up your transition game, blending the motion from one clip to the next will really impress your viewers.

A great example of this happens at 2:02 in the highlight video.

The rotation of the paraglider continues into the selfie pole rotation of the free diver. It’s subtle but it makes for a professional, not to mention cool transition.

COMING SOON: Check back for a Tutorial all about Transitions.

3. Emotion

In a GoPro edit like this, emotion comes from human faces and sound bites.

I think we can all relate to the woman in the opening scene about to accelerate along the zip-line.

There’s also a PERFECT transition right before she drops an f-bomb (ingredient #2).

A little humor goes a long way.

The waterslide selfie is also a perfect example of showcasing some genuine excitement and fear.

This just looks like FUN, right?

So if you’re filming your reaction before, during or after something, be authentic and natural.

Don’t hold back!

4. Variety

These GoPro compilations work super well because you never know what the next scene is going to feature.

In the first 20 seconds, we go from zip-lining to wakeboarding to sand art to rock climbing.

And that time also includes the opening GoPro banner.

Talk about stimulating!

Having quick transitions (ingredient 2) means you’re forced to incorporate variety.

And variety comes in other forms besides changing the activity.

GoPro showcases video from both the Hero 8 and the highly immersive MAX as well as time lapses, HyperSmooth and slow motion.

Mounting and perspectives also get switched up…selfie sticks, first person views, unique angles in the cockpit of a fighter jet and on a BMX bike.

So what’s the takeaway?

When capturing your raw footage, make sure to change up the angles.

Experiment with different perspectives!

Get creative!

When you realize that clips in the final edit shouldn’t last too long, you’ll be more inclined to switch up the angles more often.

Do you agree with these Ingredients??

Let me know in the comments if you think I got it wrong or missed any.

Or maybe you agree! That’d be cool too.

Also, keep an eye out for a future post with a tutorial on how to put together your very own GoPro highlight reel.

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