Renie Ritchie apparently wrote a treatise on Apple’s new Clips app, but don’t let that intimidate you. Clips is ridiculously easy to use, and most of its features are discoverable by just playing with it.

The real brilliance of Clips is that you don’t even feel like you’re doing movie editing, but that’s exactly what you’re doing. Being able to shoot video is just one step of making a visual story. A movie obviously can’t exist without that step. But in my opinion, editing is way more important. Cutting, blending, and curating is what really makes something a story.

I think the “cutting” step is what most iPhone-created movies need the most. I went a long way in solving this problem (accidentally) when I started using Snapchat about a year ago. Before Snapchat, I shot plenty of video with the iPhone, but I almost never did anything with it. The main problem was that my videos tended to be too long. This made them:

  1. Usually boring
  2. Longer than most people wanted to watch
  3. Too much of a hassle to upload due to their file size

So on my phone they sat—unwatched.

The more I used Snapchat for video, the more I realized the brilliance of its ten-second limitation. This constraint made it impossible to shoot long, boring videos and also forced me to throw away outtakes immediately. Before long, I wasn’t just using Snapchat to send video snaps, I was saving the videos to my phone.

Now that Clips is here, I’m using the iPhone’s camera app for video more often, but I’m still shooting very short duration clips a la Snapchat. Clips makes it ridiculously easy to fuse some or all of any video into a series of clips. Being able to mix videos and pictures into a single clip creates the same effect of a Snapchat story, but it keeps everything on my phone so that I can share it in other ways—notably with people who don’t use Snapchat.

It’s really the story you should be after.

If you pay attention to almost any TV show, movie, or professionally-made internet video, the very longest shots last no more than than five to eight seconds. In action movies, shot length can average as little as two seconds! Some action movies have over 3,000 shots in them. Changing scenes and angles just makes the visual aspect more engaging.

I used Clips to make a couple of short “movies,” each consisting of 5–10 short videos and photos I took last week on a family vacation. In a lot of cases, I only grabbed a few of the best seconds of each clip. Creating each “movie” took just minutes using only my iPhone. I’m 100% sure none of those individual videos would have gotten shared if I hadn’t used Clips to make them into a story.