I've taken up the challenge from obsessive24
to list 5 things I do that I think helps my vids. Not that I feel I'm particularly good, and could probably learn more from others than they can from me, but it might still be fun. Any discussion that results could be helpful for others (or me!) so please comment if you can.
1. When editing hard on the beat, I like to blow the wave-form in the audio track up really large so I can see in the music exactly where the beat is, rather than relying on my ears. I find having a visual marker makes the on-beat edits more accurate. An exception to that is when I have a series of very fast images to successive drumbeats (like at the beginning of Flagpole Sitta). If you start the short clip exactly on the beat, the image will appear to lag behind it when you view it, so for this I move all the clips to a fraction of a second before the beat, so each image flashes up exactly when you hear the beat.
2. Mixed aspect ratio correction. When working in a mixture of 16:9 and 4:3 I have a preset in Vegas that clips the sides off my 16:9 footage to make it 4:3. Though widescreen is prettier by far, I find that it's easier to get away with cutting widescreen down. Often the action is in the middle of the picture, so cutting off the left and right edges usually doesn't amputate anything important. If there's something extreme right, I'll pan to include it at the expense of the left, and vice-versa. Conversely, I find that the DOP will often fill the screen top to bottom on 4:3 footage, so if you cut the top and bottom off to make a 4:3 picture fit the 16:9 format, you often end up chopping off legs and heads. I've found that constantly cropping down widescreen has led to me often cropping down clips that don't need it, just to make them look a bit different, or to focus on one particular part of the screen. In some of my later vids, hardly any of the clips are exactly as they appeared on screen, and are slightly zoomed/panned to varying extents.
3. Pre-render. I use this a LOT in Vegas, where I find my preview gets very jerky and laggy as my timeline fills up. I pre-render small sections at a time - just 3 or 4 clips - because if you change those clips after that, your pre-render falls off, and you don't want to be pre-rendering the whole vid every few minutes. If you butt your pre-rendered sections up against each other, then the preview will play very smoothly, yet if you make a change, you need only re-pre-render that tiny section.
4. Overlays. I've probably been guitly of over-using these, but I find them handy for adding interest to a clip that doesn't have much motion or goes static part-way through. In Passive, when Cordy stabs Lilah, they both go very still, and I've overlaid the image of Lilah falling to the floor to add impact and motion. I just put the overlay clip on another video track and adjust the opacity accordingly. I also like to use them to create visual echoes - I did it a lot in Play Dead where I was a bit short of source. I'd add the same clip on 3 different video tracks, add a bit of a fade-in on the ones that weren't on the main track, and then drag them so they all started at different points (if possible, on a beat in the music), and adjust the opacity on the top 2 accordingly. If I wanted them all to merge at the end of the clip, I'd adjust the speed of the overlays so they'd all synchronise before the crossfade to the next clip.
5. Another thing I like to try to do is match bits of internal motion to other beats in the music that aren't the start of the bar. I'm using musical terminology here because I was a musician before I was a vidder. A good proportion of pop/rock songs are in 4/4 (unless you're listening to Tool, LOL), so there are 4 beats in the bar. Most people will cut on beat 1 for the start of a clip, and again on 3. These are usually where the strongest beats are. However, if your character is doing something like punching, suddenly turning their head, etc, part way through the clip, then I like to line those up with beats 2 or 4.
Eh, I'm probably telling everyone stuff they do as matter of course anyway, but I'm not a complicated vidder, so... there you go.