Fooling around with the Grand Theft Auto V video editor

GTA V video editor

Along with a graphics facelift and greater levels of customisation, Grand Theft Auto V on PC comes with a fancy video editor and director mode. It’s a surprisingly simple tool that lets you set up scenes with different characters and edit them into a narrative, an action sequence, or whatever else you fancy. 

I’ve been playing around with it in an effort to give Simeon, one of the first characters you meet in the game, a decent ending to his story. 

The finished product is a lot better than it was an hour ago, but it’s still a bit rough. And the cost of the simplicity of the various recording and editing tools is a lack of depth when it comes to directing the actors. For example, I wanted Simeon to get drunk, but I couldn’t find a way to give him a drink or even make him stagger from the menu.

Still, I’m pleased with what I managed to make after an hour on my first attempt.

For those not in the know, and there be spoilers here, Simeon is a great man beaten down by racism and intolerance. All he wants to do is sell cars, but people cheat him, and when he tries to reclaim cars from people who won’t pay off their loan, then he gets nothing but trouble. It’s awful!

Anyone that tells you that he’s running a credit scam is a liar. And a racist!

Michael ends up wrecking his business, and he can even be killed, later. I let him live, though, and I’ve always wondered what happened to him after that. I no longer have to wonder however, because we can all witness his downward spiral into alcoholism, violence, theft and, finally, suicide.

GTA V, it’s grim. Slap your eyes on it below.

There are two types of video that you can craft in GTA V. The first is the easiest. In the story and online modes, at the touch of a button you can start recording short clips. When you’re happy with them, you can head to the video editor and string them together, adding special effects, filters, fiddling with the camera and audio, and then export and upload the finished video to YouTube.

Then there’s the director mode. That’s what you’ll be using for more elaborate videos. You can select your cast — which you unlock by playing the game — and then teleport them to different locations, choosing the time of day, weather, density of pedestrians and traffic. You can make them invincible if you want to go all HULK SMASH on the police, alter gravity and fiddle with wanted levels. Then you just hit record. The process of putting the clips together is the same as before.

I’ve barely unlocked any cast members, and I find myself surprisingly inspired to go through the story just to get them, even though I’ve already completed the game on PS3 and played quite a bit on PS4.

Have you been making your own videos? Link them in the comments! They can’t be worse than mine.