15 Video Editing Tips

For beginners, video editing can be tricky. If you’re new to video production, therefore, you may find it hard to get your videos looking as professional and effective as others out there. To help you out, then, we’ve put together our top 15 video editing tips that will help you become a master of this fine art form.

  1. Always Consider the Editing Process When Filming
    One thing many beginners make is not giving much thought to the editing process when filming. Many believe video editing is some magical solution that can correct all mistakes. However, a key to editing is actually filming.
  2. Take More Than Enough Shots
    Following on from the above, there’s no amount of cutting and editing you can do to say a project, if you don’t have enough shots. Therefore, it’s wise to take more than enough, as you can always edit it down.
  3. Create a Rough Edit
    Before you start editing and trimming the fat off footage, open a file in your editing software and create a rough version. This will help you to build a frame for your final edit.
  4. Cut, Cut, Cut
    Once you have the shots in place, it’s time to start trimming the start and end of each clip, so you only have the parts left that are relevant to the finished video.
  5. Add Layers and Dimensions to Your Story
    Regardless of what you’re editing, the next step is to tell the story and get the point across. What segments would benefit from close-ups? Are there shots you’ve kept out that may add an extra layer of emotion, drama and help push the point of the video more effectively. Test and try different things to see what works.
  6. Don’t Cut for the Sake of Cutting
    Unless you’re aiming for something that’s likely to give your viewers a headache, don’t just cut shots so they’re only 1 or 2 seconds long. While shots with dialogue should last as long as the dialogue, static shots and silent shots can be anything from 2 to 10 seconds. It’s best to use a variety of different shot lengths.
  7. Get Organised
    If you have a multitude of shots and footage to edit together, you should always make a storyboard, mapping out where each piece goes. Look at it as a puzzle that needs to be solved. Give each panel on your storyboard a name and make sure that corresponds to the name of the files in the video editing software you’re using. Or else, you’ll have a multitude of files to deal with and no idea where each goes and what’s even on each.
  8. Add Effects
    Although you should avoid going overboard, it’s a good idea to test and try out different effects. For scene changes try different transitions. But, try to be subtle about it and only use those that actually add something to the video.
  9. Always Use a Second Source for Sound
    Although most cameras feature an onboard mic, the sound quality is not great quality. It’s therefore a good idea to invest in a microphone and a separate system for recording the sound.
  10. Use Cutaways and B-Roll
    If you have footage of an interviewer where the person being interviewed constantly says uh and um, you can edit these out by cutting them and then adding additional clips related to the content to stop those more awkward segments ruining the whole thing.
  11. Colour Correct Clips
    Colour is an important element, obviously, of video. Modern video editing software enables you to do colour correction, which makes sure all footage has the same colours, so that there is consistency through the whole piece.
  12. Choose Music Carefully
    Remember that there’s more to video than just the images. The sound and music are important too. Think carefully about the music that will convey the right feeling and help to emphasise the message.
  13. Master Using Keyboard Shortcuts
    One of the key differences between amateurs and professionals is how they use keyboards. Experts know how important time is and one of the best ways to save some time that means you don’t need to constantly click on drop down menus etc is by learning keyboard shortcuts.
  14. Invest in a Gaming Mouse
    Rather than using the bog-standard mouse you or mousepad, many video editing professionals prefer to use a gaming mouse that has buttons that can be programmed. You can program those buttons to perform some basic editing tasks such as undo/redo and saving. This can help with keyboard shortcuts to make the whole process a little quicker.
  15. Make Sure You Have a Fast Hard Drive
    The speed of your hard drive is important because it is crucial to quicker rendering times. So, factor in the rotational speed when choosing a hard drive for your editing computer.

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