Editing is the final and often the most time-consuming process of videography. It’s the editor’s job to stitch together every other process of cinematography – the cameraman’s shots, the director’s vision, the scriptwriter’s story, etc. Even if you are a solo videographer, editing together all these elements will be a challenge.
There are some tricks that pros use to make the process of editing smoother and less stressful. We’ve covered 9 such tricks for you in this article and they will help you edit like a pro.
Professionally edited videos will help you increase your reach across various social media platforms.
- Follow a Directory Structure
As you progress in your editing journey from beginner to a pro, you’ll have multiple projects, multiple edit files, multiple raw files, multiple audio files, and multiple renders. If you don’t start following a structure right from the start, you’ll end up with a complete mess.
Have a set naming convention and file structure and follow it for every file that you use in every project.
- Follow The 3 2 1 Methodology
Every seasoned editor has stories of files they spent days editing only to lose them to file corruption. Pros learn from these mistakes and follow the 3 2 1 methodology – save 3 copies of each file, in at least 2 separate locations, with at least one copy on an external drive.
If you follow the 3 2 1 methodology right from the start, you will save yourself a world of trouble and frustration, trust us on that.
- Choose Your Editing Tool And Stick To It
There are multiple editing tools available today that vary in capability and also in pricing. The one you select should depend on your needs and your existing resources, like how powerful your computer is.
You can perform basic editing like clipping and rendering on tools like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker which have free versions. Some of the best online video editors also have free versions you can use.
Tools like Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects have features that will allow you to create movie-level cinematography, and as you must’ve guessed, they are also expensive. Choose the right tool for you depending on the level of your projects.
You want to choose wisely right at the start and then stick to that tool so that you can master it rather than keep switching between tools.
- Start By Cutting Out Dead Shots
Start editing by trimming everything that you don’t need. When there are long videos and many of them, editing can get overwhelming. But when you trim dead content – shots in between actual scenes, the parts where your subject is thinking or using filler words like umm, etc, you are left with actual usable footage.
This also gives you a birds-eye view of what usable content you have, and you can then make proper editorial decisions.
- Be Careful Not To Create Jump Shots
One thing to be careful about when trimming is creating jump-cut effects. When you trim filler words, for example, you might be left with a sudden and jerky camera movement from one word to another and they won’t have synchronicity.
To avoid jump cuts, pros often leave a few seconds of dead scenes (what you were trimming in the previous step) at the start and end of each clip. They then either use this to smoothly transition between clips or layer a different clip on top and transition between the two clips.
- Use Different Angles For Effect
When you’re shooting a still subject, like in an explainer video, adding shots taken at different angles will add more flavor to the video and make it interesting. Still, videos can seem monotonous and boring even if you’re using the best online video editor and some movement is always needed.
This will have to be planned before the clips are shot, however. You will need multiple cameras placed at different angles so you get shots from different angles.
You can then clip different shots together and add transition effects to get smooth movement in the video even though the subject is still.
- Shoot In High-Quality & Maximum Colour
HD videos may be large in size, but you have the option to lower file size when exporting. You can’t however, improve the quality of a low-quality shot. That is why it is best to shoot at the highest quality.
The same goes for coloring. If you have a video with high lighting and visible colors, you can always color correct the clip in editing, but you cannot completely improve a shot with bad lighting and poor colors even if you’re using the best online video editor.
Make it a point to shoot at the highest level of quality and light and then edit colors in the post-processing stage.
- Record Audio Separately
Having clear audio is extremely important. Recording video and audio from the same source is never a good idea because you will always end up compromising on one.
A better idea is to have a separate source for audio, like a professional mic. This gives you the freedom to place the audio and video sources at different locations that work best for each.
Another trick is to shoot video first and dub audio later. You may have to do this even if you have a second source of audio, in case some parts of the video are not clearly audible.
- Keep The Story Intact
Lastly, it is your job as the editor to keep the flow of the story intact. Either you or the director of the video will have a story in mind. The editing should keep this story intact. You will need to sequence the clips correctly and use the right effects to portray the emotion of each scene and continue the flow of the story.
Editing videos is hard and requires both creative and technical skills, so don’t be hard on yourself if you make mistakes, especially as a beginner. As you edit and practice you’ll learn the nuances of the editing tool and more tricks like keyboard shortcuts to edit quicker and soon be editing like a pro.