Editing is usually the final process before the video is shown to viewers. If you have to create the video yourself, you’ll know it’s an extremely time consuming process.
If you’ve just got into the editing process, you might be confused as to what to do with the millions of clips you already have. Do not worry. Here are 8 things to keep in mind to help enhance your editing abilities.
8 tips for professional video editing
- 1. Maintain a project directory
- 2. Keep two backups
- 3. Neat editing of video
- 4. Choose your “weapon” wisely
- 5. Avoid jumpcuts
- 6. Use the second source for audio
- 7. Change different scenes
- 8. Tell stories seamlessly
1. Maintain a project directory
When editing a large project for the first time, it’s easy to just throw everything to the desktop and hope everything goes well. Simply put, don’t do that. Every time you start an editing project, you should create something called a “project directory”.
It is actually quite simple. Create a project folder, and in that directory, there should be a few subfolders called Raw Footage, Sound, Music, Photos, Graphics, etc. Then you should put all your documents in these directories according to the correct type. You should also label each file individually with a brief description of what’s going on in it (but only if you have the time to do it). Project files (whether for iMovie or Premiere) can be placed in the home folder, not necessarily in a subdirectory.
This will make your project better organized and make everything accessible. The quick workflow doesn’t guarantee you will be able to find exactly what you want, but at least it can save you time.
2. Keep two backups
To prevent hard drive and memory card malfunction, it’s extremely important to keep a copy in a separate location. Cloud storage can also be a good choice, but storing videos can be quite time consuming. Always keep a copy of the project folder on your computer and on a separate hard drive somewhere else.
When the project is over and you want to store something else, keep the files on an external hard drive and delete everything from your main computer. Your hard drive may never crash, but in the event of an error, a backup is valuable.
3. Neat editing of video
It’s very easy to throw a clip onto the timeline and do nothing. But don’t do that. Trim the beginning and end of the clip to make it tidier, then find the right time to add the clip. Nobody wants to waste time watching the miscellaneous things before the main action happens, so get used to neatly tweaking the video for the benefit of your audience.
4. Choose your “weapon” wisely
When choosing a video editor, control is most important. Do you need some simple tool that just throws a few clips in and then adds a name to finish? iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or YouTube video editor will be the options worth considering.
However, if you need a slightly more sophisticated tool that lets you organize videos like Photoshop and use keyboard shortcuts, then Adobe Premiere Pro by Adobe Creative Cloud (used for editing releases Latest movies, like Gone Girl) would be a good choice. Keep in mind, however, that it will take some time to get used to these editors. Sometimes you should start with editors like Adobe Premiere Elements, Final Cut Pro X or Sony Vegas, first.
YouTube and Vimeo offer tons of tips for any type of editing, just spend some time searching.
5. Avoid jumpcuts
(Jumpcut or dance part is cut off when editing video).
When filming interviews where the interviewee keeps saying “um” or “uh”, you will be really in trouble. The good news is that you can cut these clips and then add additional content-related video clips (called b-roll or cutaways) instead of these awkward moments. If you do this carefully, your video will be perfect.
Note that you’ll need an advanced (non-linear) editing system for this using a tool, like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut. Dedicated editors allow video layering, but iMovie doesn’t.
6. Use the second source for audio
You will always get a clearer sound when using a tool other than the camera. If possible, record your sound with a better microphone and separate recording system. If possible, fall in love with the person you’re recording audio recording separately and sync audio later (again, you’ll need a non-linear editor for this). You can do this visually by matching waveforms, applause, or using something like PluralEyes. Currently, Adobe Premiere CC actually provides similar synchronization functionality by having it built in in the app.
Unfortunately, the low-level editors can’t do this. If possible, look for a microphone (like a lavalier or chain microphone) that can be plugged directly into the camera. This is a quick solution for better sound, and you should find a way to avoid using the camera microphone as your primary audio source.
7. Change different scenes
Another important thing to consider while editing is to keep your content intuitive and interesting. Instead of just using the same shot for the entire video, try changing different angles to make the video more interesting. Doing this is as simple as recording your interview with two cameras and switching between them (another way to get rid of the unnecessary “uh” and “um” parts).
However, it is important to refrain from cutting these segments. Don’t do it every second. One good rule to keep in mind is to perform cuts based on the rhythm of the background music, or on pauses while someone is speaking. If you overdo this, the video will be jerky, causing discomfort for the viewer.
8. Tell stories seamlessly
Most importantly when you edit is remember to tell a seamless story. And a story must have 3 parts: the beginning, the middle and the end.
Without going through the editing process, you will only have a random collection of photos, without any links. The editing process will make the video structure complete and the professional video editors are always the highest paid in the film industry.
While you may not have to become a professional editor, these tips will be of great help. Hope you enjoy them. Do you have any other tips for editing videos professionally? Let us know in the comments below!
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