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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations beginner tips for video editing

  • Eric Santiago

    January 9, 2022 at 1:49 am

    Where are you as far as a video editor goes?

    Do you have any other experience that would help supplement your venture?

    I started in CG and always considered editing a lesser medium.

    Boy was I wrong.

    I got into filmmaking, purchased my own gear, work as a motion designer,

    and it all helped me get gigs in all aspects such as editing and finishing.

    Of late I’ve done a few assemblies for feature-length films as well as color grades.

    I still rent and shoot with my RED gear and love having all these options.

    I am not sure if I can make a living as an editor alone especially where I reside.

    Again, you need to have some experience with almost all aspects.

    I for one am somewhat of a jack of all trades but master of none.

    Doesn’t sound good but it does get me opportunities to work on so many different projects.

    Do you have access to any training resources?

    Lots to cover, similar to your other question/post.

  • André Angelino

    January 11, 2022 at 11:12 pm

    To be honest, I’m a little lost on this, I’m only 16 years old but I’m interested in the video editing area, and with some research I did, I got interested in being a freelancer, and I’m still learning to edit .

  • Eric Santiago

    January 12, 2022 at 3:07 pm

    YouTube has so many free learning options.
    Try them all with an open mind.

  • Mark Suszko

    January 21, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Andre’ everyone starts somewhere. I’d suggest a little schoolwork in history and theory first will make your later training and learning go faster and make more sense. It will also either confirm or disprove your level of interest. That will also save you time if you find out this isn’t really what you wanted to do.

    So, try Amazon and Ebay for used college video production textbooks, doesn’t matter if they are a few years out of date; the basic principles don’t change. You might find one of my old production books by Zettl, even, I think they were on papyrus scrolls or cuneiform tablet… Unlike random walks thru YouTube at this stage, it’s better for you to have it all in one place, with some kind of structure made by a pro. Read up a little bit on the history of editing: Wikipedia is also a good place. Read about Kuleshov, Eisentein, Melies, Griffith, Edwin Porter, Margaret Booth, Thelma Schoonmaker, Walter Murch. There’s a heck of a lot more, but these are a start. Understand what the Theory of Montage Means, because it’s going the be the foundation of what you do. Understand the names of the various camera shots, not just wide and tight, but medium, xcu, and pan, tilt, zoom, dolly, high angle, low angle, dutch angle, etc. These are the punctuation that comes with your grammar.

    At the same time you are book-larnin’, get your hands dirty actually doing the things you read about: get any cheap or free editing software you like, and using camcorder or phone footage, start practicing the Art Of The Cut; that is, knowing where and why to cut, to advance the story but also create more meaning than the original shots alone had.

    I had six years of schooling in TV, from junior high and college, and 34 years of making TV for a living, and I’d be a liar if I told you I knew everything there is about making the best cut every time. I’m still learning my craft, every time I do something… and I’m retired!

    So, don’t get bogged down in fancy stuff: your editing exercises should be really, really simple stuff you can shoot around the house, of yourself, or if you’re shy, of others, and if nobody’s handy or you want to practice in private, you can even use toys and dolls or action figures, doesn’t matter, just get the shots from every possible angle, and start cutting together dialogue and action scenes. Nobody is going to see these but you. Your scripts can be downloaded from the web, or made up by you, they can even just be an audio recording of a random conversation. Just so you have words said by 2 or more people, and shots to match up to the words. Or music. But that’s more advanced….

    As you get more familiar with the “grammar” of various shots, what they mean or imply, you will see common stuff on TV and web with a new eye. The exercise I give you is, watch one of each of these, with the sound off. By observation, note how many different cameras there are to get the shots, what the order of shots are. As you get the feel of it, just by watching the actors, try to out-guess the director and editor, snap your fingers and call out what you think the next shot is going to be.

    Do this for an hour of news, for an interview show, for any soap opera, any game show, any sports event, and thirty minutes of commercials. In your head, what you have read, and what you experienced while playing with the phone and action figures, and what you watched with the sound off, is all going to suddenly make a lot of sense to you. It is going to feel like the clip from The Matrix when Neo is beginning to “see” the code the Agents are made of.

    You will understand the power of the right cut and how it can change emotions, create ideas.

    And now, you are ready to start doing classes, watching the online videos from Ripple Training, Larry Jordan, This Guy Edits, and a bunch of others…or getting together with others around you to make something fresh from scratch. You’re young, so you can do all these things somewhat simultaneously… but first, I’d start with the books, and the cheap or free NLE editing software. Cuts, fade, dissolves, a wipe or two, that’s all you need to start, and all many of us ever use, our whole careers. Not because they’re easy, but because they are so very powerful.

    Best of luck to you, and come back if you have more questions.

  • André Angelino

    January 25, 2022 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks a lot for the help

  • Geoff Birmingham

    February 2, 2022 at 8:21 pm

    I will just add: I think it’ll be much easier to chase down work as a video producer, rather than as an editor. I started as a freelance editor, and it was hard to string together enough work. And that’s when I decided to produce AND edit (I hire freelancers to be my filming crew as needed). If you learn how to make your own videos – soup to nuts – then you can get paid for both! Way more profitable than what the producer will pay you to edit his or her videos. And there are a lot of producers (like myself) who don’t hire out. Edit their own video.

    Long and short: focus on becoming a producer/editor, not just an editor.

  • Ashley Rabot

    September 18, 2023 at 10:38 am

    Start by learning some basic software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro. Experiment actively with cutting, crossfading, and syncing visuals to sounds. Learn keyboard shortcuts – they’re lifesavers! Lastly, watch loads of edited videos for inspiration and critique.

  • Michael Gissing

    September 19, 2023 at 3:56 am

    And Blackmagic’s Resolve as it has a free version and is cross platform. It is also an industry standard for finishing work like color grading. Don’t get sucked into subscription software unless it pays for itself.

  • jackky joy

    September 20, 2023 at 8:15 am

    I don’t know what you know exactly. However, one thing that helped me a lot was watching YouTube tutorials.

  • Vivek Kumar

    September 27, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    My personal tips: start simple and don’t rush. Learning video editing is like learning an instrument, and your skills will develop with practice.

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