Video editing is an important part of the content creation process, but it is an acquired skill. Knowing how to get started and what software to use can be difficult. In this blog we’ll guide you through this process so you can start editing your video content with confidence.
What Does A Video Editor Do?
A video editor adds all the elements to a video to make it more engaging for consumers. This can include music, sound effects, images, captions, A-Roll and B-Roll and much more.
Indeed provides a particularly enlightening definition of this position. “A Video Editor, or Video Production Editor, is responsible for reviewing audio and visual footage and using computer software to organize clips into a cohesive unit. Their duties include splitting or combining video clips, adding appropriate sounds or graphics and watching the finished product to catch mistakes before submitting it for review.”
Video Editing Terms You Need to Know
As with any specific trade, there are several terms you’ll need to know for video editing.
- Aspect Ratio:The height and width of your video and how they relate to each other. The most common aspect ratio is currently 16:9, the standard for high-definition videos.
- A-Roll:The main footage of your video.
- B-Roll:The secondary footage of your video (i.e., filler).
- Cut:A sharp transition from one shot to another.
For more terms to help you in your video editing journey, check out this comprehensive list from VideoProc.
Now that we have discussed a few of the most common terms, let’s explore how you can start improving your video editing skills.
Tip 1: Select Your Hardware
Video editing can be a demanding process for your computer and may even be too much for it to handle. The proper editing computer will have a multicore processor, plenty of RAM and a fast solid-state drive.
You can choose either a desktop or a laptop, but most trusted sources recommend a desktop for more power. If you need recommendations, check out the following articles from Laptop Mag and Tech Radar.
Tip 2: Choose Your Software
It is important to choose video editing software that works well for you and your company.
While there is a lot of video editing software available, the main two you will find are Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro. Adobe Premiere Pro is featured in the Adobe Creative Suite, while Final Cut Pro is Apple’s video editing software.
Most members of our team use Adobe Premiere Pro, but there are pros and cons to each platform. Here are a few of the benefits of using Adobe Premiere Pro:
- Creative Cloud Integration: Because Adobe integrates easily and effectively with other tools in the Adobe Suite, users can easily move from application to application, knowing that the content will be easy to implement.
- Multiformat Support: Adobe Premier Pro supports a variety of video formats, including MP4, MPG, AVCHD, MOV, FLV and AVI.
- Multiplatform Functionality: Unlike Final Cut Pro which only works on Apple products, Adobe Premiere Pro functions on Apple and Windows devices.
On the other hand, some of the benefits of Final Cut Pro include:
- Sound Automation: If you experience peaks, noises or hums, Final Cut Pro can automatically fix these imperfections or guide you in adjusting them manually.
- Sound Effects: Final Cut Pro gives users access to several plug-ins that offer over 1,300 royalty-free sound effects to use in your videos.
- Crash Protection: This video editing software comes with Auto Mode, a feature that protects your computer from crashing.
Ultimately, the software you choose to use for your video editing comes down to which devices you have access to and your personal preferences. If audio editing is more important to you, stick with Final Cut Pro. If flexibility is a bigger priority or you work in a team with a variety of devices, we suggest Adobe Premiere Pro.
Tip 3: Plan Out Your Video Editing Process
If you are new to video editing, the more planning you do, the better. Here are three things we like to know in advance before we start editing a video:
- Target Audience: Who you are trying to reach with your marketing content will have a significant impact on how you do your video editing. For example, sharp transitions tend to favor a younger demographic than more extended shots. Not sure who your target audience is? Check out our blog post.
- Main Idea: What is the primary focus of your video? Is there a specific message you want to send? This will help you decide what shots to emphasize when you are implementing video edits.
- Video Tone: Music, sound effects and other video editing tools can have a profound impact on the way your video is received. Don’t believe us? Check out this clever recut of Mary Poppins that makes it seem like a horror video.
Tip 4: Manage Your Files
Organization is key to successful video editing. There are many files that go into one video, and being organized is the only way to edit efficiently. Creating bins, naming files and sorting by file type are some of the tricks you can use to stay organized. Also, don’t forget about the search bar feature in Adobe Premiere Pro. You can use this tool to help locate the files you are looking for.
Adobe suggests purchasing an external hard drive to store your video files. “Raw video footage takes up a lot of space. Store your files on an external, labeled hard drive to keep your computer clutter-free. This will also protect your files in case your computer gets broken or lost.”
Tip 5: Select The Correct Files
Consumers are used to high-quality images and videos, regardless of what content they are watching. You need to find quality images and stock footage to use that will match the video you are editing. Typically, you will want to use footage that is at least 1080p or higher. Lower resolution videos work, but it will be noticeable in the final product.
As for photos, you will want to use large, high-quality images, either .png or .jpg file types.
Tip 6: Choose The Right Sound
If that Mary Poppins “trailer” was any indication, sound is incredibly important to the final version of your video.
Nas Academy puts it perfectly in their blog post, saying, “Think of your favorite horror movie – would it be the same story if you removed all the sound but the dialogue? Good sound design not only tells a story, though, it also informs the audience how they’re supposed to feel in this moment, hints at what’s coming next in the story, and enhances the atmosphere and tone of the video.”
Picking the right sound often requires trial and error. You will have to select sound effects and music from your audio library of choice, but you won’t know if you like the matchup of the music and video until you hear them together. Just make sure to take your time, and you will end up with a product you are proud of.
You also need to be aware of copyright infringement. If you just take music from anywhere you like, you run the risk of running into legal issues. The best way to avoid this is to get music from a royalty-free music service.
Tip 7: Tell A Story
Your job as a video editor is to tell a story. This is true whether you are making a narrative video or not. Even a promotional post should tell a story to the audience.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with different shots. Like choosing sound, video editing is largely trial and error; sometimes you will find inspiration by trying new things. Video editing is an art. Experiment and find out what works best for your marketing content.
Tip 8: Make Strong Transitions
While video editing, you can pick transitions that work well for your organization.
If you’re new to video editing, you may want to use a fun transition between shots; however, this is a huge faux pas. Flashy transitions are distracting and take away from the video. The most you will ever need to do is dissolve or dip to black. That being said, usually a clean cut will be your best option.
Tip 9: Add Captions
Doing caption work is not glamorous, but it is crucial for your video success. Adding captions into your video makes it more accessible to deaf or hard of hearing audiences and will also help with search engine optimization.
Tip 10: Format Your Video
There are a wide variety of video file formats out there. The one you will use the most often is MP4, which is accepted on most video uploading services. For Adobe Premiere Pro, you will want to export using H.264 in high-quality 4k 2160p. This will allow your video to be played in 4K and help future-proof your content as well.
Tip 11: Market Your Video Effectively
While marketing might not be your job as a video editor, it is important to note that your video will not be successful if you do not market it properly. Don’t be afraid to be creative and think outside of the box. If you have a video that is seasonal or relates to a holiday, you can make use of some of the tips from this blog post.
Let Us Help With Your Video Editing!
Successful video editing is great for your business and can put your brand on the map in a unique way. If you need help with video editing or have questions about marketing or video editing, contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing professionals who are eager to help you reach your marketing goals.
Sign up for a complimentary consultation during May and receive an Email Marketing Guide valued at $475! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs – no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!