How to Approach DIY Video Editing [updated]

This blog post was updated on May 10, 2017 to reflect more recent developments.

Of all the careers to be explored and be had in the film business, editing is probably the one I have the most respect for.

Professional Editors

Adobe Premiere layout sampleWhatever producers, directors, camera people, and a myriad of other professionals screwed up en route to post-production, needs to be fixed and made look like it was the plan all along by the editor.

This is where everything from continuity mistakes, to awkward acting, to forgotten white-balance, and missing cutaways gets patched, jerry-rigged, and re-invented.

A good editor is as much a storyteller, visionary, and technician, and as she is a fixer, healer and diplomat.

For this blog post I’ll focus on editing as a “task” and not as an art form.

Of all the tasks in video marketing, hiring an editor is an investment I would urge you to make.

Workshop March 2016 Nina’s Recommendations For a Hybrid Approach

If I was to shoot a live-action promotional video for my website, I’d spend my money in two places: Head and Tails.

Head: At the on-set of my video marketing I’d spend money on a good creative director, director/writer/strategist to make sure the DIY time and money spent on video marketing was going to where it makes sense in the overall approach of your companies marketing. Because: even the best editor in the world, can’t safe a horrid script, or the wrong content approach.

Tail: an editor to help you find and craft that message from what you shot. An additional benefit, which to me alone is worth the money, is that editing and learning to edit is a ginormous time-sink. A professional editor is worth their time-savings alone.

Nina’s Recommendations for a DIY Approach

New apps and software, as well as software updates can change the edit landscape fast. Your iPhone and Mac come pre-loaded with iMovie, which is very serviceable for a basic edit, but you will reach its limits fast.

Si2-USE_phone hands edit 2-COLORCORRECTmilarly PC’s come pre-loaded with Windows Movie Maker, which is an even more limited software than iMovie.

In general I strongly recommend editing on your laptop and to use the in-phone editing just for quick edits that end up on social media, like trimming a clip and adding a title.

Most apps boil down to personal preference. I’d download a few ‘freebees’, try them out on a few test clips and take it from there. I recommend to start with the following:

Free iPhone app store:                                 iMovie

Free Android Google play:                           PowerDirector

For a beginner these apps are ok, especially iMovie has made great strides in the past few months (May ’17).

In general what you want to look for – as a minimum – in an editing software or app, is the capability to do the following:

  • Trim & Cut
  • Transitions: dissolve, cross dissolve, fade in from black or white, and fade out to black or white
  • Add a title
  • Add a photo
  • Add music
  • Have multiple video (visual) tracks so you can see one track, but hear the audio from another
  • Output to save to a folder of your choosing

If you’re super ambitious: Adobe Premiere CC is a professional edit software within the Adobe Creative Cloud package and it’s the current industry standard.

It’s well worth learning if you’re interested in editing and investing some real time and creative juice. Adobe Premiere is subscription based and belongs to the entire Adobe bundle, which features Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, After Effects, etc.

Happy creating!

 

Herewith a link pack to all other blogs that cover video editing:

Nina’s Favorite Video Edit Apps | Original date 06/22/17

How to Hire a Video Editor: 5 Questions to AskOriginal date: 06/09/17

How to Approach Video Editing – VLOG | Original date: 05/26/17

How to Make Video Edits Work for YouOriginal date: 05/12/17

How to Create a Workflow and Organize an EditOriginal date: 05/13/16 | Update: 5/10/17

A Post-Production Glossary for Editing |Original date: 05/06/16 | Update: 5/10/17

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