How-to: Video Editing and Design

A key instrument to simplifying the editing process actually begins before the filming process has taken place. This involves envisaging the overall production and creating a storyboard that lays out all the key shots and illustrates how you visualise them unfolding. In doing this, you will have a clearer understanding about your film and the filming and editing process will run much smoother and eliminate any potential for time wasted on rough-cuts and re-shoots later.


Shot sizes and angles are paramount in ensuring your video editing footage is dynamic, entertaining and engaging. In order to work out what kinds of angles and sizes you will employ, you have to think about your content. For example, if you are filming a tutorial video such as a guitar lesson – you would need mid shots for the introductory and closing scenes as well as close ups for clarity during the different chord progressions. However, if you were doing a counselling session, and just talking straight to the camera, you would seldom need varied shot sizes. However, you could make use of different camera angles by setting up two cameras and jumping between them, providing a sense of movement throughout the video.


After filming, you’ll have a cluster of files – footage, audio and images. It can be hellish trying to sort through different files with irrelevant names. That’s why it’s best to always organise your clips to avoid time wasting later. This means renaming them so you know what they are without having to constantly open and re-watch clips. It means sorting your files into folders, whether that be file types or sequence order, filming dates, or any system that works best for you.Deleting any files that you won’t be able to use (out of focus, mess-ups) and trimming down clips is another way to organize your files, so that the clip  is ready to be stitched straight into the final cut.


Music is a vital part of your video, so you need to make sure you’re picking the right stuff.  It is essentially what will set the mood of your entire video. For most videos, instrumental music is best, as it is incredibly malleable in terms of editing. Music with lyrics can be incredibly challenging to work with as it often leads to issues of timing and  clashing with voice overs and narration, resulting in a lengthy editing process. Avoid using any music that will date too quickly, otherwise you risk dating your video and having to remake it for it to stay current. You can download music from any of these sites Soundcloud, LastFM, Noisetrade.


When it comes to editing, the software you are using can either make or break your final product. Choosing one with the right features that suits your needs is key. Do your research about the different programs available to you, decide which features you’ll need, and consider how complex you want the software to be. While there are hundreds of software products out there, it’s always important to remember quality is key, and if you’re looking to sell your online video – that’s where you get your money back. Here is a selection of trustworthy editing software that might be right for you. Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, Avid Media, DaVinci Resolve.


When deciding how long your video will go for it shouldn’t depend on how much you’ve got to say, it should depend on your content and your audience. If you are making a video for entertainment purposes, keep it short (under 3 minutes) otherwise your audience will likely lose interest. If your video is educational and your topic complex, allow for much longer, but keep in mind – if you want your video to get the maximum amount of views, minimise its length.


Simple, clean and uniform are the key points to creating a professional video finish. Video effects should always be used sparingly, and in most cases, less is more. Transitions should always be seamless and invisible. Rather than alternating font types, make use of different con weights, sizes and cases in order to give a varied but uniform range of fonts. If you have filmed across a number of locations and throughout different times of the day, filters and color grading is recommended to achieve uniformity between shots. However, ensuring that it is just the one filter across the video is important, otherwise the video will look tacky and disjointed.


Remember to take time with it. While we now have the technology to create and upload video content within minutes, it’s often best to hold back and be patient with your work. Take time to review your work, trial different things, and make sure that your video is of the best quality it can be.


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