A video editor with headphones on sits at two computer screens editing a video.
30 July 2022 The basics of video production

The Basics of Video Editing: A Guide to Getting Started

Dive into the captivating world of video editing, from choosing software to mastering sound design.

Itching to get your hands dirty in the world of video editing? Whether you're dreaming of the next big movie or just wanting to sharpen your skills for a video production company, I'm here to give you an insider's look. Let's jump right in, shall we?

1. Why Video Editing?

First off, let's chat about why editing is so important. Think of raw footage as the ingredients of a recipe. Editing is the cooking process, turning those raw ingredients into a delicious dish. It crafts your story, sets the mood, and ensures your audience stays glued to the screen.

2. Picking the Right Software: The Unsung Hero

Now, software choice is a biggie. There's a boatload out there, from the free ones that won't leave a dent in your wallet to the pro ones that make your jaw drop (and not always in a good way!). Some of the go-tos include Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and Final Cut Pro. But if you're just starting, something like iMovie might be more your speed. Remember, it's not about having the fanciest tool; it's about how you wield it.

3. The Lay of the Land: Navigating the Interface

Most software uses a timeline setup. Picture this: different tracks (kind of like layers in Photoshop) where you can stack video clips, music, voiceovers, and effects. It's worth taking an afternoon to poke around and see where everything is. Believe me, knowing your way around the software is half the battle.

4. Techniques: Your Editing Arsenal

  • Cutting: This is your bread and butter. Basically, you're chopping out bits you don't want.

  • Transitions: The little effects that glide you from one scene to the next. There are classics like the fade, the swipe, and the ever-controversial star wipe (use with caution!). The key? Less is often more.

  • Effects & Colour: Ever watched a film and thought, "Why does everything look so dreamy?" That's colour grading. It's all about setting the mood. But hey, there's also fun stuff like speed changes, reversals, and even special effects if you're feeling fancy.

  • Text and Graphics: From your opening title to credits rolling, text is vital. Play with fonts, sizes, and animations, but always keep it readable!

5. Sound Design: The Unsung Hero of Video

Sound. It’s not just about blasting your favourite tune in the background. It sets the scene, creates emotion, and honestly, bad sound can break an otherwise fantastic video. Keep ears peeled for jarring noises and ensure dialogue is crystal clear.

6. Finishing Up: Exporting Your Masterpiece

All done editing? Time to show the world! But first, you need to 'export'. Think of it as packing up your video in a format others can easily watch. Different platforms like YouTube or Vimeo have their preferences, so do a quick check on their requirements.

7. Feedback Loop: It's Not Scary, I Promise!

It's always a good shout to get a second (or third) opinion. Don't be shy; ask friends or colleagues to have a gander. Constructive criticism? That's pure gold.

8. Evolving & Learning: The Journey Never Ends

The world of video editing is like a river, constantly flowing and changing. Stay curious, keep updating your skills, and maybe consider hanging out at a video production company for a bit. There's always something new to learn!

So, there you have it! A bit more meat on the bones of video editing. Dive in, have fun, and remember: every editor started with that daunting first clip. 

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Emily Malone

Written by Emily Malone Marketing Manager for Venture — a full-service video production agency that specialises in producing creative videos & campaigns that get real results.

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