6 Video Editing Tips You Should (But Don’t) Know

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Did you know that the job outlook for film and video editors is expected to grow 33 percent by 2030 (much faster than the national average)?

With such positive growth, learning to video edit might be something you’re looking to do. If you already know how to edit video, then you might simply be looking to advance your skills. Luckily, we’re here with a few of the biggest tips you can know.

Read on to learn 6 of the best tips for video editing.

1. Play Around With Software

It’s always good to try out new things with your craft, and switching up software is always a good place to start. On the flip side, there might be features in the software you already use that you haven’t even touched yet.

If you’re not already set on certain software, though, taking the time to experiment with different ones is always a good idea. Adobe Premiere Pro is a popular option, and it’s one that’s widely used by professionals and amateurs alike. Final Cut Pro is also a great option, but it’s only available on Mac and it can be expensive for some.

For a free but comprehensive option, DaVinci Resolve is a great software to try out (it’s also available on iPad).

2. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts

While the software is important, so are the shortcuts you can find within each one. Each program is going to come with its own set of custom shortcuts, and taking the time to memorize, review, and customize the different ones in your software of choice can be revolutionary.

Not only is it going to change your workflow, but it might also help you land a job if you’re looking to make a professional career out of video editing. If you know the shortcuts, you’re showing that you know the software, and that’s crucial for landing jobs.

3. Streamline Your Workflow

This might sound simple, but streamlining and optimizing your workflow can take a lot of trial and error. It’s about finding what works best for you and then setting a system into place that allows you to access everything you need.

At a minimum, you need to label your clips and color code if you can. This way, you can stop spending minutes at a time looking for a specific clip or audio file. 

Finding a quick way to share files when it’s needed is also important. If you’re working on a Mac, setapp.com can help make all the difference.

Remember, what you decide to do doesn’t have to make sense to everyone else. It just has to work for you.

4. Learn the Art of the Rough Cut

Also called an assembly cut, this doesn’t typically leave the editing room. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a team or by yourself, cutting your major clips together into something that’s about 150 percent of the project length can make all the difference when it comes to getting your story together.

If you’ve ever talked to a writer, then you’ve probably heard them say something like, “Just write your first draft. You can go back and edit later.” That same principle applies here.

Instead of editing and attempting to perfect pieces of what you already have, just get your rough draft down and focus on perfecting in your second, third, even fifth round of edits. What matters the most is ensuring your story is together, and that it flows the way you want it to.

You can focus on getting all the small details together after.

5. Sleep on It

Sometimes, though, your rough cut isn’t even going to reveal itself the first time around. You might find that you’re trying to clamor your way through a storytelling rut, but it’s not working. You started at 9 a.m. and it’s now 7 p.m. and you still have nothing to show.

That’s when you need to stop.

It might sound counterproductive, but packing it up for the night, going home, getting some rest, and coming back the next day can make all the difference. You’ve let your mind step back from the frustration in order to gain some clarity, and you’re highly likely to notice the difference it can make.

If you can’t go home, just get up from the computer for 10-15 minutes. Go for a walk or make some coffee, just give your mind a break from trying to create the perfect rough cut the first time around. Forcing creativity helps nobody, and your work might end up being sloppy if you try.

6. Plan Your Storage in Advance

Don’t wait until you’ve landed your client to think about storage and backup options. In fact, this should be something you think about when you first start learning to edit video. Here are a few questions to have the answers to before you start any project:

  • What footage format are you working with?
  • How long do you need to keep the footage after completion?
  • How much space is this going to take up? (add 25% to be safe)
  • Can your computer handle the footage?

These are important questions to answer. Since they can all have an effect on the overall cost, time, and budget of a project, 

Remember These Tips for Video Editing

Now that we’ve gone through six of the best tips for video editing, it’s time for you to put them into practice. Whether you’re just getting started with video editing or you have years of experience, what we’ve gone over today can help you get on track to becoming a certified expert in no time.

For more on the latest in tech and cinematography, check out the rest of our website.


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