Do you edit videos as a profession or as a hobby? Do you know what a good video editor needs to do their jobs better?
Of course, there is no magic formula for editing videos, but there are a few things that can work as a checklist of what you can do to become a better video editor.
Just to make it clear, sometimes the term “video editor” is a synonym of “video editing software”, but here we’re talking about people who edit videos as video editors, not the video software! Remember that because you may find this term with the other meaning every now and then on the Internet.
Now, let’s discover what are the 4 skills every video editor should develop.
1. Create your own editing techniques
The first thing you need to become a good video editing professional is to exercise your creativity in terms of editing techniques so that you can always adapt to different types of video and to types of projects. You need to always manage to put into practice your specific way of editing for creating your own editing style that is always unique.
The creativity to produce videos (record videos) is different from the creativity required to edit videos. In video editing, you need to develop your own techniques to make your editing better as a whole.
It can be the way you add transitions between video clips and other media clips (especially audio clips), it can be the way you apply color grading and color correcting to videos, it can be your techniques for adding special effects to your video projects, and so on.
Thus, your clients and potential clients will always identify your videos as “yours” because the way they are edited, you will create an editing identity! It also helps to build a portfolio to present to clients.
Maybe your way of editing is more dynamic with more cuts, maybe your way of editing results in slower videos that work as a narrative story.
You can also create a different dynamic for each project. It all depends on what you want to communicate to the viewers, but you always need to identify your own editing technique so that viewers identify the video as yours before seeing the ending credits with the line “Edited by: Your Name“.
2. Know how to organize your workflow to optimize the editing process
This one is really for the pros! The faster you can finish a video while maintaining quality editing, the more your clients and the viewers of your videos will appreciate your work. And keeping your workflow organized will help you finish a project much faster! This includes a few simple steps that can speed up your video editing jobs:
- Watch the raw (unedited) video clips before starting the project to see what material is available and to get some ideas.
- Choose the project’s music, sound effects, VFX (Visual Effects) templates and other media before you start editing.
- Structure the video into a script, even if it’s a simple text file in Notepad with the main stages of what you’ll edit scripts in a logical order.
- Organize the video files into separate folders, one for each media type, and put them all in a single folder for the project and rename the files with keywords to find them faster during editing (video clips, music files, sound effects and others).
- Close unnecessary programs running in the background on your computer (especially the Internet browser) to increase the performance of the Video Editing Software, no matter which one you use.
- Create a template project that you always use to start new videos.
- Keeping the video editing software dashboard organized.
- Avoid creating unnecessary media tracks so that your project stays organized and easy to work with.
- Do not create media tracks that will only group one media file (audio, video or other).
See the full explanation of these steps and some other ideas on how to speed up your workflow in our post:
3. Know how to structure the storytelling of a video
Whether a video is narrative or a non-narrative video, it always has a beginning, a middle and an ending structure. Even very short videos that are only a few seconds/minutes long follow this order. So, as a video editing professional, it’s very important that you know how to tell stories clearly so that viewers understand the main message of every video you edit.
Internet videos, series and movies, or any other audiovisual content has a storytelling structure, even if the story has some purpose such as delivering information, teaching about something, entertaining, and so on. Another important thing is that you need to know how to add the transitions between the beginning, the middle and the ending of a video in a smooth way that is not obvious to the viewers.
The audience needs to be as immersed as possible in the video storytelling. No matter what project you’re working on, it’s always important to know how to structure its storytelling in a smart way.
4. Know different video cutting techniques
A mistake that some video editors make is forgetting to vary the techniques of cutting media clips. Cuts in video clips, in audio clips and other media files included in video projects are essentials for successful videos, the cuts completely change the video dynamics. A video without any cut makes it too difficult for the audience to focus all time-through.
There are 3 types of video cuts you can study and put into practice in your video projects to make them more dynamic:
- Jump Cut
Search for tutorials on the Internet on how to apply those three types of video cut to your video projects to increase its engagement. It’s important to keep in mind that if the video you are editing has speech (people talking) that is more than 10 seconds long, the cuts mentioned above will be very useful to add more dynamics to narrative audio (the speech).
Awesome! Now you know what are the 4 skills every video editor should have. So don’t hesitate to put what you’ve learned into practice!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!