4 Best Video Editing Tips for Beginners

man editing videos

An unedited video can be likened to a book missing its cover – lacking that crucial finishing touch that unifies the content. Neglecting the editing process can convey an impression of lower professionalism, diminished quality, and a more amateurish quality in your content. It’s worth noting that a staggering 3.7 million videos are uploaded to YouTube daily, underscoring the importance of distinguishing your content through skillful editing. Recording video footage is the initial step in crafting a narrative or conveying a message. Editing, however, plays a pivotal role in rendering that content engaging and enjoyable for the viewer. Every editing decision, whether it’s a cut or the addition of background music, contributes to an enhanced viewing experience, leading to improved audience retention rates and a growing following.


The techniques employed by video editors in shaping the raw material they work with offer insights into how people construct meaning in the world. Given the identical source footage, two editors could produce distinct videos, highlighting the creative influence editors wield. A proficient editor attests to how individuals think and feel, harnessing this understanding to construct compelling narratives. While the nature of the project may influence an editor’s style, some approaches generally prove effective in various contexts. For beginners, video editing can appear daunting due to the abundance of complex information.


If you’re seeking straightforward skills to elevate your content to a professional standard, we’ve compiled a list of the top four tips everybody needs to remember:


  • Pacing is Everything – In video editing, editors construct a flow or rhythm by strategically timing their cuts. Much like a song evolves from its outset to the end, driven by a rhythm that propels it through various musical segments, video editors must establish the pace of their cuts within a specific scene or section to align with the intended mood and energy. If an edit occurs too rapidly, the audience may need help to absorb and process critical story elements. Conversely, if the amendment lingers too long, viewers can swiftly lose interest – an especially pertinent concern for editors working on web-based content.


The use of cuts is instrumental in shaping the tempo of a video. Slower-paced scenes typically entail longer durations between cuts, while faster sets incorporate a higher frequency of reductions that come closely spaced. During editing, you must contemplate the rhythm and ambiance you aim to convey in your video. The transition between scenes should facilitate a seamless journey for viewers, ensuring that the tempo of each scene aligns with its intended emotional tone, such as employing swift cuts to convey urgency.


  • Remove Unimportant Footage and Mistakes – When starting a recording, you can eliminate unwanted footage by pinpointing the problematic segment, such as the initial setup or angle adjustments. Video editing software provides the means to remove the highlighted portion. While part of the video editing process involves addressing technical and speaking errors, mastering this skill with finesse will earn you recognition and praise in the post-production industry.


A commonly employed technique for rectifying mistakes is “cutting on action.” This approach entails transitioning from one shot to another captured from a distinct angle and take, effectively omitting the error. Cutting on action creates the illusion of seamless continuity for the audience, even though the shots used in the final edit may have been recorded at different times, potentially hours or days apart. This method allows for a more polished and error-free viewing experience in the edited film.


  • Vary Shots to Hold Interest – Don’t overdo it. Diversifying your camera angles is an effective strategy to maintain your viewer’s interest. Transitioning between different perspectives, such as moving from a close-up to a wide shot, offers a visually captivating experience. Make it a goal to capture a scene from at least two distinct angles during your video recording. When you’re in the editing phase, this approach provides ample opportunities to switch between these shots. However, exercising caution with this technique is crucial, as excessive switching can create an unsettling and disorienting effect. Employing varied images to maintain a polished and engaging video is wise.


For instance, interspersing different camera angles is often necessary to familiarize the audience with the setting when commencing a scene. Once you establish the location, primarily when dialogue occurs, medium and close-up shots become paramount for audience engagement. The rationale behind this approach becomes evident when observing a speaker’s facial expressions and gestures up close is generally more compelling than from a distance. By strategically using varied shots, you can enhance the viewing experience without overwhelming your audience with constant transitions.


  • Back Up Your Work – Creating duplicates of important information is essential because storage drives are only partially immune to potential problems. Your video content is no exception. A dependable backup of the data stored on your portable hard drive ensures that you can recover your data, even if other methods fail. Desktop drives offer a viable and inexpensive solution, allowing for far more storage than your internal hard drive.


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Sarah Ross

Sarah Ross