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7 Video Editing Tips for Beginners

A lot more goes into making video content than many people think. Whether you’re working on a video for YouTube or another use, video editing can be a grueling task, especially if you’re a beginner.

That said, there are a few tricks that every editor uses to streamline the process. And if you know these video editing tips, you can find your editing rhythm much faster.

Listed below is a video editing guide that will help you improve your editing skills, even if you’re a complete beginner. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Always Backup Your Work

The first thing to remember when editing a video is to always backup your work. The last thing you want to do is to be halfway through the process, only for your program to crash or your computer to start having problems.

If you have backups, any problem you might experience along the way won’t be nearly as impactful, as you’ll have a save point to go back to.

It might sound excessive, but you should have at least three backups of each project and ensure that these are in different forms. For example, you could have one backup on your computer’s hard drive, one in a USB, and one on an SD card.

This might require you to convert mkv to mp4 and make other small changes, but the small amount of extra work this process creates will be worth it when you inevitably experience issues and don’t have to start from scratch.

2. Work With a Good Editing Program

As with any type of program, there are video editing programs that can help you and ones that will make your work harder than it needs to be. When choosing a video editing specialist, be sure that it provides you with all of the tools you need to create the type of video you’re hoping for.

The program you need will depend on the type of video you’re making. If your video will be more involved and have more effects, you’ll need a professional program. On the other hand, if your editing process won’t be too in-depth, you can get away using the built-in video editing software that came with your computer.

If you decide to go the professional route, pay close attention to what each program looks like and what it has to offer. Certain programs have a steeper learning curve than others without many added benefits. Do your research before making your investment.

3. Make a Rough Cut First

Regardless of the type of video you’re making, it’s incredibly helpful to make a rough cut before getting into more serious editing. This means going through each of your clips and deciding which of them will be included in your video.

Once you have your clips chosen, you should place them in chronological order, and that’s it! You have your rough cut.

Your rough cut will cut down on the amount of footage you have to sort through, making the process of making specific edits much easier.

4. Keep Effects to a Minimum

With video editing software becoming more and more advanced, there are virtually endless options available to you regarding effects and transitions. And while your project can and should include some of them, be careful not to go overboard.

Using too many effects can make your video feel tacky and amateur, not to mention it will pull attention away from all of your hard work.

When in doubt, remember: less is more. Only use effects if it enhances rather than detracts from your project. And when choosing your transitions, pick ones that are smooth and not distracting.

5. Take Long Clips

While you’re recording your initial video clips, you should always leave a tail on either end of the footage. This means starting the camera about 30 seconds before you begin speaking and allowing it to continue recording about 30 seconds after you’ve finished. In doing so, you’ll make it easier to prevent your project from feeling choppy.

The more material you have to work with (within reason) will make it easier to fit your clips together and make them flow well.

6. Make Tight Cuts

When it comes to cuts, the opposite is true when editing. Long clips are great for when you’re recording, but when you’re editing, try to make your cuts as tight as possible without it feeling rough.

Let’s say you’re editing videos for YouTube, for example. You’re sitting in front of the camera and having a conversation with your audience. As you speak, it’s natural to make mistakes and take pauses while you think about what you’re going to say next.

Well, when you’re editing, take as many of these pauses and mistakes out as you can. This will make your video smoother and more palatable for your viewers, as well as cut down on your run time.

7. Take Plenty of Breaks

Last but not least, it’s essential that you take plenty of breaks during the editing process. Even for professional editors, video editing is a long process. And for the sake of your eyes, your back, and your sanity, you need to get up and walk away from the screen every now and then.

Try to practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes you spend staring at your screen, look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will protect your eyes from strain.

In addition, get up and walk around every 90 minutes or so. Make yourself a snack, get some fresh air, do whatever you need to do to decompress.

Use These Video Editing Tips to Take Your Editing Skill to the Next Level

When you open your video editing software and start trying to edit for the first time, it can feel extremely overwhelming – and that’s okay. Everyone experiences that feeling!

That’s why it’s important to be patient with yourself as you learn. No one becomes an expert overnight. That said, these video editing tips will help you jumpstart that process.

For more tips for getting the most out of your technology, be sure to take a look at our blog.

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