5 Film Editing Tips For Beginners

What Are The Best Film Editing Tips For Beginners?

contributed by Alex Bondarenko

Have you been thinking about the possibility of learning film editing for quite a while but are not sure whether this is what you need?

Well, you are not alone with your thoughts. Many people that are now working in the film industry used to hesitate about their choices. But once they’ve made it right, they enjoy their work every single day. Some of them share their secrets of film editing, which you, as a beginner, can get the advantage of. Oh, by the way, if you want to learn more not only about video editing but also about the film industry overall, you might find 25 resources for teaching with movies & film useful.

What Is Video Editing? What Is Its Role in the Film Production Process?

Editing is an essential part of the process of the creation of any video product. No matter if it is a two-minute-long ad or a video for a YouTube channel, or a feature film with Ryan Gosling starring, it will definitely go through the stage of editing. 

Although the work of an editor includes lots of technical skills for cutting scenes, matching cuts, and so much more, this job is also highly creative. Professionally made editing can make the film much better than expected and, vice versa, a poor job brings poor results. Anyway, the film production process is impossible without editing. An editor is a person who joins small scattered clips into a single meaningful video that makes you cry or laugh every time you visit a movie theater.

What Do You Need to Start Editing Videos?

These are not only your creativity and skills that matter when it comes to film editing. To be able to apply all your knowledge and skills, you should have quality video editing software. Depending on your proficiency in film editing, you can choose either LWKS or FXhome products. In case you don’t have enough experience in the sphere and are still looking for software that you will feel comfortable working with, check out Shotcut video editor. If this is too difficult for you, Online Video Editor by Movavi can become a great solution due to its user-friendly interface and useful features for a simple video editing process.

Film Editing Tips for Beginners

People usually don’t like sharing their secrets. Luckily, it’s not about video editors. Though all of them have their own style and technique, some secrets are common for all of them.

1. Ask Someone Else’s Opinion

Working long hours on a project, your eye gets less sharp to notice any minor flaws. What can you do in such a case? Ask someone to watch the rough piece with you.

The second opinion might be really valuable if you are stuck in your job. And even if the viewer knows nothing about editing videos, their presence may help you catch the confusing moments and jarring cuts you kept missing when watching the video alone. The reaction of the audience to the scenes can also help to see them with someone else’s eyes. Professional movies go through test screenings to let the editors watch the emotion of the viewers and see what is good and what is still worth working on.

Such an approach is the best for creating a flawless and smooth video.

2. Try Watching a video with the sound off

This trick is widely used by professional editors. They say that if you do get the plot of the film even with the sound off, then the work is done great. Watching a video with the sound off is an effective way to spot the dialogues that bear no value for the film plot, and their elimination from the final product can improve its pace without any harm to the story.

Besides, watching a muted video, you can concentrate on the pacing of the scenes and thus make changes to create a more dynamic and lively picture.

In fact, any changes to how your brain percepts the visual information might be helpful in the video editing process. Some editors also change the video’s color to black and white or apply other techniques to see it differently and do the necessary edits.

3. Listen to the audio with the images off

The video editing process is not only about working with the images. This also involves adding sound effects, music and adjusting them to the picture you see on the screen. When you turn the screen off and concentrate on the audio, you notice the moments when the music is too loud or too silent.

It is also much easier to notice the stumbles in the dialogues and a lack or an excess of audio effects in a particular scene. All these can easily be changed thanks to video software for editing. The story is told not only in visuals but also in dialogues.

By understanding which factors are most crucial for your project and which are not, you can create better videos more quickly. 

4. Keep it simple

One of the biggest mistakes of beginner editors is that they overdo it with special effects, transitions, graphics, and anything else they want to show their creativity through. However, this is rarely a good idea to overload a video with all those things. This is especially true when it goes about the text in a video. Trying to be creative, don’t forget that the text is always perceived better when it looks clean.

Anyway, this shouldn’t stop you from experimenting. Countless tools featured in video editing programs are rather tempting to try. But you should keep in mind that special effects are great only when they match the situation on the screen perfectly well and make it better. 

5. Put the project aside to get a fresh view

If you have enough time to put your editing aside for at least a day, do it. Long days of work on the same scenes blunt your perception. By distancing from the editing for some time, you can rebuild your perspective and then get down to the job with a fresh eye. Everyone will win from this situation, so you’d better try it, especially when your editing job has gone far beyond a couple of days. 

Final Word

Video editing is creative work demanding much time and effort. Hopefully, these tips will help you speed it up and bring your skills to a higher level.