8 Great Video Editing Nuggets for Beginners

Video Editing
With the massive growth of Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Rumble and many others, the demand for video editing has grown exponentially.

For years now, our cell phones have become video cameras. As a result, everybody with a semi-decent smartphone can produce excellent quality videos.

The emergence of vlogging has increased this market. Today, millions of people video their lives and publish them on various platforms for the world to see.

Millions make a living from this. For example, in 2021, it was estimated that YouTube Mr Beast (Jimmy Donaldson) ranked first as the top-earning YouTuber worldwide with approximately 54 million U.S. dollars in earnings.

Ordinary people have embraced this new technology as consumers, content creators and publishers.

Consumers, in turn, have become adept at recognizing good quality and nasty quality videos. Discerning audiences do not tolerate poor quality. They will simply not linger on your page. There is so much other decent quality content to watch they will simply go elsewhere – fast!

Since your goal as a content publisher is to keep your audience watching for as long as possible, you need to step up your production.

Here are a few tips on how to do that.

1. Garbage In Garbage Out

Before you even get to the editing side, you need to ensure that your footage is of sufficient quality.

Both the content and the essential elements of good video shooting should be taken care of.

If your footage is rubbish, then even your best attempts at editing will be in vain, and you will end up with a garbage video.

Take care of simple things like excessive camera shake and maintaining the subject in focus at all times. Also, ensure that there is no excessive noise interrupting your video. Finally, use some basic lighting, especially if shooting indoors.

One of the biggest mistakes beginner enthusiasts make is they pan too fast. When panning, go painfully slowly – it will be fine when you playback the footage.

Another standard error is to never use a tripod for stability for the still shots. Tripods can make the difference between a really slick looking video and one that looks loose and skanky.

Lastly, it's not a good idea to overuse your zoom – if you are constantly zooming in and out, your audience will leave -it's just irritating. Instead, choose what zoom you need and then stay on that setting for the duration of the shot. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but this works as a general rule.

2. Do You Need to Invest in Expensive Video Editing Software?

Whenever you start something new, spending vast amounts of money on the latest and greatest technology and software is never a good idea.

Provided you have a smartphone with a decent video camera on it, that is enough to get you going.

Some excellent online video editing services are totally free. You can use them to edit your video.

If you need to trim video online, you can then use the trimmed video in your edits.

3. Tell a Story with Each New Video

Video is simply storytelling – the better the story, the better the video.

When you plan what you will shoot for the video, ask yourself: Is the listener being told the story I have to tell. The story is the most crucial feature of the video.

Everything you do from an editing perspective must make the story as com[elling as possible.

4. Shorter is Better

People have very short attention spans in today's fast-paced world with everything on instant tap. So there is a reason why Tik Tok became so popular.

One of the biggest criticisms of video is that it is always too long.

Anything extraneous to the actual storyline should be omitted. Of course, this doesn't mean you need to cut your 45-minute video down to 45 seconds. You should constantly be asking yourself whether your content is necessary. Does it add to the story? If not, be brutal and cut it.

5. Aim for a Nice Flow and Continuity

You can use a couple of tricks to keep the flow and avoid jarring edits and cuts.

Don't focus for too long on an actor who is speaking. This can make the video look too static.

Try cutting away to other visuals whilst the speaker is speaking. Even with a vlog, it is good to incorporate some B Roll footage to emphasize what you say in the video.

If two people are talking, it is good to cut to the person listening to film their reaction. This can add flow and increase tension and drama, and is natural.

6. Colour Colour Colour

Filming is about capturing reflections of light. If you film a scene over a period, the light changes.

If you use two cameras to film a scene, the difference in colour tone between the 2 cameras can be pretty different.

You can adjust the colour tone through two processes:

Colour Correction

To correct slight colour differences, you can adjust white balance, brightness and contrast.

Colour Grading

This process aims to apply a particular mood to a particular scene.

This is generally a high-end process and not used a lot by beginners.

However, it is good to experiment with different LUTS that apply preset styles. This will give you great exposure to the principles behind colour grading.

7. The Importance of Music in Video

Adding music to your videos will make a massive difference to the mood and emotion of the video.

Imagine going to watch a movie, and there were no backtracks?

But it's not just about choosing the right music for the scene.

It is just as important to cut the video in time to the beats of the music, or the video can have a jerky effect.

8. Balance Your Audio

You never want to have your music drowning out your speech.

Go through your audio and make sure it is well balanced to music and extraneous sounds.

Get the balance of the audio for the speech right first, and then you can adjust the other sounds making sure that they are not too loud.

Some editing software has a ducking feature that will automatically lower the extraneous sounds when there is talking.

In Summary

It is all about the story – everything you do when editing should contribute to telling the story.

Be brutal about this and only include what is essential.

Happy storytelling.