The Basics of Video Editing
The art of video editing is a vital skill for any aspiring video marketer. A talented editor can take footage shot by just about anyone and create a marketing video that will establish creditability and build trust with your target audience.
According to Internet Retailer, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchase decisions. When a video is information-intensive, 66% of consumers will watch the video two or more times. (Internet Retailer, 2012)
Video Editing or Post-Production
Is where the “magic” happens and knowing how to make movie magic is a vital piece in the process of producing a film, video marketing piece, promo, or commercial. However, mastering the ins and outs of editing software is not something easily learned through a blog post or article. It requires hands on experience, and lots of it.
If you are a beginner with a small budget try getting started with a basic video-editing program such as iMovie or Windows Movie Maker.
But, if you can afford it, it is best to invest in a more robust program like Final Cut Pro or Adobe’s Premier Pro and After Effects. Once you have some software, PRACTICE!
Here are some tips for being good at video editing regardless of the software you are using:
- Create and follow a detailed system to ensure that your uploaded footage remains organized and easy to navigate.
- Use your treatment or script to provide a starting point for when, where, and how to make cuts.
- If you are working with a team, the Director, Producer and Editor should work together to develop the final look and feel of the project. Including music, graphics (GFX), sound effects (SFX), color correction, etc.
- Know and follow the story structure.
- Remember that you are a storyteller/ marketer first and an editor second.
- Establish environment.
- Anytime your story changes locations it is important to tell the audience where they are by establishing the environment of that scene. Typically this is done through wide shots of landscape or skyline, however, you can use close ups to convey environment as well. For example: a close-up of a women’s hands pouring a beer can establish that the story has moved to a bar, thus providing context for the upcoming scene.
- When editing interviews, cut out all unnecessary dialogue.
- No matter how well planned an interview may be, it is inevitable that the interviewee will mess up or stumble over there own words. Frequent “um’s”, repeated information, and bad takes are all common occurrences. As the editor, one of your responsibilities is to watch all of the raw footage and, in collaboration with your producer/ director, cut the interview so that it conveys the desired message in as few words as possible.
- Stock footage/ B-roll
- Stock footage or B-roll is used to give the audience a visual example of what the interviewee is talking about. For example: Imagine you are interviewing the CEO or Manager of a resort in Fiji. When the interviewee discusses specific aspects of the resort, the editor uses video to provide a visual image of the topic being discussed.
- Stock footage or B-roll is also used to cover or hide cuts in the primary footage or “A-roll”. By using stock footage, from a site like TheStockFootageComapny.com, you can mask the cuts in your footage and piece together the best parts of the interview to form one cohesive message.
- Provide variety
- Make sure that you mix the depth, angle, and style of your shots to avoid “morphing”. For example: if you have a wide shot, follow it up with a close up or medium shot, but do not go from one wide shot to another wide shot.
- If you are transitioning from a close up of a persons face to a close up of another person’s face, which is often done in interviews, make sure that you alternate sides. For example: if subject 1 was shot on the left side of your frame make sure that you transition to a subject that was shot on the right side of the frame. Thus avoiding a situation where it appears that subject 1 is “morphing” into subject 2.
Be deliberate, do everything on purpose and for a good reason.
It is important that you be able to explain the thinking process behind all of your cuts and edits. The editing process is instrumental in creating the final look and feel of any project, take the time to do it right and you will be rewarded.
- Use the Internet to your advantage. There are thousands of different tutorials for every type of editing software that is out there. Just type “software name” and “tutorials” into your search engine and you should find all the help you need to get started editing.
- Forums can be very helpful as well. Without fail, someone else has experienced and conquered the same problem you are facing. Posting your questions on a forum can save you from the time and headache of trying to figure it out on your own.
Guest Post by Jason Fox: If you would like more tips on how to produce high quality films and marketing videos, visit us at TheStockFootageCompany.com