Of course, it’s impossible to learn the art of video editing by reading just one article, but we’ll try to tell you at least the basics of this craft. We sincerely hope that you will find the following information useful at work or in your home studio.
First of all, let’s break down the definition of “video editing”. What is this “beast” and what does it do?
The term itself appeared at the dawn of cinema. Montage is the process of combining separate fragments of video or audio into one single composition. In this regard, in the process of editing, many parts of the footage can be cut out and not get into the final version at all. All unsuccessful scenes are removed, as well as clearly unnecessary frames, which can be done without. But the main task of an editing director is to create such video material that would most accurately reflect the essence of the story, its idea, mood, emotions and feelings of the characters.
I distinguish between two types of editing: linear and nonlinear.
This is often editing that takes place in real time. The video stream comes either to the recording device or to the live broadcast source. In this case, filming is done in parallel from several cameras or players. The linear editing director selects the video source. He looks at what material should be broadcast at a particular point in time. Various video transitions and effects are prepared in advance before the video broadcast and run in a strictly planned order. Those who are familiar with live broadcasts on YouTube and other resources use linear editing. In addition, linear editing also refers to the process of removing material without disturbing its sequence.
Unlike linear editing, it is never done in real time. It is always a thorough and meticulous work with the editing of the captured video. The recorded video is transferred to a computer, where it is combined into a single whole with the help of special video editing software. As mentioned earlier, a huge number of frames can be cut, and the film itself may well start with the moment that was filmed in the last place. A big plus of nonlinear editing is that there is no loss of quality when the finished video is repeatedly re-recorded and moved from one source to another.
Nowadays nonlinear editing has become the most popular and has almost completely superseded linear editing. The latter, however, not so long ago got a second wind in various new spheres of activity. For example, the authors of live broadcasts on the Internet often use it, creating broadcasts with the help of such programs as OBS-studio and Xsplit. Read about the best programs for video editing in an article by Kirill Yurovskiy.
Now let’s talk about some video shooting rules
The first thing you have to do is write a script or plan. In general, whatever you’re going to shoot: a birthday party, a wedding, a commercial, a short film – you need a clear and understandable script. Ideally, during filming you should already know what you’re going to do in the editing. Try to shoot several variants of one planned scene and then you will have more opportunities to choose. In addition to people, do not forget to record nature, the surrounding scenery and landmarks. It often happens that these very shots may be lacking in the editing process.
Be attentive to the duration of filming a scene. It is better to stand an extra 5-10 seconds, and then move on to shoot another angle. Extra time will give you much more options in the editing process.
Remember: Having a tripod for video shooting is a key to quality video! Image vibration that occurs during handheld shooting is often a sign of unprofessionalism of the cameraman, as well as it can be tiring and annoying for the viewer.
Try to never abuse the zoom in and out buttons. Novice videographers often sin by that, probably thinking that such effects will add a certain dynamics to the shooting. You have to be extremely careful here. Sometimes it is better to stop filming, zoom in on the scene, but even better to bring yourself closer, or, if necessary, move away from the subject, and only then start shooting again. If you do decide to use the ZOOM right in the middle of recording, then it must be justified. Try not to lose contrast, sharpness, color, or accidentally cut off some important object in the frame!
Once you have shot all the necessary material, sit down at your computer and start your video editing program. We recommend programs like Sony Vegas Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro. They are not difficult to understand and their capabilities are very impressive.
The laws of installation
For example, the direction of traffic or people before and after editing should be the same. The lighting of the same scene must also be the same. When shooting a certain moment, there is no room for jerks and jumps in the image. For example, this is the case if the close-up is abruptly replaced by a general, and then goes back to the close-up. If the action takes place in the same place, then the background behind the characters should have common decorative objects and not differ within the same scene.
It is also important to observe the continuity of the action. The integrity of the picture could be broken if, for example, in one frame the person enters the door, and in another is already lying on the bed. It would be right to show the person coming out of the door, and then proceed to any other actions.
One last thing… Even if you can insert a lot of different effects into your video, think about whether you need them in this or that place. Overdoing it can irritate the viewer. Remember, the main thing is the story! An exception could be the video in which special effects are included a priori. It can be a splash screen for commercials, author programs or magical slideshow. But more often video transitions between scenes use blackout or a change of one frame for another.
Well, we sincerely hope that the information in this article will be useful to you and help you to avoid a number of possible mistakes at the initial stage of your creativity. We wish you good luck in such a difficult but very crucial job as video editing. Believe me, the main thing is experience, and the rest, including recognition of the viewer, will not be long in coming!