As is the case with most creative tasks, editing skills improve over time. There are tips and tricks of the trade that you pick up over time and once you’ve edited enough videos. Most editors learn these and improve their work simply by trying and becoming better in the process.
It can also be useful to listen to the advice coming from those who have been there before and have experience in the business. Here we offer a few such tips that will help you improve your edits and consider them as a part of an overall film process. You can see examples of professional video editing services for businesses on this page.
The Point is to Tell a Story
The film is a visual medium and its main goal is to tell the story. That’s the main purpose of editing as well. Since it’s a technical craft, the storytelling angle of it is often overlooked by inexperienced editors.
It’s important to think of your work as a part of an overall effort to tell a story and convey the tone and aesthetic of a film. If this process is always on the back of your mind, your edits will take on a different and more important meaning.
The Software Tools Aren’t Everything
It’s important to have the right tools for the job, as is the case with any other job, but you shouldn’t dwell too much on what kind of software you’re using. Sometimes it’s best to get a small and simple tool that will get the job done, rather than investing in a complex and complicated one.
For instance, there are tools you can use just to remove video watermark without having to use expensive editing software. When these kinds of tools do the trick, you should rely on them instead of always using the most expensive ones.
Create a Workflow You Can Manage
Editing and many other creative endeavors don’t always feel like work. They can be consuming and it’s difficult to set up a clear pace and workflow for your day-to-day job. It’s essential that you try to and that you stick with the workflow you’ve set up for yourself.
This will help you maintain a work/life balance and allow you to improve your work by sticking to it on a regular basis and treating it as a well-organized job. It also helps everyone else involved in the project with sticking to their own schedules.
Give Yourself Some Time to Reflect
When you spend a lot of time with the video material you may become too familiar with it. This may lead you to overlook some mistakes in your edits that a fresh pair of eyes would have noticed. That’s why it’s so important to give your edits some time to breathe and return to them after you’re rested.
It will allow you to look at your work differently and to notice things you would have otherwise missed. Make sure this process is a part of your editing routine and you’ll notice the difference in quality.
Use Split Edits Whenever It’s Appropriate
Split edits refer to the editing technique in which the audio and what you’re seeing on the screen don’t match. For instance, if you’re editing a shot of two people talking, it means that one person would be visible on the screen but you could hear the other one talking as their dialogue overlaps.
This is an important feature and one that conveys a sense of authenticity to your videos. It makes the dialogue look natural and it flows better. Some editors are hesitant to use it since it may confuse the audience if it’s done poorly, but it won’t happen when you put in the effort.
Be Careful with How You use B-Roll
B-roll is an essential part of your footage. The most common mistake you can make with it is to make it boring by reusing similar or same b-roll footage too many times. This can be avoided by thinking B-Roll in the set of threes.
Always have 3 sets of clips for your b-roll and make sure that no clip is longer than two seconds. That way the b-roll won’t feel repetitive and it won’t be too much of an effort to shoot it.
Use Cut On Action to Cover Your Mistakes
Cut to action means that you’re making a cut in the video whenever there’s a noticeable action on screen. For instance, it can be done when a character throws a punch. Using this as an opportunity to change the angle of the shot makes the scene more dramatic.
It’s also a good way to cover up any mistakes that may have come up during such scenes, which are always difficult to shoot. It helps both the storytelling and the production efforts at the same time.
Body Language is Essential
A person on the screen says just as much with their words as they do with their body language. A talented actor uses their whole body and their presence on the screen to convey a message and set a tone for the scene. Editors should be aware of this as well.
Make sure that your edits are there to amplify the message that’s conveyed with both the acting and staging. This means that the editor should be familiar with actors and their style as much as they are with the story and their own trade.
Don’t Overdo it With Wide Shoots
Wide shots have their meaning in the language of cinema. They can be appealing to use too much. However, it’s important not to overdo it or you’ll end up conveying something you didn’t plan to. The main purpose of the wide shot is to provide context for the viewer.
Some editors decide to use it too often in order to create an aesthetic or a mood. This can sometimes work but it can also be jarring and too noticeable which is something you want to avoid with your edits whenever it’s possible. Keep in mind that it’s about the story and not your skills.