Become a Great Video Editor: Tips and Techniques you Need to Know

It’s said that anyone can be a videographer, but only a professional can be a video editor.  While there are a few things that one would argue against that first part, it tends to be mostly true when you take a step back from it all and look at the results compared to starting points.  If you’re looking at your pile of video and audio and wondering what in the world you’re supposed to do – or you’re looking for additional tips on how to improve your editing experience – take a look at the tips that we’re going to be talking about below.  They’ll lead you to some great places.


Organize everything

This is the first step in making sure that you can make use of everything you have.  I get that organizing can sometimes be a black hole (especially for those that tend to go a little overboard), but it’s critical to make sure that you use everything you can and it’s easily accessible so that you can edit at will.  The last thing you want to be doing is going around and looking at everything, right?  As far as a system goes, use one that works for you.  Some like to sort by scene, date, location, etc.  Try out a couple until you find one that is easy to find everything.  The only recommended categories are that you separate your different mediums: audio, video, etc.

Every scene must be important

When you’re filming, you simply get down everything you think you’re going to need.  That’s a normal part of the process, but now you must make sure that you narrow down the footage so that each scene is shot from the perfect angle to make the most impact on your video.  Additionally, you may feel as though one or two scenes don’t actually fit into the video after all.  That’s normal and part of how it all works.  Don’t stress about it.  Just move on and create a good video.  Make sure every scene serves a purpose in your finished product in the best way.  Even if it means omitting perfectly good footage because it doesn’t fit quite right.  That’s part of being an artist – knowing what fits and what doesn’t.  Put your personal feelings towards the tossed work aside.

Think about your audience

Remember who you’re creating your video for.  If it’s for something formal, keep the cheeky transitions and comments to a minimum.  If it’s meant for YouTube fun and games, consider putting some attitude into your music or audio, etc.  Remember that you need to always make sure you keep your audience in mind when filming but also editing.  The finished product should frame the message and atmosphere of the video shots themselves.  Another thing is to make sure that your final product is perfect.  Now, don’t freak out.  In this case “perfect” means that your editing shouldn’t be visible.  All the audience should see is the superb filming and enjoying the background music and crisp audio.  You know you’ve done a good job when they don’t congratulate you on editing, but on your shooting.  This is a compliment, not an insult!  Only a fellow editor will understand the secret pain that it causes you not to point out how terrible that audio was before you fixed it, etc.

Choose your music carefully

Your music is often the hardest choice in editing a video.  It’s because it unintentionally sets the mood for the movie, and you want to make sure it’s the perfect choice.  If you choose something wrong, it’s jarring or distracting to the point of displeasure.  The best option is to take a look at the amazing royalty free music Filmtv-tracks is offering, through a series of various pop/rock music, everything from classical piano to epic orchestral soundtrack music scores.  You’ll find something in that vast music library that you can use to create a great backdrop and compliment the video instead of distracting from it.  Have your top three options and make sure you try each one with the finished product.  One will feel right, even if it’s frustrating to have to do the work.  You need to make sure it’s the right choice, or it’ll negatively impact your video and leave it lacking something, even if your audience can’t quite put their finger on it.

Step away from it every once in a while

Like any creative process, we all get too close to it once in a while.  It’s part of breathing life into the project.  Make sure you leave a couple days in between serious editing sessions so that you stay as objective as possible.  It’s impossible to completely objective as course, because it’s your baby, but taking a step back for a while after you’ve finished the first draft is a really good habit that can help you out with making the rest of it easier and spotting weak points.  For an added bonus, consider bringing in a circle of beta testers to watch it and tell you their honest opinions.  It may be hard to take, but it’ll make sure you get the feedback you want so that your video can benefit from it in the long run.  It could really help you make a name for yourself in filming!  A good eye combined with a great editing team: now that’s something!


If your dream is to become a great video editor, all of these tips should help you get on the right track with editing and tweaking.  No one said the path to perfection and success was going to be easy, right?  Do your best to get there by making the process a little faster and easier so that you spend more time working and less time trying to figure out where you put that one file that you accidentally lost track of.  You have the eye for filming, so make sure it stands out with excellent editing.