5 Tips for Video Editing Beginners

EditGraphicVideo Editing tips for Entertaining segments.

Since the mid-1990's, video production and film making have undergone vast changes due to technological improvements in delivery mediums, quality and the size of cameras. Although video has been a very democratic process since the late 1970's and the VHS vs. Beta days, it is really something everyone can do with a cheap Flip camera or their cell phone. But just because all of us have a video camera does not mean we can professionally record events. It is not as easy as it looks and it is a craft that takes years to become proficient at. Especially video editing. Once you record that great video, how do you make it look good and entertaining.

Here are a few tips:

1. Always use a tripod. Get off of the tripod when it makes sense to do so. The rave is YouTube like videos that trigger earthquake sensations, but do you really want your audience to vomit or do you want them to laugh, cry or simply enjoy what you have produced? A tripod is made for a reason...steady shots. Let the tripod do it's job. Lock your shot down, pan and tilt when necessary such as following a person. When video editing, this will help you make clean edits.

2. When editing, try to use instrumental music for most of the program. That way the lyrics or vocals from the performer don't clash with someone speaking on-camera or even signing. Use vocals for parts of your video where there is no dialogue. And try to edit to the beat of the music. By this I mean, change your shots on each beat or every other.

3. Always make sure you normalize your audio when editing. This means that all of your sound levels should peak in the middle of your audio meter bar. This bar is an area of your video editing software that quickly moves up and down when a video is playing. You don't want audio that is too low or too loud. We call loud audio, "hot."

4. Never, ever, use every single video effect that is provided with your editing software. This is a rookie move and I'm sure you don't want to look like a rookie. Find one or two good transitions and stick with them, but don't use them every second, such as having a page peel occur after all of your family interviews. Agghhh!! Also, use only one or two good filters, which are effects that make the entire screen change or look different, such as turning your video all black & white or sepia. A nice effect is to start your video black & white and let it gradually dissolve to color. If editing a music video, use a few more filters but have them change with the beat of the music.

5. Be patient. Use the manual and definitely use every video editing forum you can find. Forums are great and there are hundreds of people using the exact software you are using. They know the pros and cons of your software and any issues you are having, they have had. Some great forums for help with video editing as well as free, online lessons are; www.creativecown.net, www.lynda.com, www.videoguys.com.

Have fun editing!!


Ted_IrvingTed Irving is the Director of the Hightower High School Digital Media Academy located in Fort Bend ISD, Missouri City, Texas. He graduated from Sam Houston State University in 1992 and acquired his Masters degree from Texas Southern University in 2003. In Rockport, Maine, 2001, Ted received his International Film & Video Workshops certificate training in 60 Minutes Style news production with CBS 60 Minutes producer Steven Shepherd. Ted has worked in the television industry for over 18 years as linear & non-linear news video editor for KTRK ABC 13, KPRC NBC 2 & KRIV Fox 26 as well as a sports photographer for Houston’s Fox 26.
 
Under Ted Irving’s leadership, the media academy has won a Texas Regional Emmy, one Summit Award, and 18 National Telly Awards.  Ted is currently providing Non-Linear video editing, Videography, Cinematography and digital media creation consulting through his company, TedTV,Inc. as well as freelancing as a high school sports photographer and editor for CBS MaxPreps.