Tips to Make Video Editing Easier

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Living in a day and age where technology reigns supreme, companies are trying more and more ways to connect with their audiences in order to sell their products more and reap more profits. One thing that is at the core of these ways is a video. Today, such a small thing like a 1-minute video can play a bigger role than a company’s product itself. It is the video itself that has the ability to connect with the audience and make them feel that the product is worthy enough to buy and use. And this is also the reason why companies thrive on making good videos that would help them stand out.

But, what is a good video without good video editing? It would be like Romeo without Juliet, Popeye without spinach, Tom without Jerry, cheeseburger without the cheese, Apple without their expensive price range, and the list would go on. As it is understandable here, good video editing and a stand-out video go hand in hand together. If you’re looking to make a video that will instantly grasp the attention of your viewers and stand out from the rest, proper video editing is what you should be focusing at. Therefore, in this blog, I’ll be telling you about tips to make video editing easier. Let’s go!

Video Editing Tips to Make Your Task Easier.

Becoming a great video editor isn’t easy, but with practice and patience you’ll be editing like a pro in no time. Of course, you need to focus on your style and what kind of story you want to tell before you start throwing some of these in willy-nilly, but once you experiment enough and become well-acquainted with these tips and tricks, you’ll start to get really dialed-in and learn how to best utilize them for your projects. So, listed below, are some tips that will help you get the video-editing done in an easier way. Why easier, you may ask? That’s because when editing becomes easy, you don’t have to spend too much time thinking about the mistakes you can make, ultimately, coming up with the best possible video.

1. Learn the Shortcuts

Learning your shortcuts is the best way to streamline your editing process. Once you figure out that the “L” button speeds up your playback, you’ll never want to sit through an interview in real time ever again.

2. Add Music and SFX

If learning shortcuts is the easiest way to speed up your editing process, then the addition of music and sound effects to your project is the easiest way to add depth and layers to your project. When it comes to music, make sure you choose something that fits with your visuals. A metal song doesn’t really work with a glorious shot of a field of tulips (unless they’re like, totally metal tulips), and a slow motion shot of a car-chase explosion doesn’t really warrant an upbeat disco track (although I would love to see it). Make sure to cut to the beat of the song, because it matters. A well-timed cut to the beat can be iconic, or it can be completely forgettable, if it’s done right or wrong.

For sound effects, subtle crowd noises, background sound effects, and other audio cues help the audience feel like they’re really experiencing what they’re seeing on the screen. If you’ve ever seen any behind-the-scenes videos of productions, you’ll notice that there’s rarely music or sound effects being played in real time; it’s all added in post.

For post-production, you should also always properly mix the music and sound effects with your footage audio to make it sound as natural as possible. As something of a side note, all of Pond5’s music and sound effect are available within the Adobe Premiere interface with our free Adobe Add-on, so you can plug temporary tracks into your project directly and see how they fit before you decide to purchase.

3. Ramp It Up… Or Down

Speed ramping is used for action scenes where something needs to be emphasized in either slow or fast motion, but starts in real time (see: 300, Inception, Transformers, Saving Private Ryan). It can also be used to finesse your clips so that they fit together better within your sequence. If you’ve got a three-second hole in your sequence, but your clip is currently 3.5 seconds, experiment with ramping up the speed to the right duration to make it fit. Conversely, you can slow it down if the gap is longer than your clip. Just make sure it fits and looks realistic!

4. When in Doubt, Cover It Up

If you’re editing an interview, or if your subject is telling a story and it seems to drag, the best thing to do is to add some b-roll or a+b roll to keep it interesting. Cut back to the person who’s talking if they’re saying something powerful or important, but don’t linger too long before cutting away just to break it up. If you’ve shot a lot of interviews, you’ll know that some subjects say “um,” “uh,” and “you know” a lot, and may ramble at times. You can cover up all these cuts while keeping the story moving. It also doesn’t hurt to go away to some live audio (a+b) of them to re-set, transition, or introduce the audience to another setting.

5. Space It Out, for Dramatic Effect

By adding footage to either cover up cuts, make your video flow more authentically, or transition to another location or idea, you’re making for a better piece — but these may not add any drama or tension. You can make your subject’s impactful statements stand out more if you give them some breathing room and let the viewer reflect on what they’ve just seen and heard. Keep the visuals going, but stop the a-roll and let the music and/or visuals aid the pause by increasing the volume or putting in the perfect visual cap on the soundbite. This video is a great example of letting the statements breathe while showing the wonderful visuals to enhance the story.

6. Stabilize It

In addition to poor-quality audio, having shaky footage can be a death sentence for your project. The good news is, there are great plugins and tools that will help you stabilize your footage that are out there, and even built-in to your editing software. Become very well-acquainted with them, because this can be a game-changer. Warp Stabilizer in Adobe Premiere/After Effects and SmoothCam in Final Cut X are the big ones, but there’s a powerful third-party plugin called ReelSteady that works really well in After Effects, from my experience. You can find apps that stabilize your phone video, as well, such as the well-reviewed Emulsio.

The goal here is to make your footage as coherent as possible without overly distorting your image. Tweak your settings and experiment with every parameter possible to get the best result. If it’s still looking rough and you’ve tried everything, either trash the clip or be happy with your progress and understand you need to be more stable when filming, which will eliminate the problems in the first place.

7. Re-Frame, If You Can

These days, cameras are shooting higher and higher resolutions, which has created the ability for editors to re-frame and push/pull the footage to interesting effects. Since 1080p is still the standard delivery resolution across many jobs, you have a lot of space to explore with 2K-and-above resolutions. Try adding a subtle push-in during a tense scene, or position your subject in the center of the frame if their eye-line was off. You can possibly even get two shots out of one clip if you’re shooting ultra hi-res and downscaling it.

The MAJOR caveat to this is to not go overboard, and try to avoid scaling up beyond 110% — especially if your camera isn’t that great. Pixelated footage is very noticeable, and a re-positioned clip doesn’t work if the actors or subject look out of place.

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