Mistakes You Can Avoid Starting Out as a Video Editor

Many photographers I know have started making videos as well. It's a skill many clients and brands are looking for. Social networks have been developing the easiest way to watch a video on their platforms and if you look at the amount of time you spend browsing online, video takes a large percentage of that media you consume. If you want to start with video and don't want to make mistakes that can waste time or have you look like someone starting out, here is a video that lists the mistakes and how to prevent them so you are off to a good start.

How I'll Use These Tips

  • Don't call something final when talking to your client. It never is final, and it puts them at ease and makes them feel part of the development of the video.
  • Aspect ratios for social differ and you will need to make sure each shot's composition still works when you go from 16:9 to a 1:1 square. 
  • Try to stay away from crazy transitions. It can be distracting. The best transition is a straight cut and if you want to show time passing a cross-fade will indicate it.
  • Music and sound design for me is as important as the footage, so spend as much time on it as you do on the edit, and it shouldn't be seen as an afterthought. 
  • Get down with your shortcuts. When you have your client looking over your shoulder you look very pro when you can operate the NLE with your keyboard instead of only the mouse. 

Header photo by Thomas William on Unsplash.

[via No Film School]

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5 Comments

David Love's picture

Step one, ask for video to be in focus to edit.

Great tips! Would love to see lots more blog post about this topic. As a photographer I have found the transition to taking video relatively easy. What to do with all the video and audio footage is a massive learning curve that I am not succeeding in overcoming. I can learn how to use Final Cut Pro but putting together a workflow from taking the footage to final video is a mystery. Would love to know your thoughts on this issue and if you know of any resources that would help overcome this learning issue.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Hi Samantha, I've written about starting a video project in Adobe Premiere, and I can certainly focus on how to export and publish. So keep an eye out and check my previous articles here: https://fstoppers.com/profile/19559/articles Thanks for the comment, you're in the right place.

Kirk Darling's picture

In the past three years I've been integrating video products into my work, one of the things I've definitely learned is that audio is hard. No, let me rephrase that: There is a reason why there are three Oscars given for audio. Audio is a science and art of its own.

I am firmly of the belief that unless someone is able to take off his visual hat and put on an auditory hat, his work is not optimum. And if he can't do that, then find an audio artist to partner with. Moreover, for an optimum result, this should be done up front during the conceptualization phase of the project.

I've gotten quite critical of videos by still photographers where it's clear they just stuck a hip hop track on a video rather than actually crafting it as carefully as they photograph. I'm not a wizard at this by any means, and "audio guys" aren't cheap for small projects.

When I watch those videos, the absence of a real audio concept and execution has become all the more painfully obvious to me. That means I change hats, and I do change hats with great deliberation and intent, but it's a whole separate art and craft to do it satisfactorily.

Great video.
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Looking forward to read some more blogs.
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