Video Editing

Slight of Hand: Tips to Improving your Video Editing Skills

The Editor is the unsung hero of video production. They do their job best when they go unnoticed by the general public. Like a magician, the editor needs to keep the audience focused on the show, and keep their attention away from secrets of the trick. But it’s the clever tricks of the trade that help make editing run all the more smoothly. Here are a few tips on how to optimize your editing process.


This is not just a tip for Editors; it is also for the Director during production. If you want to stay happy, clear, and on schedule, you need to organize the footage and Audio. The Director needs to make sure that all of the elements are labeled and slated correctly. Once it’s time to edit, the footage should immediately be ordered properly according to the labels on each clip. After that, each clip should be lined up with it’s respected audio. Anything that is a bad take should be marked as such, but never thrown away. There may just be a little piece of that clip that could be used somewhere. You never know when this opportunity may come up. Once all of that is done, then you will be ready to begin the edit.

Keep Multiple Edits

It is always a good idea to back up your edit. Keep multiple drives of the footage, and set your computer to save your edit every 5 minutes. Even with footage from a small, short film, a computer can get easily overwhelmed and quit right on you. We all hate that dreaded loading bar that never stops loading. So save as often as possible and copy your work onto a drive at the end of each day.

Edit on Instinct

We of course need to edit from direction and technicalities. But when it comes to actually editing the images together for the story, it’s pretty open for where we cut in the clip. Most of the time, the Director is only concerned with making sure the tone and pacing feels right for the story. How you get there is totally up to you. So edit on instinct. There is no right way to edit. That’s why it is as valid of an art as writing or directing.

Don’t be Afraid to Experiment

As mentioned earlier, Editing is just as valid an art-form as writing or directing. So never be afraid to play around and discover new techniques off the beaten path. Obviously you shouldn’t go against direction. But while keeping a separate, regular edit of the film, create your own thing to suggest to the director. Who knows, there might be something in there that impresses him.

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