Whether you’re a novice just starting out or a professional video editor who’s been in the business for a long time, there’s always something new to learn.
So, here are five fail-proof ways to up your video editing game and stay consistent with it –
Practice A Lot
Practice makes perfect. Even though you may not necessarily achieve perfection with a task, you’ll definitely improve in performing that task. Video editing is no exception.
Here are a few ways you can practice:
Edit A Lot
If you’re going to improve your editing by practice, you need to edit, edit, and edit some more. You can source stock footage and use them to try out different techniques.
Vary Your Approach
While editing a lot, you might want to consider varying your approach.
What this means is that you don’t have to edit the same kind of videos all the time. You can try playing around with commercials, skits, short films, documentaries, social media content, and other types of videos.
While most editing techniques you’ll be using are similar, there’s enough variation here and there to sharpen your skills.
Another way to practice some more is by doing recuts.
Remember that old project you worked on? Try cutting it up and editing for a different genre. Try making a comedy out of a suspenseful scene. With video editing, like any other task, nothing beats practice and experimentation.
Master Your Tools
Part of being a great editor is knowing your stuff. Nothing beats knowing what this does or how to fix that.
Here’s what you can do to master your tools:
Try All the Effects
You can’t call yourself a master of the art, or at least a particular editing software without knowing it in and out. Take out some time to play around with all the in-built features of your software. Know what each tool does and the best time to use them.
Learn The Shortcuts
Whatever video editing software you’re using, learn the keyboard shortcuts. It’s a powerful way to streamline and gain mastery over your software.
Knowing that you can speed up your playback with the “L” button, for example, means you never need to sit through an entire video again.
Increase Your Knowledge
A simple YouTube search will bring up a lot of information for your perusal—tutorials, skills, how to produce an effect, etc. Create time to watch them and try to incorporate them into your next practice.
As much as you want to master video editing, you might also want to consider trying out entirely different software.
Consider experimenting with slideshows. You can source the best free slideshow maker for this.
While this won’t directly make you a better editor, it does help to broaden your outlook.
Overall, having mastery over your tools means that you’ll be able to use them on instinct or resolve technical issues where necessary.
Become A Faster Editor
Editing faster may not necessarily make you better, but it will help you close down those deadlines and manage your time efficiently.
Here are a few ways you can complete your work in less time without sacrificing quality:
We’ve already mentioned learning keyboard shortcuts. Master and become more efficient with them to reduce your need for mouse clicks.
Consider External Hard Drives
Clogging your memory with hours of footage seems like a good idea until your computer starts to slow down.
Consider investing in external hard drives to free up some of your internal memory. You may want to get SSDs. They are more expensive but much faster.
While these may not seem significant, they do help to save a few seconds of your time here and there. Put that together, and you could be saving a lot of time in the long run.
Cut Them Off
If you want to become better at editing, there are things you need to cut off. Here are some of them:
Your Screen Time
Whether you’re trying to beat a deadline or just finish a project so you can have some me-time, you should always remember that sometimes, it’s okay to walk away.
Take a break from that project to do something completely unrelated. Come back to it with fresh eyes, and you’ll see just how much difference that makes.
You’re working on your computer, and there’s a lot of distractions that come with it.
You want to turn on “Do Not Disturb” and turn off any distractions, and even switch off your PC.
While this won’t exactly make you a better editor, it’ll make you a more efficient one.
5. Plan And Organize
Like every other task, failure to plan and organize could be costly, and video editing is no exception.
It’s easy to get focused on deadlines that we forget that things don’t always go according to plan. You want to factor any eventualities into your time.
When agreeing on the deadline for a project with a client, always be realistic. Your enthusiasm on the first day may not be there after a few days. Once you’ve figured out how long you think a project will take, try adding 20 to 30% more for contingencies.
You should be focused on the project at hand, rather than trying to locate your footage or find the last sequence of edits you made. From color code folders and sequences to label markers, take advantage of the built-in features of your software to organize your work.
You can also arrange your project files into folders such as footage, graphics, audio, images, and so on, even adding sub-folders where necessary.
Whatever you do, maintain uniformity across all projects for an overall streamlined feeling.
Applying these tips in your workflow will no doubt improve your ability as an editor. That said, it’s important to remember that editing is an art, and there’s no one way to do it. Dare to be creatively unique.
You can also consider other video editing software (preferably free ones like InVideo) to practice. However, a bunch of them do come with watermarks, so you may want to consider a video editor with no watermark.
Anyone can cut clips to create a decent flow, but only you can do it like you.