If you’re about to embark on a media course, enjoy creating your own videos or have just begun working in the media sector, Epic Studios’ Top Ten Video Editing Tips may be worth a look. We would also love to hear your top production and post production tips – if you have some, please share them with us by leaving a comment!
Video Editing Tips
Before you start your video project it’s important to have the right software for the job. For basic video editing there are free options available, such as iMovie for Mac users and student favourite, DaVinci Resolve. You can even edit on the fly from your mobile phone with one of these – free video editing apps. For professional video editing we would recommend Adobe’s Premiere Pro.
The right hardware is also very important to your editing process. It is extremely frustrating to have a computer crashing on you due to a lack of hard drive space or memory! Focus on the following and you can avoid this type of frustration:
Central Processing Unit (CPU) – For the purposes of editing an i5 or i7 quadcore processor is recommended. This is particularly important at the rendering stage, when it will really speed up the process for you.
Random Access Memory (RAM) – RAM allows your computer to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously. 16GB is recommended for editing, however, you may find that 8GB is enough for your needs. RAM is easily installed and reasonably priced, so depending on the size of your projects, you could start with 8GB and upgrade from there.
Hard Drive – A 2TB (size) 7200RPM (speed) internal hard drive is a good place to start for video editing projects.
Monitors – If you are able to, going for a dual-screen set up of monitors (from 21”) can be really helpful when editing your projects, enabling you to deal with different tasks on each screen.
Speakers / headphones – It is worth investing in a decent set of monitor speakers or closed cup headphones. We would recommend KrK Rokit RP6 G3s monitor speakers or Sennheiser headphones (our in-house editor uses Sennheiser HD 25s).
Focus on the job:
This should be obvious but always shut down other programmes while you’re editing, to free up memory and ensure optimum possible performance.
If you aren’t already familiar with a lot of video editing terminology, invest some time on YouTube getting up to speed on the use of techniques such as; cutting on action, cutaways, L&J cuts, match cuts, jump cuts, invisible cuts, fades, montage and editing motivation. You should be able to find all of these terms with a simple Google Search.
Take time to clean up your audio before starting on your video edit. It makes a huge difference to the final product and saves time in the long run if you cut sniffs, coughs and “erms” out of the footage you intend to use before you begin. Also, take time to find good music (without copyright issues) for your production. It is incredible what a difference a good soundtrack will make to you video.
Adding titles and lower thirds (titles shown at the bottom of the screen to identify a subject) can add production value to you video – but keep them brief! Around 5 seconds of display per title is plenty of time for audiences to absorb any info that you need to provide.
Save time and avoid losing material by organising your project files into folders. You may like to separate into; video, audio, graphics, stills, exports and can also include sub-folders for footage captured on different types of cameras and so on.
Keyboard shortcuts / cheat sheets:
Learn your keyboard shortcuts and, even better, get yourself a keyboard cover. These are available for a wide variety of keyboard/software types. View some examples here – keyboard covers.
Video editing mouse or graphic tablet:
If you spend a lot of time editing, it could be worth trying an editing mouse, which can save you precious hours in the long run if they suit you. Some editors prefer graphic tablets and pens (such as those available from Wacom), which are also less likely to cause RSI type issues.
The most important tip of all should not even need adding here… Save, save, back up, save!