Video Editing Tips for Beginners
Learning how to edit videos can be incredibly rewarding, but also challenging if you're just starting out. Whether you're editing YouTube videos or cutting a feature-length documentary, editing requires the right mix of both creativity and technical knowledge. Here are two helpful tips to make your video editing process more manageable and productive.
Learn Important Terms
Just like in any industry, there's a ton of jargon to learn in editing. You don't need to know all of the terms to become a better video editor. Still, a fundamental knowledge of the concepts may help you communicate better with other video editors or clients. Essential concepts include the following:
- Jump Cuts – cutting out portions to skip boring or predictable moments and preserve visual interest.
- J Cut – audio precedes the video.
- L Cut – video precedes the audio.
- Montage – sequence of clips showing the passage of time, usually for a transformation or character development.
- Cutting on Action – cutting when the subject moves instead of after each movement to create a more exciting and fluid scene.
- Match Cut/Match Action – cutting together two visually similar shots or scenes
- Cutaways – adding transition pieces that don't include the main subject or action to show the surrounding environment, set the mood, add meaning to the scene, or aid dramatic tension.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to become a faster and more efficient video editor. Mastering them will help you save a ton of time when performing frequent and repetitive tasks. The best way to learn keyboard shortcuts, is to print out a cheat sheet that you can easily reference while you're editing. Here are free keyboard shortcut references for several professional editing applications:
- Premiere Pro: Free Premiere Pro Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet
- Final Cut Pro: Free Final Cut Pr Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet
- Media Composer: Free Avid Media Composer Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet
- DaVinci Resolve: Free DaVinci Resolve Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet
- Adobe After Effects: Free After Effects Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheets
To learn more about video editing techniques for success, join us for a free workshop, Essential Resources for Video Editors on March 5th. Plus, check out our upcoming classes and intensives at mnn.org/learn.