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Getting started with video – Part 3: Video editing

You planned it out, selected the right equipment, and shot your first video. Congratulations! You should be really proud of yourself for getting to this point. Let’s move on to video editing!

So, what do you do with all the footage you’ve created? As a video newbie, editing software can feel scary when you first start using it. Don’t let this stop you. In the final installment of this series, I’m going to share some programs which are great for beginners, tips on learning as you go, and resources I found really handy when I started editing my own videos.

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Programs and software

There are plenty of powerful options when it comes to editing software, but they can cost a pretty penny (around €100 depending on what you choose) and new versions are released each year. If you’re interested in comparing the big boys of video editing, check out this comparison list from PC Mag. Most desktop programs follow a similar logic; if you learn with one and change your mind later, the skills you’ve learned will transfer. You’ll just have to get used to new keyboard shortcuts and advanced options.

My recommendation for you, as someone starting with video, is to consider an option which is both lower cost and offers good tutorials. My personal preference is Adobe Premiere Pro with a Creative Cloud membership (this is what I use to edit videos on my YouTube channel). You pay a reasonable fee each month to use Premiere Pro (pricing depends on whether you want Premiere only or additional software) and you have access to many easy-to-follow tutorials from Adobe.

Apple users might also consider iMovie; which comes free with iOS. It’s offers enough basic editing tools to put together pretty stellar videos. Windows stopped offering Movie Maker in 2017 on their systems, but their are some decent alternatives. I don’t have experience with it myself, but have seen Filmora coming by quite often.

Also consider using a smartphone app to make your edits (particulary efficient if you already filmed your video on your smartphone!). For smartphones and tablets, there are plenty of options for quick and painless editors. The iMovie app is free on the Apple Store. You can also get a free app called Adobe Premiere Clip which offers basic video editing features; you simply have to sign up for a free Adobe account. Those of you with Android devices can look into FilmoraGo and WeVideo.

One thing to watch out for is whether the app will stick their logo on the finished product; so, run a quick test with your choice before wasting time editing your entire video.

Learning as you go

The best way forward is to (pardon the cliché) ‘just do it’. Don’t waste too much time watching YouTube videos on how to use software or reading articles comparing the different options. Pick something within your budget and start playing around with it.

Be sure to check in with yourself about your expectations. You should not expect to have title overlays, captions, animations, extensive background music, etc. mastered on your first go. For your first video, focus on simple goals: clean transitions between clips, a link at the end of the video, and maybe some background music to play under your clips or at the end. These can already be powerful enough!

Then, with each video you make after, challenge yourself to try one new technique in your edits. Slowly, but surely your videos will improve. And, you won’t get stuck trying to make the perfect video on your first try. You will learn so much more by finishing this first video and moving on to improve in the next one and the next one and so on.

Learning from online resources

To learn more about editing, start with the tutorials provided with the software you picked. If you do have some extra time to hone your skills, feel free to look into courses on certain techniques.

Basically, anything you want to learn about video editing can be found on YouTube. From basic introductions to your editing software to very specific tutorials on creating a certain effect. Throw it in the search and you’ll be shocked how much free, high-quality information comes back.

I also have had a lot of luck with Skillshare courses in general, but also specifically when it comes to learning about video and editing. Two notable courses are the ‘Video Essentials’ course from the Vimeo team and ‘How to Vlog! Film, Edit, and Upload’ from Sara Dietschy. There’s seriously so much information on Skillshare ranging from working with effects, voiceovers, green screens, color correction, etc. You can also learn how to create a specific type of video; e.g. wedding, sports, documentaries, etc. If you want to give it a try you can click the links above or use my personal link to get 2 free months (I don’t make any money; I’ll just get free months, too. Double win!)

That’s a wrap!

I hope that this series has given you the confidence and information to try out video creation on your own. For me, creating videos and vlogs is one of the most creatively fulfilling hobbies I have. Taking the clips I’ve made and turning them into finished pieces is really fun and a great way to share who I am and what I do.

As always, if you have any questions, just shoot them my way. If you create your own videos, please share them with me! I would love to see them. Best of luck to you in all of your creative endeavors!


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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