Total Beginner’s Guide to Video Editing

So your first shoot is complete. You have your footage in hand but what’s next?

How do you turn what you shot into a great video?

It’s all at your fingertips with the power of editing. So, pull up a chair, fire up that computer

and let me show you some important steps to turn your idea into reality. I have been creating video editing on YouTube for over six years and I can’t overstate the importance of editing.

Here are twelve steps that are the basics you need to know.

Remember, you’ll develop your own editing style as you practice more but these are simple tips

to help you get started. What’s interesting is that editing begins long before the first cut.

It starts on the shoot.

Step one: Multiple takes.

You may want to think about doing multiple takes of shots. So, you have plenty of performance options to choose from. Also, make sure you get all the wide shots you need and any close-ups that you want your audience to focus on.

Step two: Back up your footage.

Once you’ve completed a successful shoot, backup and transfer your footage immediately.

I’ve heard so many stories of creators leaving memory cards in cabs or at airports and sometimes you won’t be able to reshoot. So get that footage copied and somewhere safe quickly.

Step three: Your edit space.

Where you edit is very important. Make sure you find somewhere quiet where you can focus

you can even throw on a little music to set the vibe.

Step four: Organizing your files.

Import your footage and organize it into folders like you organize computer files in general.

The more preparation you do sorting footage into the right place the better. It will save you hours later. when you’re looking for the one shot you can’t find. Trust me.

Step five: Watch your footage.

Spend time watching every single shot. This helps you familiarize yourself with all your footage.

Step six: Beginning to edit.


Mark the best takes then lay them into a sequence in order on your timeline. This is called an assembly edit. It means you have all your top content in one place roughly following the storyline.

Step seven: Fine cutting.

Next you start cutting the shots down further removing the beginning and the end of them

and creating your story. Consider removing any ‘um’s and ‘ah’s and any long pauses or boring parts. The goal is to really make your video move in a quick and efficient way. Jump cutting is often used to allow you to truncate time and move forward quickly and efficiently.

Here’s an example.

The weather is really humid in New York. So I put it in a pineapple, and I wash my hair weekly.

Those are two questions that I get a lot. If you want to do something slightly more advanced

transitions are how you add variety and are an effective way to maintain the pace of the video.

These are things like dissolves between shots or fades which give the feeling of time passing.

Another fun transition is the wipe, which can come in a lot of different styles.

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