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10 Best Video Editing Tips

10 best video editing tips

Most people think that video editing is only about cutting out all the stuff that doesn’t look good, mistakes, shaky shots and the footage of you filming your feet because you forgot to turn off the camera 😉

Video editing sure is all that but certainly a lot more than that. It is the most important part of your video production, the part where emotions and drama is created.

Therefore, I will give you my best video editing tips.

Video editing is actually the process of adding stuff, not taking it away. It is not only about trimming the footage; it is about adding flow, emotions, illusions and creating an entertainment factor.

It is also about communicating with your audience, not only bringing pictures across, but bringing feelings across.

When editing a conversion- or squeeze video, read my article on the AIDA formula  for a proven well-converting structure.

Video editing: when art meets science

Video editing  requires your both brain halves to work together. One side for the technical part, the other for the creative. When those two are working right, video editing can be a wonderful thing.

On the other hand, when the technical part isn’t working properly, it can be very frustrating. Choose your video editing software carefully and take time to get to know it. Take a course or follow some tutorials. This avoids frustrations along the line.

Also, figure out what the message is you want to bring across in your movie. Some cool effects alone won’t make a great movie. Get the essence of a story or your message down on paper before you start filming and editing.

My 10 best video editing tips:

  1. Always shoot with the editing in mind, take different shots, close shots, wide shots, zooms and pans, hold the camera steady, film enough footage, you can always cut out later what you don’t need.
  2. Work organized, if you are making a longer movie, prepare a storyboard up first. Name your clips in your video editing software. Use the same names as you use in your storyboard. If you don’t name your clips you will end up with a heap of files and you will lose a lot of time trying to find the footage that you are looking for.
  3. Once you have your footage loaded into your editing software, start with creating a “rough edit” put the main footage you want to use in chronological order in the time line. You are building a frame for your edit.
  4. Now it’s time to cut out the crap, trim the beginning and endings of each clip and cut out all the unusable shots.
  5. Time to start telling your story. Where can you add close ups? What shots can you add to enhance the dramatic effect? Try out different things and notice the feeling, the emotions that the pictures are bringing across
  6. Don’t go crazy in cutting. Unless you are making a bad MTV music video, you want your shots to last longer than 1 sec. Static shots can last between 2 and 10 seconds. If there is a lot going on in the shot or somebody is talking, it can be longer. Try to switch between shot lengths, some longer shots and then some shorter ones. Don’t go for the stroboscope effect and don’t bore your audience with endless clips. In about 5 seconds, the human brain has seen most details of a picture.
  7. Adding some effects can bring your audience more into your movie and will make your movie more beautiful and cool. Play around with the transitions and try to “feel” what different effects do to your movie. Here I want to warn you again, don’t go crazy with flipping and twirling stuff unless it really adds something to your movie, Here and there a soft transition and some color enhancement will do for most videos. There is no golden rule. Just watch and use what is most appropriate for you.
  8. Create a nice intro or title and some titles at the end. They will make sure you have a proper beginning and ending in your movie. Going to black at the end of a movie will create a dramatic effect. When a title follows that black, the audience can breathe in again. Play around with stuff like that and try to notice how different effects will bring different emotions.
  9. A very important part of your video editing is adding music and sound effects. The same footage can bring a completely different message across if it is accompanied with some house beats, some slow rock or some dramatic epic underscores. Test different kind of music tracks for your video and “feel” the difference. A good choice of music will give your video that “wow” effect and will radiate those emotions you want to bring across.
  10. Last but not least: RAM memory is a video editor’s best friend. No matter what video editing software you are using. Minimum system requirements are MINIMUM system requirements for the software to get installed on your computer. It doesn’t say your editing will go smoothly. Invest in some extra RAM memory if you plan to edit videos regularly. It will prevent your software and videos from lagging and will keep your editing up to speed.

If you are looking for an extraordinary good video editor, I would suggest to you downloading Adobe Premiere Pro CC.

These tips should get you started easily and will help you with the most essential basics of video editing.

I love to hear you feedback so feel free to leave your comments below.



28 thoughts on “10 Best Video Editing Tips

Comment author said

By Ad van Buel on 5 January 2012 at 19:38

Hi Rebekka,

Really good basic stuff on editing!
Thank you very much.

I’m going te send this information to a good friend of mine who occasionally does some editing.


Much love,

Ad van Buel


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 5 January 2012 at 21:52

I’m glad you enjoyed this post Ad. Send it to all your friends :)


Comment author said

By wyclife wasonga on 16 September 2015 at 09:58

great are your tips.Thank you very much rebeca.


Comment author said

By jamie on 5 January 2012 at 19:42

Thank you, this was a nice, non-intimidating read. I am new in this area, so with that said, I am a photographer going video and I found the switch isn’t as smooth as a transition as I anticipated. I do have a question and hopefully you may know something about the software. What is the difference with After Effects and Premier Pro ? How are they the same and is it beneficial to have both. Thank you again. :o)


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 5 January 2012 at 21:58

Hey Jamie,

Premiere Pro is a good editing program where you can compose your film, you can cut clips, place them together, add music and some effects.

After effects is used for creating motion graphics and special effects which you normally do after editing, or you use it to animate a logo or make an animation film.

After effects takes some time to learn though. But if you are committed, it is quite worth it!
For plain editing, you do need a program like Premiere Pro.

I will try to post some Premiere Pro tutorials shortly.

If you have more questions concerning this software, don’t hesitate to contact me.


Comment author said

By Pete on 6 January 2012 at 14:01

Super article! You just did with words what a good editor tries to do with pictures and sound… The piece was short and digestible, had a nice flow, and did a particularly good job of distilling down a complicated topic into a few key points to communicate, with a few memorable sound bites for entertainment but without going “crazy” as you say for the sake of it.

I found myself nodding and agreeing with every point, which was reassuring too :)

All the best, and thanks for taking the time to create this.



Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 6 January 2012 at 14:07

Thank you Peter for taking the time to read this and for your positive feedback!


Comment author said

By Grace Chatting on 8 January 2012 at 10:51

Thanks Rebekka,
I am pretty clueless about video editing. I am in the process of creating webinars and video to go online and am just starting to learn how to edit. I agree with you that it needs to be a whole brain activity. At the moment I am learning the practical aspects of adding the aesthetics!
Feel free to write some tips for newbies who are trying to start their business online!


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 8 January 2012 at 10:55

Thank you Grace for your tip! I will write more tips and ad some tutorials the coming weeks.
Tell me, what kind of editing software are you using?


Comment author said

By Kameron on 30 January 2012 at 01:15

Found you on LinkedIn … straightforward advice!


Comment author said

By Deepak Bhadauria on 31 January 2012 at 16:16

Thanks Rebekka

I am a video editor so this tips are very helpful my editing.


Comment author said

By Jelle on 11 December 2012 at 15:50

Great introduction to video-editing!
Keep up the good work!


Comment author said

By Tchiize on 31 December 2012 at 19:59

Hi Rebekka, I read several articles about video editing workflow and yours is by far the simplest and most efficient! Nicely done, thanks for sharing your experience!

One question though: how different would the workflow be if I wanted to edit my video based on a particular song or piece of music (following the beat for example)?
I’d say you’d have to include the music first, put some markers to visualize the rythm and add the video clips then, no? What are your thoughts about this kind of editing?

PS: Happy New Year!


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 4 January 2013 at 12:53

Hey Tchiize, thank you for your positive feedback!

I mostly start with inserting a song when editing on music. In most editing programs you can choose to show the sound waves so you have an indication of the beat.

I also just listen and trim the pictures until the cuts are right on the beat.

Happy new year to you too!


Comment author said

By Tchiize on 6 January 2013 at 23:56

Thanks! :)


Comment author said

By Carlos Almeida on 29 January 2013 at 20:29

I like the fact you mentioned this up front; Invest in some extra RAM memory if you plan to edit videos regularly. It will prevent your software and videos from lagging and will keep your editing up to speed.

I edited for years before I broke down and add more memory and graphics card. Finally I resolved my machine lockup and crashes. 1GB of fast graphics card made a huge difference over CPU dual core.


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 31 January 2013 at 13:56

Sure Carlos, these days, when buying a new computer 16 or more GB RAM can be standard, excellent for video processing.


Comment author said

By gouam pandey on 6 March 2013 at 16:09

hey..thanks for this tech..it helps me in editing..and i will also send this to all my friends who r learning editing.


Comment author said

By Malachi Morrish on 4 November 2013 at 05:51

This is a great basic tips post, really good tips. It is very useful for video editing.


Comment author said

By Victor on 7 April 2015 at 23:47

I really love your article. I am new into editing and I would love to know more about it . Please could you tell me where to start from.


Comment author said

By Rajendran Pullur on 25 April 2015 at 07:40

Really good basic stuff on editing! Its very interesting. Thank you very much.


Comment author said

By mugambi titus on 26 April 2015 at 11:45

Hae Rebekka ,am a young man in Kenya ,Meru, i have been doing video coverage since 2010 using Sony DCR SR20E for few occasions like burials ,weddings,birthdays, pass outs, graduation ceremonies for people at a pay.i have tried and learnt some coverage skills that has pleased my customers and in return got some little amount to pay for my school fees at a local university for my bachelors in purchasing and supplies. i have also been able to acquire a a new desktop computer(HP Pro 3500) which i have began using to edit the videos i shoot with,currently am using pinnacle studio 12 Ultimate,with minimum effects that some times i feel they are not enough for occasions like weddings and burials,
i also feel i should advance to a better video camera .
kindly advise on the right camera to get at a cheap price and also the best video editing software not forgetting my situation both financial and technological ,here in Kenya. looking forward to hear from you
thanks you may reach me email wise


Comment author said

By Mo on 10 June 2015 at 08:58

Hi,I am so curios about New filters In Edius.specially Unique B&W filters,and more knowing about New editing Tricks and filters,Please Help me,Sincerely,Mojan


Comment author said

By Rebekka Deforce on 4 March 2014 at 12:22

Thanks for your tips Rick.
I prefer Premiere though for video editing and also Avid, but Premiere is just as good and a lot cheaper.


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