Video Editing: A Beginner’s Guide

By on December 12, 2011
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We go through the basics of video editing from applications to techniques.


Video editing is a wide field that can vary from simple ‘cut and split’ editing of birthday videos at home to advanced film and TV production. But there’s no doubt that if you’ve ever created any sort of video media, editing is key to make sure it’s in the best possible form when you reveal it to the world. Whether it’s short films, tutorials, game walkthroughs, home videos or even class assignments, it’s something that can make everything more economic and better for the audience to consume.

The Job of An Editor

When you are editing your video footage, your job is not just to cut and paste the clips together in a timeline so that it becomes one assortment of clips that you can then copy onto a DVD and play it somewhere. Sure, arranging and combining clips is a major part of editing but the real gist of it is something far more important. Your job when you are editing footage whether it’s your own or someone else’s is to tell a story in the best possible way. An editor’s job is at times more important than the director himself and the extreme amount of power that you have in your hands can literally change the genre of the resulting content with just a few clicks. By removing unnecessary scenes, cutting away to reactions at the right time, arranging the clips in an interesting fashion, adding the right music and effects, you as an editor can shape the film to be something much better than it was sometimes originally intended to be. You can save a film in the editing room when the director realizes that there’s things he forgot to shoot or the footage came out unusable. At the same time, even the best of content can be utterly ruined because of bad editing.

The modern day video editing softwares are technically known as ‘non-linear editors’, since they allow you to edit footage from any point of time instead of doing it in a linear fashion that they used to do decades ago. And thanks to the advent of high definiton digital video, video editing has taken a lot of leaps and strides in terms of what it can offer to an average user. Sadly, video editing softwares is one field where the free alternatives are majorly crippled and there’s only one significant free software that can let you do that. But once you decide to pay for one, the options suddenly increase, and so does the feature set.

In this article, we cover a beginner’s guide to editing, including how to bring your footage into the computer, editing it according to the way its supposed to be, adding audio or music, all the way to exporting it out to a format that you want. Let’s begin.

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Filmmaker and film writer. An ironically strange combination. Follow his tweets on @faisalhashmi for his escapades in film.

  • Jeetindersaggu

    Thanks for bringing this issue to light.Many people like to make there videos at home.These are some easy steps for making home video.1)Get the footage onto a computer2)Sequence the footage together to form a movie3)Output the movie to a format it can be viewed 

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