Tips for New Working Video Editors

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I’ve edited for nine years, so sometimes I forget there is so much for a new editor to learn. I wrote down some of the things I had to learn as a new editor. Some points are my opinion but break the rules at your own risk. 🙂

Tips for New Working Video Editors

  1. Use common sense.
  2. Watch examples, get inspired but don’t completely copy.
  3. Don’t be lazy, fix the shot, color, animation, or re-export.
  4. Keep text within the title safe.
  5. Copy and paste all your text from a word document so it can pick up miss spelled words.
  6. Make text large enough to read.
  7. Say no to RED text. Make it maroon. Red doesn’t process well in video.
  8. Make your text constant if creating lower thirds.
  9.  Lower thirds= graphics on the bottom of the screen.
  10.  If text is supposed to follow the speaker, have the text appear as they say it, unless instructed otherwise.
  11. Work smart to save time.
  12.  Save your work, turn on auto save on final cut and after effects.
  13.  Do the ground work, its worth the extra time. (templates, research, shot list,etc)
  14. Learn keyboard short cuts.
  15.  Takes notes when learning from someone. It’s ok to ask questions the first time but learn to figure out the answer on your own. Goggle is your best friend and creative cow forms are great too.
  16.  Learn the company’s “culture” or style when it comes to language, and delivering information.
  17.  Find where your video storage is on the IT network.
  18.  You can break the rules when you are giving permission and freedom.
  19.  Know and understand your EXPORT settings. Where is the video going to be played?
  20.  Understand video compression.
  21.  Find which video compression works best for your work and then make it a custom setting. (After Effects)
  22.  After Effects, learn how to render your videos correctly. It will save time.
  23.  Check your frame dimensions, frame rate, aspect ratio, final file size when video is completed.
  24.  Delete old versions of your video/renders that have mistakes on them. 1)They will appear and haunt you, confuse you, and take up file space.
  25.  Make the person on screen/company look good.
  26.  Edit out: Awkward moments, silences, expressions, mistakes. (Unless you are editing for TMZ)
  27.  Be proactive and inventive.
  28.  There are 100 ways of doing something but learn the old process first, understand it then fix it.
  29.  Don’t be offended when someone is training, teaching, correcting, critiquing you. They are there to help you grow in your skill as well seeing the job is done right.
  30.  If you don’t like the video you are creating, start over. Don’t waste time trying to make something work.
  31.  Take care of your hand, get a wilcom tablet.
  32.  Label your tapes and footage!
  33.  Don’ think no one will notice your mistakes, THEY WILL.
  34.  Understand NTSC/PAL and other international TV standards.
  35.  Work on your audio. Keep levels around (-12 to -16). Soundtrack pro is great for this. You can export your audio mix from FCP to Soundtrack. Don’t make your narration compete with your soundtrack.
  36. Double check your work, review your video more than once.
  37. Don’t think you know everything, expect to learn the rest of your life.
  38. Spend time living real life.
  39. Carry a note book with you to write down video ideas.
  40. LEARN FORM YOUR MISTAKES.

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