Tips for New Working Video Editors

<<back to tutorial Archives

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.

<<back to tutorial Archives

Editing a Video: Fast Forward Style

<<back to tutorial Archives

Many people have no idea what goes in to making a 30 second video. I decided to record myself putting one together. Keep in mind this video is a simple basic video and nothing too complex. I completed it in three hours. Some videos can take days or weeks.

<<back to tutorial Archives

How to Reconnect Media in Final Cut

<<back to tutorial Archives

An editors worst fear is to watch their video with an audience and see a MEDIA OFF LINE clip. I’ve seen it happen to the best of us. There was once a time I didn’t know how to reconnect my media with grace, I used to panic at the sight of a bright red MEDIA OFF LINE. Media off line happens when your main clips are moved, renamed, or deleted. If they aren’t deleted then there is hope, other wise you will have to recapture the deleted clips.

Here are two ways to Reconnect your media in Final Cut Pro.

1. You are able to reconnect more than one clip. Select all the media offline clips and right click on to “Reconnect Media.”

2. If you like you can select all your missing clips in your Browser window. You can select clips that aren’t next to each other by pressing command on your keyboard and selecting with your mouse.

3. You again select all your missing clips and right click >Reconnect Media.

4.Now you see the Reconnect Files window. You can Locate the folder where all your clips are and hit choose. It will not only reconnect that one clip you are directing but all the other media that are in the folder.

5. Or Search for the name of your clip. If you change the name of the clip you are trying to reconnect, you can un-check “Matched Name and Reel Only”, then it will let you connect your clip with it’s new name.

6. Hit Chose and it will connect all the other found clips.

7. You can also change the default location FCP searches in where it says Search Single Location, click on the pull down menu and it will give you the option to add a search location or you can direct it to the hard drive you are work from.

Now your media is connected and all your hard work won’t be over looked by the dreadful media offline clips.

Every editor has to start somewhere, keep working hard and learning.

<<back to tutorial Archives


How to Export more than one video in Final Cut Pro at the same time, AKA Batch Export.

<<back to tutorial Archives

Batch Export allows you to export more than one video in Final Cut Pro at the same time, saving you a bunch of time.  Feel free to thank me. 🙂

Make sure all your sequences are rendered (with no red lines: Command R or Sequence > Render Selection > Both), then add your IN and OUT points by pressing I for IN and O for OUT.

Then select all your sequences in your browser, right click > Batch Export.

You can adjust your settings and choose where you wish to save all your exports at once.

-Set Destinations (Where you want your file to be), Hit Choose.

-Format (The pull down menu allows you to select different video formats.)

-Settings (Know where your videos are going to be played before you export so you have the correct export settings.)

-Naming (The naming option allows you to change/add file extensions. You really don’t need to change this, in fact I really don’t know when you would use this. If you know, feel free to share with me.)

-Include  (Audio and Video, Make self-contained if you want your video to be able to be played on a different computer with out your supporting files, use item IN/OUT.

4. Now you are ready to Export.

Knowing how to Batch Export will allow you to work smart. Yay!

<<back to tutorial Archives


FCP TIP: Changing 4×3 to 16×9 //Anamorphic// Custom Column Layout

<<back to tutorial Archives

How to change 4×3 footage to 16×9 (Anamorphic)? How do I create my own column layout?

If you haven’t captured your footage yet, scroll down to the bottom to find out how to prevent this issue.

So this is the most asked question I get. I actually remember when I didn’t
know the answer, it was 2003 and I was in Australia, a hot guy who I was teaching video to asked me, I had to act fast in order to impress him. And I did, figure out how to change the aspect ratio, not impress him. He thought I was a geek.

Here we go. ONE WAY:
Command Zero or Settings>Sequence Settings.


change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)

4×3 is hardly used, it was once the standard TV screen  and projector size. But now everyone has a widescreen TV, projector, or web video. There are two ways that I use to  change my video from 4×3 to 16×9.

change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)

You can double click on your footage in the time line and it opens up in your VIEWER window. Click on the MOTION tap and go down to your ASPECT RATIO.

change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)

There you see the number 33.3, well change it to 0.

change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)

You might have to re-drop it in your time line if it hasn’t already changed.

In your BROWSER window you can check mark the ANAMORPHIC.

change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
Column Layout

Your can add the ANAMORPHIC option to your BROWER window by right clicking on the title bar.

change 4x3 footage to 16x9 (Anamorphic)
Column Layout

There you will see a list of options, you will see ANAMORPHIC. Pick the information you will use often, then save it where it says SAVE COLUMN LAYOUT. Then next time you can chose LOAD COLUMN LAYOUT and it will bring it up.  I have ANAMORPHIC/DESCRIPTION/SCENE/SHOT TAKE / REEL/ LAST MODIFIED on my column layout which I named MB.

Column Layout
Column Layout

To prevent this drama, just set your capture settings to Anamorphic if you are capturing DV.

Capturing DV
Capturing DV

Adjust your setting accordingly, if you pull down the menu it will give you some standard setups. You can even create your own. You can find this out in one of my future Rookie Tutorials //How to capture DV & HDV

Capturing DV
Capturing DV

Don’t let anyone know you are a video rookie. Look professional and pretend you know what you are doing or to save time google the question.

<<back to tutorial Archives


Final Cut Pro: Why do I have to render footage in my time line?

<<back to tutorial Archives

FCP TIP: Why is there a red line when I drop my video clip on to the time line of Final Cut Pro? or Why do i have to render footage in my time line?

Update: If you are working on FCP 7.0.3 or higher, you can set your sequence settings by dropping in your media on to the timeline. It will ask you if you want to change the sequence settings to match your footage. Say yes and it will match the format perfectly with no rendering. Also FCP doesnt like mp3 audio, export your track to an .aiff in itunes.

Here is a small detail tip that will save you time from rendering in FCP. To every question there is an answer in the video world, it’s never “just because” or “maybe it’s you.” When you drop your media in to your time line and it comes in with a red line on top that means your time line has different setting to your video format. To fix this you can right click on your media either in the time line or in your browser ben.

Redline on FCP Timeline 1
Red line on FCP Timeline 1

Now you can see all the information that your clip has.

Redline on FCP Timeline 2
Red line on FCP Timeline 2

Write down the settings or remember them. Go in to the sequences settings (command zero) or sequences>settings.

Fix Redline in FCP Timeline 3
Red line in FCP Timeline 3

There you can change all the clips settings to match your media on the time line.

Fix Red Line in FCP Timeline 4
Fix Red Line in FCP Time line 4

Now you media matches with your sequences.

Fix Red Line in FCP Timeline 5
Fix Red Line in FCP Time line 5

Don’t waste time rendering your media in the wrong time line settings. It’s annoying. And only Rookies do that.

<<back to tutorial Archives


Creating a Video // Start to Finish

<<back to tutorial Archives

Mens Conference

Here is the process of creating a video here at church.

Count Down//

Men's Conference Count Down
Men's Conference Count Down
Fingering out how many days I have to create the video. It helps me better plan out what is possible in the time given. With more time comes more creativity. More time can also hurt, it gives me time to change my mind which can lead to wasted time to create. Three 8 hours days is a fair amount of time to create a video that has thought, creativity, boom and wow. A video created in three hours won’t have a very long life time of play or airing. This Men’s Conference video took me 7 hours, start to finish.
The Scheduling //
Men's Conference Schedule
Men's Conference Schedule

Everything that needs to be done and by when. Having all the information of dates, times,locations, etc.   in front of me helps save time double checking. The goal is to do all the thinking at once, so you have time to put everything together and not waste time still trying to plan while you are editing.

The Thumb Nails //

Men's Conference Thumb Nails
Men's Conference Thumb Nails
I write down what’s going to take place. Some do sketches, but I do words. Once I take the time to think everything out, I write out the flow, what text is being used,  every action that is taking place. If I don’t write it down then time is taken up trying to think of what is coming up next.
Production and Filming //
Men's Conference Production
Men's Conference Production

Now that all of the ideas are down on paper, its time to go and capture what is needed. I call the people needed and arrange things. Once we get together we can get right to it. I know what I want and how I want it which makes it easier on the actor or who ever is involved. Over the years, working with great equipment, basic, and even just a camcorder I’ve learnt to use whatever I have and make it look good by keeping shots steady, not using too much of the zoom unless that is the style you want, and having shots with thought. Photography has helped me develop this skill.

Editing //
Men's Conference Edit: Cut
Men's Conference Edit: Cut

Once I have all the parts needed to tell my story, I captured my footage in Final Cut. I exported all my cuts to bring in to After Effects.

Effects //
After Effects: Motion Effects
After Effects: Motion Effects
After Effects is an advance motion graphic program that could be learned with focus and dedication. Once you know the basic tools, it will transform your videos and your story will come alive. I can spend all day in this program, but since I wanted to add color effects, text flying in, camera motion and lighting, once I created one project I was able to duplicate the comps for the different text and clips. Which helps work flow go fast.
Composite //
Edit: Composite
Edit: Composite
After I set everything to render, titles and clips, I replace all the edits with my renders on the time line. I line it up with music and sound effects.
Approval and Changes//
Approval and Changes
Approval and Changes
A project isn’t finished until the person who is paying you says it is. Leave room on your production timeline for any possible changes that may need to be made.

Final //


The greatest part in creating a video is seeing it come together. What is even greater is watching others reactions. My idea on paper is now alive. Know where your final video will be shown, and export your file accordingly.