5 Tips for Beginner Video Editors

5 Tips for Beginner Video Editors

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Video editing can be a great career choice. It can also be a skill set you learn for occasional use, like for personal and hobby projects. Regardless of your motive, learning to edit video is a great idea. But like any other skill set, it takes time and effort to learn well.

When you are a video editing beginner, you may not know where or how to get started. Certainly, you’ve watched videos, but that doesn’t mean you can edit them. Here are 5 tips to get you rolling in the world of video editing right away.

Watch Closely


Start by watching videos that you like. This can be everything from Hollywood films to commercial spots, documentaries, and music videos. The key is to not just watch the videos, but to pay attention to them. Specifically, paying attention to how they are edited.

Watch a video several times. Start by just taking it all in. Then watch again, and observe the pacing of the edits, the way shots are ordered, and the choices of shots. Note graphics that are used and transitional devices, and how they add to or detract from the video.

These are the choices that editors make every day, and they are more thought out than you might realize. You’ll begin to notice patterns and rules that you can incorporate when you start editing on your own.

Study Hard


The great thing about video editing is that there are lots of great editors who are eager to share what they know. And many of them are sharing helpful information all the time for free. For example, here are 5 sites worth following if you edit with Premiere Pro.

There are also loads of great places to watch tutorials online for free, where you can learn basic and specific techniques. One such place is the tutorial section at Motion Array. They have a growing number of Premiere Pro tutorials that focus on all kinds of topics for beginner to expert video editors.

Watching and following tutorials is a fantastic way to not only learn the software you are using, but to also learn the rules of editing.

Jumpstart Your Projects


Another great way to get a handle on editing is with the use of templates. Templates can range from simple graphics to full edit backbones. They are basically pre-made projects that do a lot of the work for you.

As a beginner, this is a great way to learn some things. You can use a template to get some things done quicker while you are learning the ropes. You can also dissect a template to see how it was made.

Motion Array has loads of Premiere Pro templates available for download through their subscription service. All you need is a copy of Premiere Pro to use them, and since Premiere Pro is one of the most widely used editing platforms, it’s a good opportunity to get your feet wet with the program too.

Stay Organized


With tons of shots, graphics, and all sorts of other elements in your project, it’s easy to get bogged down in content.

When you’re a beginner, it’s a great idea to form good organizational habits for your projects. Create a folder structure for all of your elements to live in. This will make it easier to find what you need when you need it.

Create a workspace setup that works for you. Most editing software, Premiere Pro included, lets you customize your workspace with the panels you need, where you want them. You can save your own custom workspace, so it’s easy for you to know where everything is every time you start a new project.

And take good notes. When you are making changes for a client, or even for your own projects, use note software or pen and paper to create checklists of all of the things that need to be changed.

Practice Makes Perfect


This might sound like common sense, but if you don’t practice, you won’t get better. Just because you learn how the software works, doesn’t make you a great editor. It takes hours of work and lots of different projects to get a real sense of how to edit.

Take on as many projects as you can, from editing your friend’s wedding video, to editing PSA’s in your area. Whatever you can do to get in front of the computer and work with footage will help you on the next project, and the next one after that.

You can even use stock footage to build projects for practice purposes. Here are 5 free stock video resources you can use to download clips for your practice projects.

Don’t be afraid to jump in and try things. You learn the most from your mistakes. You will get faster as you go and make less mistakes each time.

Video editing can be a lot of fun and can allow you to unleash your creativity. But you have to start somewhere. Use these tips to get going and you may just find yourself with a new career path in the creative world.

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