To improve your video editor skills, it’s beneficial to start by understanding the basics such as how to use different software programs, create transitions between clips and adjust audio levels. All this is a video editing skill for beginners, which should be mastered by everyone who begins the path of video editing. After gaining a basic understanding of these elements, it’s helpful to practice editing small projects until you’re comfortable enough to take on larger ones.
Being a professional video editor involves learning a wide range of technical skills as well as developing creativity and stress resistance when it comes to cutting clips together.
Therefore, I will tell you about 5 steps to improve your video editing skills. Let’s go!
Step 1: Technical know-how: knowing the equipment
The most important element of any video editing process is the software. Creating a visually appealing video production requires more than just content and imagination. Technical skills for video editor are essential to take your project from concept to reality. When it comes to video editing, knowing the equipment is the first step in improving video editing skills.
What is meant?
It means that it is important not only to know the basic tools that do the main work but also additional plugins and filters that will help make your video visually more beautiful.
For example, let’s take footage from a night shoot. Make the basics: cut off all the excess, join clips together, and add music. It seems that the work is done. But with additional knowledge, you can apply several presets that will improve the picture and sound.
Let’s take the «Noise Grain Remover» preset, which will allow us to reduce the noise in the video. Image quality has improved several times, colors have become less grainy, and gradients are smoother. Perfectly! Now let’s do a little magic with music. Thanks to the «Lowpass» plugin, we make the effect as if the music is heard somewhere far away. And since the first frame was taken from a drone, this is exactly what we need. We adjust the level of plug-in use with keyframes. And we got not just a series of videos, but a beautiful sketch of a night walk through the city.
What else is useful to know?
Apart from software knowledge, familiarity with hardware components such as capture cards and recording devices can also go a long way toward increasing productivity during the editing phase. Also important for you to understand how different codecs work when exporting videos for distribution on various platforms. Knowledge of color correction or creating a simple animation will also be importance of video editing skills and will be useful during work.
Step 2: Organizational skills: keeping track of projects
One key area to improve video editor skills is their organizational skills. Keeping track of projects and planning out what needs to be done are both essential components of successful video editing.
It often happens that you have done a project and immediately took on the next one. And after some time, edits from the previous client arrive. What will be your actions? Search all SSD where did this project go? Maybe you have already deleted it (never dare to do this without agreement with the client. It is better to do such things in writing: signing the contract or at least in personal messages).
What is the best way out?
It is to have several hard drives or any other SSD where you can store projects. Each hard drive will have its purpose: one for completed projects that are waiting for confirmation from customers, the second – your portfolio, where all exports will be, and the third – projects that are being done right now. And so on. It all depends on the volume of work. The more projects you do, the more storage space you need.
It is also advisable to keep documentation of your projects (in Excel or Trello). Write down who is your client, what task you received, and what work you did. We also do not forget about the financial part. All this must be entered to be able to analyze your work.
What else is useful to know?
Also, the organization in the program itself, where you work, will be very useful and will speed up the pace of work. For example, sorting the main and additional materials into folders, keeping the sound separate from the video, signing all the sequences, and the adjustment layer that is created.
You can also organize everything on the timeline so that the work is done many times faster. For example, setting up hotkeys and using them instead of the mouse. This will reduce time spent on unnecessary movements (it is better to drink hot tea instead). Color marking files on the timeline will also be a useful skill. This will allow you to find the necessary files by looking only at the timeline, instead of looking for them by looking at each frame in the place where it should probably be. Also, color marking will allow you to quickly navigate the project when you need to make changes.
Creating detailed timelines for each project also helps keep everything organized and on track for completion within a specific deadline. All of these improve video editor skills needed.
Developing strong organizational skills will help reduce stress when working on complex projects, as well as ensure that no important tasks go overlooked. By breaking down large-scale tasks into smaller chunks, it becomes easier to prioritize them according to importance.
Step 3: Adaptability: working with different clients
Adaptability is one key aspect of improving video editing skills that need to be mastered to create the best content possible. Being able to adjust and cater to your workflow according to the client’s preferences and wishes will ensure a smooth collaboration between both parties involved.
It should be remembered that clients are people just like us. They have their vision and it should be respected. And you should also remember that we are creating a product specifically for them (as well as for their target audience, this is also an important nuance that must be taken into account when working on the project).
Any other nuances that need to be known?
Yes of course! There may be clients who can’t clearly explain what they want, or they don’t know what they want at all (yes, that happens too). You need to be able to clarify the purpose and other tasks of the product that you will have to create. It is useful to have a checklist of questions for such cases (you will know it by heart later).
It is also important to discuss all the details with the client, even at the stage of preparation for editing the video: duration, desired shots, what music to use (copyright availability), what the client would not like to see in the video, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask all the questions or ask questions twice when something is unclear. The more details you agree on now, the less time it will take to edit the video. And the less likely it will be to make changes after the project is submitted. And improves your video editor skills even more.
What else is useful to know?
Working with different clients can be beneficial in terms of adaptability when working. It’s important to familiarize yourself with different types of projects and tasks that may require you to use different tools within the same software. This way you will be able to work efficiently even if there are changes in requirements during the project.
Improving these video editing skills can help a person create better quality content, as well as make them more attractive to potential clients.
Step 4: Creative challenges: how to stay inspired
Video editing is an exciting and creative field. For those looking to improve their video editing skills and stay inspired, there are plenty of challenges to explore that can help you hone your craft.
Where can you find inspiration?
Everywhere! Movies, music videos, independent cinema, photography, books, music, works of colleagues, and works of competitors. Even a simple walk through your hometown or having tea with friends can inspire new ideas. The video editor must be an observer. To notice all the details, to be able to stop and think. To be able to feel the atmosphere emitted by this or that event. This is what helps improve video editing skills.
Can be more specific?
Of course. Here is my advice: choose 2-3 authors whose works you like. Analyze them and understand how they were created and where such an idea could come from. Determine which video editing skills were used. Try to replicate this idea in your project. But be careful. No need to copy everything down to the details. It will only worsen the quality of your work and drive you to a dead end. You need to understand how to implement this idea in your project. How can it be adapted, improved, or changed. Perhaps thanks to this, something new will be born. And this will be your idea!
What else is useful to know?
Additionally, participating in online tutorials or attending seminars can help broaden your understanding of how to edit video professionally.
There is no need to sit and wait for the inspiration to do something. Look for this inspiration, grasp it firmly, and implement it in your project! Improving your video editing skills is challenging yourself by exploring new techniques, tools, and formats. It’s also important for editors to experiment with a variety of projects that will push them outside their comfort zone.
Step 5: Stress management: handling pressure well
Video editing is a complex and time-consuming activity, but it can be very rewarding if done well. For those hoping to hone their skills in the area, there are several strategies to consider.
But first – causes of stress?
The causes of stress can be excessive workload, lack of control over the project, insufficient skills for the job, over-supervision, working in noise, working from home, monotony at work, lack of equipment, etc.
You must always keep your mind clear and your thoughts focused. And for this, you need to improve your video editor skills.
So what to do? (methodology for reducing stress)
First and foremost, it is important to stay organized and keep track of progress as one works on a video project. Developing a timeline with concrete deadlines can help set achievable goals. Place your to-do schedule in a prominent place where you work. Highlight the main thing (deadline, earnings for the project, or something else) in a different color so that it is clearly visible. This keeps motivation levels high during long hours spent on the task at hand.
Second, break large tasks into smaller ones and take them one at a time to reduce the stress on your head. This will allow you to clearly see progress and therefore reduce stress during work.
Additionally, taking frequent breaks helps clear the mind and refocus energy when working on difficult tasks that require precision.
Video editing is a long-term process, so don’t forget about rest. Create work schedules for yourself (for example, 3-4 hours of work, then 20-30 minutes of rest), which will be as productive as possible, but will not cause fatigue and unwanted stress during work. Such schedules are made individually by «trial and error». If necessary, take 1-2 days off if the stress level is constantly increasing. A good rest from work will allow you to solve difficult tasks with renewed strength and improve your video editing skills.
Conclusion: let’s improve your video editing skills!
Video editing is one of the most important aspects of creating a professional video. It takes time and patience to improve video editor skills, but with practice and dedication, you can become an expert at video editing.
Video editing is an ever-evolving skill set and mastering the craft requires dedication and practice. Whether you’re a budding amateur or a professional editor, improving your video editing skills can help you create more captivating videos, faster and with better results.
With the right tools and knowledge easy to find out how to edit video professionally! Let’s improve your video editing skills today!