Man video editing on a computer
Film editing really is an invisible art

Video editing is an invisible art and often goes unnoticed. It’s a tough art to learn and even harder to master. The links in this article aim to make it a little easier.

Let’s start with the basics of video editing

In the grand scheme of things, editors are the ones constructing the films we see. They piece together their films’ narratives out of disconnected, separate elements and create something that’s not just cohesive, but something that’s captivating as well.

Every aspiring editor needs to know the basic stages of post-production before they begin hacking away at raw footage. Read Stages of Editing to learn and understand the various stages that editors go through when working on a project. Also, it’d be helpful to learn some of the terminology that editors commonly use in Demystifying Common Video Editing Terms for the Self Taught Editor.

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Making the Cut

So now that you know some of the video editing fundamentals let’s dive into some technique. Here’s how you can cut a reel that sizzles.

Editing can be a very difficult time. A large portion of editing deals with making tough decisions like cutting lots of beloved material. It can be excruciating having to edit out a piece of dialog or an entire scene that you love for the greater good of your project. 5 Ways To Kill Your Darlings and Make Better Cuts will help you drop the ax and make these tough decisions.

But editing isn’t just about cutting down scenes. Editors have to know how to construct a cohesive flow to the scene changes that fit with the kind of movie they are making. Read The Art of Deciding When to Cut and (when not to cut) and How to Edit a Long Take when piecing together your video.

Get your workstation setup

While there’s tons of capable editing hardware and software of all different levels and prices, if you want to get serious about editing video, you’ll need a proper workspace.

But hold on! Before you start tearing up your living room as your editing lair, check out our Edit Bay Essentials, Editing in 4K Minimum System Requirements and Video Editing Software Buyer’s Guide articles.

It may also be worth looking at Your Step By Step Guide to Assembling a Computer From Scratch and How to Optimize Your Editing Machine for Best Performance if you want to have an efficient workstation and save yourself some money. It’s almost always cheaper to build your own computer — plus, it gives you more control over your systems resources.

Become a better editor

There are always more ways to improve your efficiency as an editor — whether you’re just starting out or you’re working as a professional. Look at Use These Challenge to Become a Better Editor, 10 Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed up Your DaVinci Resolve 14 Workflow, and 5 Editing Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making to enhance your editing skills even further.

It’s also important to make sure your workflow is a healthy one. We sometimes can get so caught up in our work that we neglect our health. Jobs like video editing — which often entails hours of staring at a screen — can be taxing, so be sure to read Sit Less and Get More Done With These Health Tips for Video Editors. In all honesty, the healthier you are, the more productive you’ll ultimately be.

Start Editing!

Editors are the invisible storytellers behind every video. They’re the ones behind the scenes creating the pace, tone, feeling and narrative flow of a story. Editing is more than cutting scenes; it’s about conveying stories visually. It’s an art, and a tough one at that, but it becomes easier with practice and experience.