I need to start editing movies? You can almost feel the worried blogger’s very real fear in this statement. Whether its a GoPro user, an iPhone fan, or an Android user. People view editing movies as stepping into strange and alien territory.

  • Cue: movie music from ‘Jaws’ 

Editing Movies film strip celluloid

Editing a movie is a big step for many, but it is critical, if you want to engage your audience’s attention.

A vivid memory for me from BlogPaws® 2016 was the inspiring video class hosted by top news camera man Ron Lee. After comprehensively covering how to shoot a good video, he said this…..

“The magic happens in the editing suite”

As someone who loves editing movies I could relate to this, but you might not, yet.  Here’s why magic can happen.

  • You can drag footage back from the brink of disaster – lighten it, add filters, add music, add text….
  • You can remove lurches and wobbles.
  • You can remove all the ‘oh my goodness’ mistakes
  • You can tell a brilliant and exciting story
  • You can improve, focus your story and turn good into great

Editing Movies with Miranda and Harvey

Film Editing is Not Bungee Jumping!

Think about the most scary things you know. For me this means dealing with a sick cat, a motorbike accident, or a major earthquake. Stand editing beside these and it is a challenge, but one that is easier to attempt. 

[tweetshare tweet=”Start movie editing with our tips NOW!” username=”jAFdiDHQ!(Ahf)ff7T0^OmZK5bURW$nb:1:8″]

Editing Movies. It Only Takes Two Things to Start :

  • Movie editing software you like to work with (free or paid) and,
  • Patient practice, because there is no magic formula for learning to edit.

Becoming familiar with your editing software is a great start to your learning journey. HOT TIP Do not rush learning your software. Invest time in any company generated or YouTube tutorial videos.

You will either use Windows (PC) or Apple (Mac). Both the Windows recommendations here are from early 2017 so should be current. iMovie for Mac has been developing for a number of years and was our editor of choice for our BlogPaws® Nose to Nose Finalist Video this year. 

Windows Editing SoftwareHitFilmExpress or DaVinci Resolve (both with free options) might replace the soon to be retired Windows Movie Editor. 

Mac Editing Software: You should get iMovie free with your Mac. Before you head into paid software like Adobe Premiere Elements, or Final Cut Pro, you will find iMovie will increase your confidence as an editor. It even has its own (paid) tutorials by Ripple. These are worth the investment and can be found here

Editing Movies film strip celluloid

Please, Tell Me How I Start Editing Movies!

We go into plenty of detail in our eBook (see sidebar) but at the most basic level you need a goal for your movie. We use a simple storyboard printable to plan a rough outline, because goals help you focus. A4 StoryBoard or US Storyboard

Your video footage will need to be ‘trimmed‘, another word for edited, to fit your story. Keep your shots around 3 or 4 seconds so you generate excitement and keep  interest. Editing, at its most basic, allows you to remove everything that gets in the way of telling your story. An exception to this rule would be a longer shot, describing a specific part of a story, that you really want to keep. See our example below.

Spring Video The Dash Kitten Crew.

Our Sample Movie ‘Spring Adventure’ Long Shot

Long, or tracking shots (following a subject), do have their place. Dash Kitten blog’s video featuring tuxedo Miranda, is an example of using an extended shot for a good reason. At 14 seconds it is much longer than I usually recommend, because it generates thrills and excitement as the iPhone records a precipitous descent!  

HOT TIP Editing takes time, good editing can take lots of time. You are refining a message, keeping an eye on flow, the impact of a shot or sequence. You may replay your work in progress over and over again as you keep aiming for that sweet spot that says ‘Yes, I nailed my message’. 

Editing Movies
Get low, be brave with that tracking shot!

Movie Finishing Touches

Add the final polish to your movie by learning to add text (for those with sound turned off), and music (for those who have it turned on!) These touches, like the rolling credits on our Spring Adventure, allow you to acknowledge fellow creatives involved such as licensed music, or an extra sponsors thank you, and your pets. Uploading your movie is the icing on the cake!

  • For USA bloggers and reviewers, remember to add a clear FTC disclosure right at the start of any promotional movie.   

Editing can be exhilarating, a lot of fun, and it can bring you a great sense of achievement. Editing is also time consuming and you need to factor in enough time to craft a video that expresses your goals, hopes and dreams.

As you now have enough skills, you can practice this coming week then join the DKChallenge and submit your video to  Will we see you with our current entrants on the 5th of September?

Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew

Whskr Blogger at Dash Kitten

Image Credits Envato: UrosPoteko, Stockasso

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  1. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 23, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    My human used to be an assistant film editor for movies a really long time ago! Her most famous credit is the cult film Repo Man. She doesn’t have the patience for editing like she used to, though! She is a fan of Facebook Live. MOL!


  2. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 23, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    We just started using imovies and Made our first San Francisco guide with it. Need to move onto video shots now to make better movies! I enjoyed your kitty video a lot!


  3. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Michelle & The Paw Pack

    August 24, 2017 at 1:22 am

    I’ve been blogging for many years now, but creating videos is something I’ve only gotten more involved in more recently. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it. My videos aren’t perfect by any means. I have a lot to learn. Even if I never get a ton of views, I love having lots of videos of my pets to look back on.


  4. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Cathy Armato

    August 24, 2017 at 3:04 am

    I must thank you again for your August video challenge, it was just the push & motivation I needed to get started with video editing! I submitted my video on your site (I hope that came in correctly). It is my very first attempt at video editing and I’m proud that I took that giant leap – I was a bit anxious about it! I put in the time to watch some YouTube videos on how to use two movie editing software apps – they’re both going away so I appreciate your recommendation on a PC editing app that has a free version, I will try the two you’ve mentioned here, thanks! I have another video I plan to edit, I’ll take even more time on this one and improve my skills. I’m proud of my first edited video but I see many areas for improvement!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them


  5. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Sweet Purrfections

    August 24, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Thank you for this information. We’ve used Movie Maker, but it has its limitations. We also have Adobe Premier, but it isn’t too user friendly. We downloaded the DiVinci program and will try it out.


  6. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I have seriously been stressing out the last few days trying to edit my first movie ever.. I did a time lapse of 100% totality when we went to watch the eclipse and all I wanted to do was speed up some parts and slow down others and it was like trying to learn a new language. I was trying to use GoPro Studio (bc that’s what I shot it with), but I think I may try Premiere next. I already use Adobe for everything else. I’m just afraid it’s going to be so hard to learn. Sigh.


  7. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Tenacious Little Terrier

    August 24, 2017 at 6:06 am

    I haven’t tried either of the Windows programs you recommended so I’ll have to take a look. I used to use Final Cut Pro a long time ago but it’s been years and I don’t have a Mac anymore. I have a video of Mr. N I need to edit!


  8. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I hope I can get enough content, my models aren’t cooperating!


  9. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    The Swiss Cats

    August 24, 2017 at 7:45 am

    You’re so true ! We don’t do videos very often, but when we do it, we use iMovie to edit it. It’s very intuitive, and you can get a nice result with almost no edit skills ! Purrs


  10. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Deziz World

    August 24, 2017 at 8:28 am

    We don’t have any of those things, but we use our camera to take videos. We don’t do a lot of them, but, when we do, mommy takes hours to edit. And, we can’t believe Mirand got down from dat tree all by herself. OMC!!! Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena


  11. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Thank you for the suggestions of software to use for editing videos. I will have to check out the free versions that you recommend for windows. I have yet to start really utilizing videos as part of my blog, but I have a couple draft posts that would really benefit from them. Thank you for taking the time to write an educational post!


  12. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Heather Wallace

    August 24, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Wonderful tips and motivation for those fearful of editing their movies. This is something that I’ve just started experimenting with and I’m having a ton of fun. Still, a lot of it is a mystery. These suggestions are great.


  13. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 11:29 am

    These are great tips! I take tons of videos of my dogs and would absolutely love to create a meaningful or impactful movie of them at some point. I really appreciate the resources you shared and find your videos inspirational. Thank you!


  14. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 11:41 am

    As a person who has been intimidated by video, I appreciate your reminder that it isn’t bungee jumping! I downloaded your e-book, but I’m waiting for fall to start.


  15. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    In all creative fields, editing is really where the magic happens. I enjoy playing with the written word and even with layout of images, but am not so comfortable with editing sketches or videos. My husband on the other hand is great with editing photos and even pretty good with videos.


  16. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Amy Hempe

    August 24, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks! I want to upgrade to the video/movie function for my blog. I think a lot of my dogs’ behaviors can be much better expressed with a video. And it just makes things more interesting. You’ve given me confidence!


  17. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks for such an informative and encouraging post! Editing is really important, and so many people are intimidated by it.


  18. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 24, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Thanks for sharing all the great editing tips! You’re spot on! Creating video is exhilarating and fun. I enjoy using iMovie, too.


  19. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Sandy Kubillus

    August 24, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    I need to get your e-book and review my notes for the movie class at BlogPaws 2016, which I think I attended. I only dabbled in one movie, and it took me forever to make it half way decent. I need a lot more training and the right software. Thanks for the reminder!


  20. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Erin the Cat, Princess

    August 24, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I think this is just the info we all need to show us it is quite possible to do great editing for our own movies, and that we don’t need too much high tech stuff either, just the stuff we have already will do.
    Thanks for a great post.


  21. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 25, 2017 at 1:09 am

    These are great tips! Cute video you have there. Editing can be a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun and very rewarding once you get the hang of it! More bloggers should definitely try it out…there are even apps out there that will do most of the work for you if you’re scared to take that full dive into editing. I like the app Quik by GoPro…beginners should definitely check that out as it is an easy to use video creator.


  22. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Dolly the Doxie

    August 25, 2017 at 2:27 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge on editing! I do very little videos because of the time and patience it takes. I’ve done the most basic things in iMovie and find that takes too much patience that I don’t have. But I know it’s worth it to master, just takes time! Sandra and Dolly


  23. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    da tabbies o trout towne

    August 25, 2017 at 2:38 am

    miranda….now we ne why we could knot edit R movee….noe pea sea or mac at home N we think de food servizz gurlz place oh employ mite have a herd of cattle if her down loaded sum stuff on de pea see at werk 😉

    insert hearts XXX


  24. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 26, 2017 at 5:27 am

    Petcretary says since she spends a lot of time editing pictures and making ‘art pictures’ for other furs, she will have to wait till she retires from her job to do this type of editing…let alone taking videos at all, MOL!


  25. Avatar for Miranda Kitten


    August 26, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Videos themselves scare me. I should’ve learned the lesson though. Pictures used to scare me – I could never get them right – Bear always ran away. But when I started my blog, I HAD to have pictures so I started taking pictures anyway. I’m not an expert, but I have gotten some really great shots and it’s not so overwhelming anymore. I should keep that in mind with videos 🙂


  26. Avatar for Miranda Kitten

    Savannah's Paw Tracks

    August 30, 2017 at 10:35 am

    very helpful tips and information. Mom L isn’t much into creating video, just no time…sigh


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