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 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
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
Marjorie and the
Dash Kitten Crew
Image Credits Envato: UrosPoteko, Stockasso