Edit Your Cat Movie So It Looks Fantastic

Edit Your Cat Movie So It Looks Fantastic

Our movie editing post was so well received that we are increasing the chapter on editing to our movie eBook and giving readers a preview here. Read on for plenty of advice and encouragement. Cat lovers now have even more information about the procedure for editing a movie.

You have decided the time is right to try movie editing for the first time. Well done! This is a positive step on your creative journey, so let’s help demystify the important first steps you take as a newbie movie editor. An editor might be just you, or it might be a co-corker on the movie.

Yes You Can!

Taking that first step in the right way is important. Whether you are making a movie of kittens in the garden, or therapy rats at work, or a sponsored post, making sure that these first steps are done properly matters. You set off with a clear purpose and gain confidence as you learn. One of our #DKVideo challenge entries took ‘editing a movie’ as her skill building challenge because she was determined to tame the editing monster – and she did!

Take That First Movie Making Step 

To start movie editing you need to know how to use your editing software. This is, to start with, much more important than a plan and a focus for your movie. Basic video editors are not complicated and Mac and PC work flows are very similar, because they both do the same things on a different operating system. Both Windows and Apple programs will include the following options for you to explore:

  • A timeline where you build your movie
  • The ability to trim and manipulate your video clips
  • Options to add text, filters, colour and/or music
  • The option to add a voice-over (Mac) (PC)
  • The chance to upload to Vimeo, YouTube, a blog, or social media.

Movie Editing with Silver Kitten

TOP TIP Give Yourself Permission to Play

A good editing program will need to be explored, so give yourself time in the movie playground to see what you can do. Allow yourself to make mistakes, push the software as hard as you can. You will discover what works and what doesn’t, and most people can’t break software, even if they try. YouTube, and company web sites, are great for tutorials on specific software programs. You can find some comprehensive PC software recommendations here. A good Mac roundup can be found here.

The Beginner's Guide to Movie Editing....Click To Tweet

Good Movie Editing Means Having a Movie Plan

You can use our storyboard printables to help you plan, or jot notes on a pad, or use a smartphone note-taking app.

Here’s a step-by-step of how we approach editing a movie. You will start in the same way and then develop your own way of working as your skills grow.

  1. Add the shots you really like into your timeline. This will be your main story and focus.
  2. Preview it to see how it looks, then keep editing. Aim to keep your shots shortish (around 3 seconds to start with) for a dynamic feel, but never be afraid to extend a shot if you feel it works for you.
  3. As you edit, stay focused on your plan but don’t overthink your first run-through.
  4. Keep going, keep editing your movie into a rough cut that tells your story.

When you have a rough story in the timeline, take a look.

  • Does it stick to your plan?
  • Does it tell your story?
  • Is your rough outline is shaping up in a way you are happy with? If so, move on to the next stage.
  • If not, give your storyboard some further thought. Maybe take a break before you return to the editing screen.

Movie Editing Tips and Tricks for Directors

Beginner Movie Editing Tips – Stage 2

You have a rough cut of your work-in-progress. It’s looking good and the story is shaping up. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Now is the time to review your remaining unused footage and see how these shots fit in with your plan. Look for your close-ups and distance shots to add visual variety and focus interest.  Decide where you will add your extra footage to enhance your story.

Play your movie and review. If you are happy that it sticks to your plan and reflects your intentions get ready to take the final step. It helps to step away and clear your head before jumping in to the last stage so take a walk, surf Instagram, have lunch.

Want to #edit your #movies? Let us help!Click To Tweet

Adding Polish To Your ‘Final Cut’ – Stage 3

The final stage is giving your work a professional finish, even if you don’t aspire to serious stuff. A kitten movie to delight and entertain may be one minute long, with cute text and backed with a bouncy soundtrack: a sponsored post may include a purchased soundtrack, sophisticated text effects, and last a little longer to present a product well.  You can make both!

  • An effective video for a sponsor can make a big impact. Our tutorial for the Pioneer Pets Clamshell filter is short, informative and functional. The company found it helpful, and it now appears on the Pioneer Pet website.

A few ways to add movie editing polish:

  • Consider adding transitions. Restrict yourself to just a few, and you will see how effective a soft fade, or page curl across the screen can be, used just once to make a point.
  • Adjust colour if anything looks dark or over bright
  • Speed up or slow down a segment of film – often a ‘tortoise and hare’ symbol.
  • Add text. For FB movies remember many people have the sound off,
  • But for other places, think music! Think copyright too. Look for royalty free music like Incompetech who work under a Creative Commons licence, Audio Jungle (paid). YouTube has a royalty free library, and AdWeek have a list of recommended sites here.

PRO TIP for Sponsored Post Newbies

Ensure you add the American FTC statement front and centre to a video for a sponsored post. This is very important if you are reviewing a product or device, especially if your market includes the USA. This disclaimer is a legal requirement that you should see on every blog where an item or service was provided to a writer/blogger as remuneration (payment).

OK that’s all there is to it! Now go and practice, and edit and practice some more, and then make a movie.

We aim to make a very basic how to start making movies post in the near future – does that pique the interest of our readers? Let us know!

Silver Kitten
Movie Tutorial Author
and Inspirer

Dash Kitten Silver Kitten the Business Cat

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  1. This is such a wonderful “go-to” for newbies…and a great refresher for veteran videographers, as well (such as the FTC statement!) Really great job on creating a wonderful video reference!

  2. Great information.I haven’t made a movie combining still shots and I have only made two movies using video from my phone. It took me a lot of time to figure out how to add a title and how to convert it to a usable form. I also found out that for a blog post it is better to have it uploaded into You tube first. There is definitely a learning curve and I could use the help. Thanks!

  3. I’m getting ready to make a video of some new tricks and I’ll definitely keep your advice in mind. Especially about the FTC disclosure. I disclose on the post and on the website that hosts the video but I guess I need to include it in the video itself!

  4. Thanks for these super helpful tips! I’ve been getting more and more into video editing, both for Kitty Cat Chronicles and my music business. It has been a lot of fun! It can definitely be overwhelming and scary at first though. Your advice is great and will be helpful to any video maker!

  5. This is great information! I’m actually shooting my first real video today and I will be coming back to this post for reference along the way for sure. The timing couldn’t be better. Printing out your storyboard file. So perfect! Do you have recommendations for easy to use editing software? That’s the part I’m worried about most.

  6. This is fantastic info! And being a film school graduate, I think you nailed everything! I definitely need to add more videos to my blog, and your post has renewed my interest in doing so. Now, if the cats will just cooperate so I can get some good footage. Although, a good blooper reel is always fun…!

  7. Excellent article for those of us who are just dipping our paws into the world of film making. I would definitely be interested in more on this subject, including a basic “how to” guide for making my first movie. Any chance of a series of these articles bundled together?

  8. I remember reading about this challenge. You always had fun road trip videos with Dusty. Good memories. I just recently got the Windows Movie maker software and tried a slideshow video to start out. Not too bad. I’m going to have to continue with your tips so I can have a great video to post in the near future. Thanks for the tips.

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