I need to edit a movie? 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 a skill, and every skill can be learned. No matter what the age or skillset of the learner editing a movie, on a smartphone or computer is within your grasp.
You want to engage your audience’s attention and do it with a focused goal. That means you edit..
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.
- As a movie editor you can rescue footage from the brink of disaster. Lighten clips, add filters, add music or text.
- You will be able to remove lurches and wobbles
- Delete forever all your ‘oh my goodness’ mistakes
- You will tell a brilliant and exciting story
- As the editor you will craft clips, 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. This is one trick for putting your fear of editing in perspective.
Only Takes Two Things to Start :
- Movie editing software (see below) you like to work with (free or paid) and,
- Patient practice, because there is no magic formula for learning to edit.
HOT TIP Do not rush learning your software. Invest time in any company generated training documents and YouTube tutorial videos. Then when you begin your own editing journey, you do it with complete confidence. Becoming familiar with your editing software is the best way to guarantee a successful outcome.
Most bloggers, or beginner movie makers 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 many years and is our budget editor of choice.
If you feel you need to have expensive software or you won’t be able to do a good job, please think again. It is the artist behind the video who makes the creative magic. iMovie was used in the Dash Kitten BlogPaws® Nose to Nose Finalist Video in 2017. If we can achieve such a feat with an iPhone4 and a good story – why can’t you. Go for it.
Mac Editing Software: The best free video editing software for Mac, for newbies, is iMovie. It comes free with every recent Mac.
HOT TIP Before you head into premium paid software, consider cutting your editing teeth on these pieces of free software. They will increase your confidence. They are straightforward to learn and user friendly. Each one will have plenty of YouTube tutorials to back it up. iMovie even has its own (paid) tutorials by Ripple. These are worth the investment and can be found here.
As an alternative, or if you are lucky to have access them. The best professional video editing software includes Adobe Premiere Elements, or Final Cut Pro Each of these comes with a steep learning curve, so be prepared.
HowDo 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 build 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 (that follow 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 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 repeatedly as you aim for that sweet spot that says ‘Yes, I nailed my message’.
Movie Finishing Touches
- Add text (for those with sound turned off), and
- music (for those who have it turned on)
Extra touches, like the the rolling credits on our Spring Adventure, allow you to acknowledge others involved. People such as licensed music, or sponsors, a thank you to pets and kitty wranglers. Then 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.
Image Sources Envato: UrosPoteko, Stockasso