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5 Tips for Beginner Video Editors and What They Should Know

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

So first off, let me say congrats on starting your video editing journey; whether you started a week ago, started today, or even started years ago.

Yes, go you! *claps and inserts cheesy stock photo below*

I remember when I started editing on Windows Media Maker because I wanted to make my first YouTube video. Over a decade later, here I am still wanting to make new videos, but now for TikTok. The world looks like a different place from the early days of YouTube.

I decided to ask my on Twitter a specific question:

"What would have you told yourself when you started editing?"

(Thank you to everyone who responded to my Twitter post - you made this blog post a whole lot more enlightening).

Here's what people said:

1. Keyboard shortcuts and Editing Presets are your BFFL

Common practice as your figure out your own workflow, but keyboard shortcuts are a time saver as beginners. For example, learning a new software and you're quickly scrubbing through footage by pressing a certain key to zoom out and cut or splice clips.

Editing Presets are a timesaver with efficiency, especially when you start having consistent clients. From camera scales preset, text, motion presets, and so much more. Presets are a great little touch to add in as you begin to learn the video editing software of your choice.

Now if they change their overlay, that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

2. Stay Organized!

Another tip for beginner video editors is to stay organized!

Creating a system where all your music, assets, graphics, titles, fonts, sounds, and presets are all accessible to you (and others if you're collaborating) in the same place.

Kent from Twitter offers the advice of keeping it all in an actual editing project:

" Start a project titled "yourname_editing" put your music, overlays, sounds effects, presets, EVERYTHING in here. Then open it when editing other projects and all your good stuff is drag and droppable."

Once again, keep it all in the same place to you're able to recycle the use with other similar projects! Work smarter, not harder!

3. Keep on studying and practicing!

The only way to keep getting better at something is to keep practicing it and trying new techniques! Even if you're just starting out - keep on making videos! It takes time.

Marsha suggests learning the principles of animation!


Can we say it any louder?? Please set your auto-save timer.

5. Don't be too hard on yourself.

We're all still learning and growing. The process of learning takes time and some video editing softwares have deep learning curves than others. I still remember that leap from Pinnacle Studio to Premiere Pro.

I launched the software and was like "???" How the heck was I going to learn every tool or everything that Premiere had to offer? But then I realized that at first I didn't need to use every single tool, preset, color grade effect, or learn what every window did. I started with importing clips and putting them together. I learned about different templates. I learned how to add images and audio. Then over time progressed into effects on text, masking, keyframes, color grading, and more complicated techniques.

Don't be too hard on yourself even when a project doesn't turn out 100% how you wanted it. Take constructive feedback and adjust.

Be open to change.

Some questions to ask yourself:

How could of that video flowed better?

How could of the story telling have been better?

What effects added to the story? What things were distracting?

What did another editor do that you liked?

You got this!

As always, if you have any questions for me, leave a comment below! I'll be sure to respond!

Stay comfy cozy and keep on creating!


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