What’s more important, the idea, or its execution? It’s one of those problems, those more in-depth questions, which we’re all struggling with. But in some fields, there is no comparison between the idea and the execution – both are crucially important. One such area is video making.
Why Is Video Editing Necessary? Here Are All The Steps That Go Into It
Videos, owing to their dynamic nature and the ability to hold within itself many elements at the same time, is inherently expressive. They can go deeper than words and are only a rung or two below reality. They can be the ideal portal into another person’s being.
But not all videos can achieve this feat of evoking your deepest emotions. The best videos are the best because they excel in a very underrated and underappreciated area called editing.
Editing is crucial for almost everything from writing, screenplay and especially for videos. Even simple customized online invitations in the form of videos require editing.
Post-production is one of the most grueling and exciting processes when you’ve to work with the raw footage you have and arrange it into a coherent story using your creativity. Good editing can render your video crisp, to the point, and engaging, while bad editing can, well, ruin it.
For making a good video, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the necessary steps of the post-production editing process.
Make a Moodboard or Thought Map
Put to paper, or poster, what it is that you want to achieve in this process. This is not about the video story; you have to think about it even before picking up the camera. This is about how you’re going to achieve what you’ve thought of.
Maybe a little digression from the original idea that you had. What’s going to be the mood of the video, how are you going to get that mood, what sounds and lights you want to make use of? Perhaps any special effects you’d like to use?
List everything down before switching on the laptop. Sometimes in the excitement of things, we forget some important details, and details make videos intricate and exciting.
Choose your Software
One step video editors spend a lot of time on is which software to use for editing. There are editing softwares aplenty, but you’ve got to choose the one that gets the work done for what you have in mind. Mostly all of them are equipped with similar features, but you can find a useful add-on here and there.
The edge might not always be concerning an editing tool; perhaps one software’s better than the other because it’s lighter and works faster, or that the raw video is high quality in low storage space.
While professionals use paid-for, large softwares, a beginner can often make do with online editing platforms. They’re easy to use and are good practice for more complex platforms to be utilized later.
Moving Your Shots
The next sequence is moving or transferring your data from the camera to the device being used. If you’re planning to shoot for more than a week, every day, it is advised to transfer your data at the end of every day.
This saves time when you finally sit to edit the shots because then you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting for the transfer to end.
Organizing Raw Footage
When the transfer’s complete, and you’ve exported all your files from your camera to your editing device and uploaded them into the software (this takes time), you begin to organize the shots in the sequence you want them to be in.
You can manage your data very meticulously so that accessing stuff later isn’t much of a hassle. The best practice is to make a different folder for the raw shots of each scene.
Choosing the Best Shots
Grunt work, but necessary work. A good film hinges on the best shots, so you’ll have to sit through each raw video, watch it, review it, compare it to other images of the same scene, and then earmark the best one for usage.
Tip: Make a sub-folder within the scene shots folder, one which contains all the shots that have been selected for use.
Trimming is the process of smoothening each shot’s edges so that the transition from one shot to the consequent one doesn’t seem abrupt. This has to be done for every shot in the video.
Of course, trimming isn’t really limited to just the beginning and the end of the shots. It involves removing everything that might distort a scene. Awkward pauses, white noise, shot preparation footage, interviewer questions, all of these make the cut for being trimmed.
Transitions are an essential part of the editing, as well as creative tools. They are necessary to use; else, the scenes will begin and end on an abrupt note and leave the viewer with a sour taste.
Transitions can be used creatively with the overall mood of the scene. A slow fade for slow scenes, faster cuts to add a little bit of immediacy to the scene. Video intros make use of transitions effectively.
Add Effects and Titles
Go over the completed raw video again to add titles where necessary. Sometimes the audio might not be as good as you’d expect it to be, and not clearing it out might confuse the audience. You should add suitable titles where required.
Effects are a different story. Begin adding effects after the initial round of editing. Also, make sure to spend a ton of time on your impact because they may seem small, but take a lot of effort to look natural and not flashy.
Sound is one of the fundamental elements in a video. A background score can set the tone for the scene and make a drab one look exciting. Use royalty-free music from the internet to add to different scenes depending on its idea and the progression of the story.
Popular music is tempting to use, but copyright troubles can land you in trouble. For instance, if you want to upload a video on Instagram or YouTube, you’d have to either credit the concerned parties or ask for their permission to use the track in your video.
When you’re done editing to your satisfaction, or even when you’re not satisfied, and would like to return to the editing after some time, export a raw file for yourself. Maybe hand it out to a few trusted friends or colleagues for their reviews on it.