The Most Common Video Editing Mistakes And How To Fix Them

How well a video is edited can spell its success or doom. Especially if you are a newbie YouTuber, the editing process may seem daunting. Some tools look like they are straight out of an aircraft’s dashboard, and you may end up wasting time and compromising on your video quality trying to manoeuvre your way around these applications. 

Here are a few tips to help you breeze through the video editing process like a pro. 

1. Don’t stock up too much extra footage

Streamline your editing process. Before you film the video, plan the edit, outline the video-intent and narrow down your target audience. Always ask yourself – will this content be used in the edit, is it long enough or am I cutting it too close? 

2. Don’t correct each clip at a time 

Look at the bigger picture. Focus on editing your content first and then work on colour correction, adding effects and tweaking sound. If you work on these minor corrections as you edit each clip, you will go at a snail’s pace. 

3. Don’t edit forwards

Edit backwards. When you import media into the editor, avoid watching all takes of the same clip before finalising the “good” take. Remove your bad takes, first. You’ll now have much fewer clips to select from and easier decisions to make. Smarter, isn’t it? 

4. Don’t switch clips too fast or slow

Using the same clip for too long can look monotonous while changing scenes too frequently and too fast can make viewers dizzy. Instead, try to change clips at a stable pace and consistent timing. 

5. Don’t overuse cuts, transitions and effects

It’s good to jazz up your video with a few special effects. But we don’t want “Christmas tree feels” when it’s not Christmas, right? Frequent cuts and abrupt jump cuts can seem jarring and spoil continuity. Instead, choose the standard “fade to black” or “fade in/out” effects. To add some pop, use a filter or two. Remember, less is more. 

6. Don’t ignore the power of file management 

Organise all video clips required for a project into a single main folder and associated material into subsequent sub-folders labelled audio, sound effects, footage, etc. The editing process will be less cumbersome, and it will be easier to locate the files even years later. 

7. Don’t undervalue keyboard shortcuts 

Learning keyboard shortcuts will considerably speed up the editing process compared to when using a mouse. Learn simple shortcuts like –  play/pause, cut/paste, select/deselect, move to the start/end of the clip, etc. A quick Google search will give you the keyboard shortcuts for your chosen video editor. 

8. Don’t forget to constantly back up your timeline

Imagine your files getting corrupted or experiencing glitches at the last minute. Feels like a punch to the gut, isn’t it? Make sure you always duplicate your project and save it as your progress. If your current project encounters an issue, just go back to the last saved version and you are good to go from there. 

Sure, it takes patience and practice to become a pro video editor. But when you start to edit the smart way, we bet your editing process will become faster and smoother than ever before.

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