Shoot with editing in mind
The best time to start thinking about editing is during the writing phase. By planning your edits early on, you can anticipate how your video will look and how you want your viewers to react.
Consider your camera positions, angles and movements. Think about how your video will open and close, and what the key moments in between are. For larger projects, you can make a simple ‘shot list’ – writing down all the shots that you’ll need so you don’t forget anything.
- When should I do multiple takes to get the right shots?
- Will I need extra footage for my B-roll, trailer or teasers?
As you get more experienced with editing, you may decide to buy a more sophisticated editing program. When shopping around, consider these points:
- Budget. There are many budget-friendly apps on the market and starter apps at budget prices. Higher-end video editing apps are typically used for more elaborate projects. Check for trials or education discounts.
- Equipment. Are you using a smartphone, DSLR or pro camcorder? Recording in SD or HD? Review the tech specs of each app to see which types of cameras and file formats are supported. Also check the system requirements for your computer.
- Features. Even affordable programs typically offer a wide range of features, such as colour correction for making your footage really pop. Higher-priced apps may deliver more complex capabilities such as shared team projects and customisable workspaces.
You can optimise your videos in YouTube Studio by adding end screens and trimming sections of your video before or after publishing. You can also add music and sound effects to your video with the Audio Library in YouTube Studio.
Editing like a pro
Often, the best way to improve your editing is through practice. These tips can help you take your editing to the next level:
- Know your software. Whichever video editing software you use, try looking up keyboard shortcuts for your most repeated tasks. You can also find lots of videos on YouTube (and other sites) showing you how to do cool editing tricks.
- Edit for pacing. Think about the pace and rhythm of your video. Do you want to move quickly from shot to shot, to build intensity and excitement? Or do you want to allow viewers more time to absorb and reflect upon what’s happening in front of them? Some editors use ‘jump cuts’ to cover up unwanted lines or filler words.
- Turn to your audience. What matters most is how you connect with your target audience. If you’ve uploaded some videos already, try looking at your audience retention in YouTube Analytics. Dips can mean that viewers skip those parts or leave your video. Think about the reasons why your top videos kept viewers engaged and how editing might have played a role.
Start with what you have. Often, phones and computers come with pre-installed editing software.