Video editing is the process of manipulating and rearranging video shots to create a new work. Editing is usually considered to be one part of the post production process — other post-production tasks include titling, colour correction, sound mixing, etc.
Many people use the term editing to describe all their post-production work, especially in non-professional situations. Whether or not you choose to be picky about terminology is up to you. In this tutorial we are reasonably liberal with our terminology and we use the word editing to mean any of the following:
- Rearranging, adding and/or removing sections of video clips and/or audio clips.
- Applying colour correction, filters and other enhancements.
- Creating transitions between clips.
The Goals of Editing
There are many reasons to edit a video and your editing approach will depend on the desired outcome. Before you begin you must clearly define your editing goals, which could include any of the following:
Remove unwanted footage
This is the simplest and most common task in editing. Many videos can be dramatically improved by simply getting rid of the flawed or unwanted bits.
Choose the best footage
It is common to shoot far more footage than you actually need and choose only the best material for the final edit. Often you will shoot several versions (takes) of a shot and choose the best one when editing.
Create a flow
Most videos serve a purpose such as telling a story or providing information. Editing is a crucial step in making sure the video flows in a way which achieves this goal.
Add effects, graphics, music, etc
This is often the “wow” part of editing. You can improve most videos (and have a lot of fun) by adding extra elements.
Alter the style, pace or mood of the video
A good editor will be able to create subtle mood prompts in a video. Techniques such as mood music and visual effects can influence how the audience will react.
Give the video a particular “angle”
Video can be tailored to support a particular viewpoint, impart a message or serve an agenda.