Edit Video with a Video Editor: 5 Tips

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MrBogosity from our live chat room sent in five excellent tips to share with you all about video editing, especially when it comes to YouTube. These are definitely ones you’ll want to pay close attention to. Keep those Top 5’s coming in!

shanedk on YouTube, MrBogosity in the chat room.

  • Tighten your edit. You may have worked hard on those several seconds of clouds, or bizarre color-cycling patterns, or whatever, but the rest of us are going to be bored watching it and may very well click away and watch someone else’s video. Make things happen all the time. Give us a title card on the screen, or come on and talk, or cut to the next thing, but do it quickly. Here’s a guideline: once the content for that part of the video is finished, start counting. If you can count higher than 1 before the next part of the video, edit it down! Exceptions might be a pause for comic or dramatic effect, but don’t pause too long.
  • Make text readable. White or yellow text on a light video doesn’t do it; select a contrasting color. Take advantage of whatever features your software might have, such as outline or drop-shadow, to make it stand out from the background. And if it’s going on YouTube, remember that they’ll compress the bejeezus out of your video so make the text sufficiently large, too.
  • Turn down the music. It gets your voice all muddled. You can keep it at full volume when there’s nothing else to listen to, but turn it down when there’s stuff going on, especially if you’re talking. If you’re accustomed to using a graphic equalizer, then you might want to turn down the levels in the 100-200Hz range and the 4-5kHz range. That’s where most of the important voice stuff happens. If you do that, you shouldn’t have to turn down the overall volume as much and we can more clearly hear both music and voice. You can also boost those same frequencies in your voice track.
  • Cut out the “fillers.” These are words like “uh,” “um,” and “you know.” Sure, there’ll be a little jump-cut in your video, but that’s not as distracting as those filler words. Your video will go faster, and you’ll sound smarter, too. You can do very quick crossfades instead of jump-cuts if they bother you. Oh, and drop the volume if you cough or clear your throat. We don’t want to listen to that.
  • Don’t use wipes. Don’t EVER use wipes. Don’t ever, ever, ever, EVER use wipes. Cut or crossfade to the next shot. On rare occasions you can do a dissolve where you use solarization or do some other effect, but use it VERY sparingly and only when it enhances the transition. And NEVER use wipes. And if you ever even THINK about doing a page-curl you should be hunted down and shot.

There you are, advice from a completely self-taught producer and editor. Editing is a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding when you come up with something that’s pretty good, and you start getting great comments. And above all: have fun with it!

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