A Guide to Film Editing: How to Edit a Video

More people today than ever want to start making videos. Probably now is the best time for that. Most people already have all the necessary tools to do this. All you need is just a camera. But video recording is only part of the process. An equally important element of a great video is its editing.

Now there is a huge variety of video editing software that makes this process much easier. But whether you are looking for a simple editor or a complete professional editing program, you need some basic skills, as I outlined in my write-up for Porch.com.

After all, video editing software can’t help you if you don’t have basic video editing skills.

Learning how to properly edit video, add effects, and create animations can be a confusing process with a myriad of options and approaches. That is why, for those who are just starting to learn the field of video editing, we have compiled a guide and tips that will help you plunge into an exciting new path.

What Is Film Editing?

To begin with, it’s worth briefly describing what film editing is. Film editing is the process of assembling frames in a movie or TV show to realize the director’s vision. Editing is not only a technical but also a creative process. Editors are responsible not only for assembling all material using dedicated video editing software but also for making artistic choices that impact a film’s narrative.

Editors use various tools such as cutaways, crosscutting, parallel editing, continuity editing, and others to reimagine the movie script. Film editing is a very complex process and involves many steps before the final film editing is completed.

Taken from: https://unsplash.com 

Why Is File Editing Important?

No matter what project you are working on, the importance of editing cannot be overstated. Whether it’s a short film, a feature film, or a TV show, editing techniques are essential everywhere. The editing affects the film’s narrative in three different ways:

  • Editing determines how viewers perceive information. Editors can easily swap scenes by moving them forward or backward. This helps to create the desired dramatic or comedic effect. It is the editor who decides to stretch the duration of the scene so that the viewer can better understand the additional information, or on the contrary, delete the scene to make the ending more unexpected. It is the editors who can cut out some scenes if the film seems too monotonous and stretched.
  • Editing ensures the continuity of the frame. Without editing technologies, the frames in the film would be unrelated and would not create a complete picture. The task of the editor is to ensure a consistent transition from frame to frame. Editors also need to schedule editing times for scenes to flow properly. This is especially important when the film is being filmed in different locations.
  • Editing heightens emotions. With the correct processing of frames, you can evoke some positive or negative emotions in the audience; such an approach is often used while making training videos. However, let’s take a horror movie, for example. Editors jump to the scary picture at the same time as the harsh sound effect. Thus, with the help of editing, you can evoke fear emotions in the audience.

Stages of Film Editing Process

The video editing process is quite complicated and time-consuming. It includes a series of versions or cuts. Below, we have described four processes from which such cuts arise.


It is the process of sorting and organizing unedited raw footage. This type of work is usually done by an assistant editor. Typically, while filming a movie, directors often notice certain shots that they consider to be the most successful. So they only make the work of the video editor easier.

First Assembly

The first assembly or assembly cut is the editor’s first cut of the entire film. In this part of the montage, the editor puts together all the usable footage and also organizes them in chronological order, according to the script of the film. When working on large-scale Hollywood films, editors usually work on assembling individual scenes while filming continues.

Rough Cut

This is usually the most of editing the entire film. This process takes many months, and usually, the editor works in conjunction with the director. The rough cut may include minor changes. The director may also want to go back to the drawing board and start afresh for parts of the film. Directors often force editors to reorder, cut, and crop scenes, and rearrange different camera angles and work frames. Rough cuts only feature simplified placeholder titles, visual effects, and sound effects.

Final Cut

This is the final stage of the film editing, during which the editor adds final adjustments and touches. This usually happens after the directors and producers are happy with the state of the film. After that, the editor adds small adjustments such as sound effects, music, visuals, titles, and color adjustments.

Top Software for Post-Production

Almost all films and TV shows we revisit today are cut on non-linear digital editing systems. Such systems became popular in the early 1990s because they make video editing several times easier. Media is downloaded to a computer and stored as digital files. Retrieve clip editors A film has a track (denoted by a row) for every element, like video, music, or sound effects. This allows editors to customize each element individually.

There are several editing systems used in post-production. But usually, it all depends on which of these programs the editor understands better. A professional editor usually can manage any software, but if we’re talking about amateur videographers, you should consider other options. Some of the popular free software solutions that are great for beginners are Animoto and Videosoftdev. However, if you already have experience with film editing, it’s better to turn your attention to iMovie for Windows. This program has huge functionality, a variety of effects, and intuitive navigation. 

Tips for Film Editing

Editing a film is usually a rather complicated and expensive process. Editors work for months to make a really good product. Therefore, usually under the time of video editing, you cannot do without errors. Use the tips below to cut down on installation time and learn a few tricks to help you with this difficult task.

Mask Your Cuts with Movement

Usually, editors cannot figure out how to properly achieve smooth transitions between frames. It takes a lot of time, and in the end, it still may not work. According to experts from Magisto.com, to make the transitions smooth, you need to cut out when there is movement on the screen, such as a punch or some kind of fight or camera movement.

Keep It Tight

You should always analyze what the viewer will be interested in watching and what, on the contrary, will be boring. You have to cut out scenes from the movie that slow down its pace. This also applies to long pauses between lines of dialogue between actors.

Reinforce the Purpose of the Scene

You should always edit each frame to support the central drive of the scene. To achieve this, you need to use a variety of tools and editing techniques. But if you avoid it, your movie won’t look as compelling.


Video editing requires a lot of everything, both time, money, and effort. Therefore, you need to take a responsible approach to this process if you want to create a truly great video. If you follow all the tips we wrote about in our article, you can reach heights in editing films and videos.

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