Three Common Mistakes Newbie Video Editors Should Avoid When Starting Out

OK, so you just got the footage from a client, you sit down in front of the computer, dump the media, import the clips in your NLE’s Media Browser and immediately start throwing them on your timeline. Does this sound familiar in a way?

Well, it turns out this is a common mistake that most video editors who are just starting out tend to make more frequently than you think. Unfortunately, it’s not the only one. For those of you who may want to avoid some of those rookie mistakes, This Guy Edits provides a handful of tips and tricks on the topic that should also be highly beneficial to all newbie editors and enthusiasts alike who want to dip their toes into professional video editing and get more serious about mastering the craft.

As the seasoned editor points out, it’s essential to know a fair amount of your footage before you make your first cut as even watching your entire footage probably won’t be enough. Instead, you should build an extensive select reel or take written notes while watching the footage as the process could be different for everyone. Overall, it’s an essential step of your video editing workflow that shouldn’t be overlooked by any means.

Not using split edits is another misconception that could significantly make your work as an editor look unprofessional and immature. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should use J and L edits all the time. The key is to understand the meaning of the conversation taking place in your scene thus being able to decide when using a split edit would be most appropriate.

Another common mistake that most newbie video editors make is underestimating the importance of the well-organized workflow. This aspect of the process includes media management, bin organization, correct sequence and compression settings alongside all other small tasks in that regard that should be ticked off beforehand.

As This Guy Edits recommends, you should test your entire workflow ahead of time by ingesting a few clips, syncing up the audio, sorting the clips in different bins, cutting a mini scene with the available footage, color grading the material, outputting the final edit in different formats and so on. Long story short, by figuring out the ins and outs of your personal workflow and managing your media in the first place, you’ll be able to avoid all these mistakes along the way.

Ultimately, knowing your footage well before you start editing, using split edits to simulate the organic flow of your scenes and testing your workflow thoroughly in advance should help you to not only save lots of headaches in the editing bay but also be more productive and efficient as a professional. Of course, there are many other considerations that are not included in the above video as it barely scratches the surface of the topic, so if you have more recommendations for people who are just starting out with video editing, feel free to share your insight in the comments section below.

[source: This Guy Edits]

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