How to Edit 10x Faster in Your NLE

As a filmmaker you are destined to spend a lot more time in front of a computer screen then you are behind a camera. It’s an unfortunate reality of modern filmmaking.

You will have to spend a fair amount of time sorting, editing, and grading your footage to get it into that final form that you can share.

That doesn’t mean you can’t spend a little less time editing or at the very least be more efficient when you are in those sessions. Filmmaker Mridu Mousam Neog has a few simple tips and tricks that will dramatically speed up your editing workflow.


Before you get started, you should take some time to think about the edit and plan ahead. If you can think about or review the footage to see which clips should go in what order or even which music track you want to use it can dramatically speed things up.

If you don’t know where to start you might spend a lot of time experimenting before you start making real progress.


Even with a more powerful PC your editing can be sped up by making proxies. These low-res copies of your camera originals are much easier on your computer.

Adding effects and grades to your footage can easily overwhelm your machine and proxies prevent that. Less time watching a loading screen or the spinning beach ball the better.

Getting into slow motion will almost demand the use of proxies for a smooth editing experience. So, load your clips into Media Encoder and generate proxies before your project.

Templates & Presets

As you do more and more work you’ll realize that you are doing some tasks repeatedly. Using templates and presets makes all of this go way faster.

Even just creating titles or doing basic motion graphics work is made simple by creating or downloading templates. Transitions and other elements of a project are also worth investment a lot of the time.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Image Credit: Adobe

Shortcut Keys

An oldie but a goodie is learning how to use keyboard shortcuts. The mouse is the least efficient way to operate an NLE. Hitting some keys to navigate the timeline and make cuts will dramatically speed up your process.

Once you learn the main shortcuts you should then start customizing things to exactly how you want it.

Using Favorites

All the effects and transitions you use often can be added to a custom folder in the effects panels to keep them readily available.

Since Adobe has so many options – too many to be honest – you’ll want to keep the few most-used effects in a spot that makes them easy to find.


You can easily copy and paste attributes and effects from one clip to another. Instead of wasting time applying the same changes to multiple clips just use the common copy-and-paste shortcuts.

Do you have any editing tips you want to share?

[source: Mridu Mousam Neog]

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