Embarking on a new video marketing adventure? Or maybe you’re re-sparking a “old” one…?
Either way, these 5 “foundational” video editing tips will come in handy for years and years to come.
In the video below you’ll discover 3 of the main tips… But, keep on going, because the other 2 await you near the bottom.
Let’s dig into this a bit further and uncover the other two video editing tips.
Before you do anything, you’ll want to trim the ends and clean up the transitions. So, we’ll start with that.
1. Trim It UP
Of all the video editing techniques you’ll use, this is the one that you’ll use for EVERY video EVERY time.
In the beginning of your video you’ll usually find a few seconds where you clicked “record” and now you’re about to start talking.
You don’t want this in your video.
Tip: Use a “timeline” zoom, where you can zoom into the clip up to the milliseconds before you start talking and clip your video just before the first word comes out of your mouth. This’ll help to get your viewers instantly engaged in what you’re saying.
Gaps in the beginning and end – where you’re preparing to start your video and then when you’re clicking the “end” button – appear unnatural and amateur.
So, you’ll also need to trim the end of your video, in the moments before you’re clicking the “end recording” button.
Tip: Keep in mind, while you’re filming, you’re going to be trimming some of the end of your video. So, instead of “racing” to shut off the recording, spend 3-5 seconds in front of the camera.
You could smile, if that fits your style. Or maybe you’re recording an intense rant… You could stare intensely into the lens. (gotta do this one right or you just look creepy though) Really comes down to what sort of emotion you’re conveying to your audience. End with that.
This’ll give you a good 1-2 second fade at the end. Speaking of “fading.” Let’s check that out right now…
2. Fading Your Ends (and transitioning)
Most quality video editing software will have some sort of “fade effect” that you can use for the end of your video, and the transitions between separate clips. If your video editing program doesn’t have this, it’s time to upgrade.
I use Screenflow 5 for all my video editing. (sure I get some “slack” from supposed “Pros”, but after experimenting with high-end software like Final Cut Pro, I still come back to this trusty, simple-to-use, screen recording software)
iMovie will work too if you’re on a budget and want to get started immediately.
If you’re a PC user I send my condolences, and I’ve heard that Camtasia Studio is a great option. There’s also a Mac version, but Screenflow is the way to go.
Back to the “fading…”
At the end of your video, a 0.5 sec or 1.0 second fade is plenty to end your video, however, if you’re going for a more dramatic exit, and you presented your video in such a way that it’ll make sense for your production, a longer 3-5 second fade might be what you’re looking for.
Now, there is one other type of “fading” here.
It’s really just called a transition, but it works in the same way for most video editing programs. In Screenflow 5 you’ll “overlap” the two clips that you want to transition. This’ll automatically add a fading effect from one clip to the next.
In iMovie, you’ll actually ADD a transition of your choosing between the two clips.
Transitions are most appropriate when you’re moving from one scene to another, like a “face-to-camera” clip to a “screen recording” clip.
Tip: DO NOT use transitions to cut a clip into another clip that are exactly the same scene. Looks amateur. A straight cut would be better for this situation.
That leads us to these “seemingly advanced” cuts…
3. The 9-Second “Zoom” Cut
Typically this is something I’ll do with videos that are otherwise pretty static (i.e. standing in front of the camera talking) like this intro video for Video Apprentice 3.0. The reason 9-seconds is that our attention span is dwindling.
In fact, this article by Time shows that our average attention is only 8-seconds.
These 9-second cuts are great if you’re in a rush, didn’t have time to setup multiple cameras, and want to add a little “dimension” to your video. It’s simple. It’s easy. It works.
Now, let’s dig into some of the “technical aspects” of your video editing process.
4. Set Your Dimensions To 16:9
All online video platforms, like Youtube and Vimeo, use a 16:9 ratio to playback video.
When you record from a smart-phone (landscape view), DSLR, or camcorder you’ll usually be recording in 16:9, unless you tampered with the settings before filming.
Smart-Phone Tip: ALWAYS hold your camera horizontally (length-wise) so you get a good 16:9 shot. Unless of course you’re going for a “I’m filming on my phone” look.
What you’ll NEED to look out for is the difference in dimensions of your computer screen and your recording software.
Almost NO computer screens are 16:9.
So, before you export your video, you’ll have to crop it to 16:9, which for easy reference looks like this:
720p HD = 1280 x 720 px (pixels)
1080p Full HD – 1920 x 1080 px (pixels)
You can crop your video easily in Screenflow using the “crop tool” as shown below.
Tip: When you’re resizing your video to fit the new 16:9 frame, hold down SHIFT so you maintain the proportions of your video.
Now that you’ve got your video all setup properly, let’s get this sucker exported…
5. Export At The “Vimeo-Recommended” Datarate
According to this Vimeo Compression settings resource, your ideal minimum data rate should be 5000 kbits/second. (for 720p HD video) You can easily customize this in Screenflow, and most other video editing software.
Here’s a quick snapshot of Vimeo’s recommendations…
SD: 2,000 – 5,000 kbit/s
720p: 5,000 – 10,000 kbit/s
1080p: 10,000 – 20,000 kbit/s
Typically you won’t be exporting any Standard Definition (SD) videos, but I’ve included it because 2000 kbit/s works well for screen recording videos.
If you aren’t including cuts to a “face-to-camera” shot, and you’re only recording your screen (this includes powerpoint or keynote presentations) then you can export at the default 1200 kbit/s OR go up to 2000-3000 kbit/s (which is something I like to do on the newer Macbook Air Retina display)
To Wrap Up
We’re ready to rock ‘n roll now. Equip with these 5 Basic Video Editing Tips, you’re more than prepared to go out and conquer your first video project.
Remember to bookmark this page so you can come back and reference the specifics later. (even I needed a page like this with all of the info in one place to reference) Hope you enjoyed.
Now, it’s your turn! I’m always looking for ways to help you leap ahead in your business with courses and blog posts (like this one). Your feedback matters.
It inspires me (and our team) to continue, and also fuels us with more ideas about what you LIKE and what you want MORE of.
Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to keep on working hard to bring you the BEST in marketing know-how.