Post-Production
September 10, 2021

How to Edit Video Content: The Beginner's Guide to Getting Set Up as an Editor

By Chris Suffield 6 min read

Highlights

  • Starting in the world of video editing can seem daunting, so here’s a helpful guide to getting yourself set up and begin honing your post production skills
  • First, choose the right Computer and editing suite for your needs and budget. Then you want to load on creative stock assets like royalty-free stock footage, music, sound effects, visual effects and others
  • Practice practice practice! Develop your skills by editing with stock footage and watching and reading helpful tutorials.

Whether you’re considering editing as a career path or looking to create digital marketing content of your own, the world of post-production can be a daunting and confusing place. There are many aspects to editing a video, so sit back and let us guide you through the first few steps to this creative and rewarding adventure.

Part 1: Your editing suite

The first thing you’ll need for editing a video is a device and software to edit it on. Fortunately, there are many options for both, so you are sure to find something to suit your budget and workflow. It is also worth noting that each editing program will have its kit specifications, so you need to ensure the software you choose will work on the device you have.

Gear

There are editing programs or apps available for most devices on the market. For would-be professional editors, a Mac or PC will benefit the high-end software you’ll want to use. However, many apps are available that allow you to edit your videos on your tablet or phone. Here is a fantastic guide to Laptops for editing beginners.

If you are new to editing and want to understand the process, it's advisable to find software that works with the device you already own. Editing programs all work similarly, so once you’ve learned the basics, you can upgrade your kit to match your editing ambitions. 

Software

As we’ve mentioned previously, there's no shortage of editing programs available; the one you choose will depend on the device you are editing on and the types of projects you want to create.

Hitfilm Pro by FXHome, recently purchased by Artist.

 

Professional editors will opt for programs like Final Cut Pro (Mac only), Adobe Premiere Pro, or DaVinci Resolve. These higher-end platforms allow for advanced effects and animation and could be a little overwhelming and expensive for beginners.

There are also many free or freemium apps available for editing on desktop devices, tablets, and smartphones. If you're a Mac user, iMovie is a fantastic, free option that is similar to Final Cut Pro. Hitfilm Express and Hitfilm Pro are ideal for beginners looking to edit simple videos with titles, music, and transitions. Discover more about this field, check out our list of best editing software for beginners.

Part 2: Gathering assets

Once you’ve got your device and software sorted, you will need to gather some assets to use in your video. You can edit with various media types, including video clips, photos, screen recordings, graphics, text, music, and sound effects.

Footage

When you start gathering your footage, consider the video you want to produce. You can film your own video clips using your camera, webcam, or smart device; however, it can take quite a while to shoot a professional quality video. Stock footage is a great way to get started with your editing.

Sites like Artgrid offer a massive range of stock footage, allowing you to create everything from a floristry promotional video to a trailer for a horror movie for the Edit Challenge. Whatsmore, Artigrd provides footage in series so that you can create narrative videos from a sequence of shots, like this stunning Dog Training Collection.

Music & sound effects

Music and sound effects are vital for your videos, so you must learn to edit the audio as well as the video. Music licensing can be tricky and expensive, and copyright means you can’t just use any popular track you want. Instead, these creative stock assets are ideal for ensuring you have all the permissions you need and a wide selection to choose from. Find out how to edit music.

Part 3: Master your skills

Once you’ve gathered your assets, you can jump into the editing! Editing is a pretty intuitive process, and some beginners will be able to jump in and figure it out for themselves. Others might need a little more support, and there is plenty available.

Training

There are many online training courses for editing, where a professional editor will teach you how to edit with your chosen software. Taking a training course can help you jump forward with your skills, but there are several other resources to use.

Check YouTube or sites like Artgrid and Motion Array for a range of helpful walkthroughs and tutorials. Start with the basic principles of selecting and cutting together footage before moving on to flourishes like titles, music, and sound effects.

Practice

Practice is vital in expanding your editing skills; choose a subject, get your footage and keep editing until you are happy with your video. By repeating the editing process, you can quickly learn the best ways to edit a video.

Editing a video can be a frustrating process, especially in the beginning when it feels like every step takes a long time. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll be able to edit your videos and plan for an easier workflow.

Wrap up

Whether you’re looking to do it professionally, as a hobby, or to help with your business marketing, being able to edit your video content is a valuable skill to have. Editing can be a rewarding and fun process and allow you to experience storytelling from a new angle. Now you know how to edit a video, get creative with your skills and share what you create.

 

About Chris

Chris Suffield is a London-based writer, editor, and voice-over artist at Jellyfielder Studios; he also writes entertainment news for Box Office Buz and enjoys making things from stock footage. 
Share this article