Editing Videos: Ideas To Finish Your Work

By Alvin Motilla

Being able to shoot videos feels great. But when editing videos becomes confusing, what do you do?

What do you do, when you find it hard to put the pieces together?

A filmstrip. Sample montage--or series of images that convey some thought. Something you can do when editing videos.

Tough thing, isn’t it? :-)

I remember the different raw materials, I’ve been editing these years... long footage, assorted video clips... a number of songs, background music, sound bites, interview takes, photos, and even documents.

And I had this notion that, “It’s much more exciting to shoot videos, than to edit them”. Because, most of the time, I felt clueless when “It’s video editing time!”

But I still wanted to do it.

I wanted to feel, I can really make something I can be proud of—like a well-made video presentation that...

  • I, myself, am happy about, and
  • I know, my audience would be happy to see as well, and afterwards say something like... “Good job, Alvin!

And now that I can finish a project, I still feel some level of uncertainty, when doing video post production. I guess even seasoned editors feel the same way too.

So, whenever you’re confused when editing videos, remember this fact: It is only natural.

But there are things you can do to fulfill your work. Of course, one is, “Practice.” ;-) But there’s more! And, it has something to do with
your perspective... or how you see your project.

Do you feel that "editing videos" is harder than "shooting videos"? What's your take on it? Click here to express your opinion.


Editing videos: where not to start

First, I have a fair warning to you. I’m not sure if you’re doing this (or already did). But...

... There are dangers in looking “right away” for editing software, or apps to use, when you want to learn the art of editing your videos:

  • You’re immersing yourself into the pool of so many media options, and complicated technical stuff, when you’re not yet ready.

  • Then, while using those tools, you’re getting confused, and finding it hard to edit your videos.

  • Later, you might be wondering, if the problem is the editing software... or you

What a pain!

However, there’s nothing wrong with looking for tools to use. It’s just that, throwing yourself into the pool of so many editing apps and software, is not the first thing to do, when you’re beginning to learn how to edit videos.


Start from within

Before you search the internet, or go to sales outlets to look for video production software... and before you explore where to edit online... prepare yourself first.

Start from within “you”, by asking yourself these questions...

1. What kind of tasks you are more inclined to do?

  • Are you more of a post production person, more concerned about video editing, than anything else? Or..

  • Are you more of an independent filmmaker, who carries out the project, from idea to final video?

2. What kind of personality do you have?

  • Do you like complicated things, like complex software interface, so you can challenge yourself technically? Or...

  • Do you prefer something intuitive and user-friendly, but powerful enough to do your job?

3. What is it about video production that you love the most?

  • Visual and special effects, motion graphics, and graphic design? Or...

  • Storytelling?

When you have your honest answers, it’s time for you to...

Discover what fits “you”

Now, it will be easier to find an app or software that suits you. And you’ll feel better when you start editing your videos.

However, don’t settle so fast for what’s popular. Yes, be aware of what others are using. Those are options available to you. But don’t forget...

Your choice has to fit your personality and your working needs.

And if ever you’ve selected a tool that’s not so popular, but you honestly feel it’s what you need?... So what! You’re the one who will edit your videos. It’s your work.

What editing videos is about

One of the basics of editing videos is that... It is about you making decisions. You decide...

  • what to exclude,

  • what to include, and

  • how to use, what you include, in your video.

It’s human judgment! You’re making decisions reflecting, how you see your materials.

And this key point becomes even more important, when you’re making videos by yourself. Because, now, the engaging power of your presentation mainly depends on you... Your decisions.

“Video editor’s block” and how it fades

There’s another possible reason, why you get confused, when you’re editing videos together. It has something to do with your perspective, or how you look at your project. Perhaps...

You are looking so closely at your materials.

What do I mean?

  • Do you worry too soon, about what to do with your individual files? You know... adjusting exposure, fixing and mixing sound, adding effects, doing some color grading... all those enhancements and “finishing touches”, at the early part of video editing? Or...

  • Do you spend so much time, watching a shot or a scene that you love so much, and find it hard to get over it?


One way or another, you are looking too close, and too soon, at your raw materials... thinking about how to deal with them right away. If that is your case, then, you’re suffering from what I call, the “video editor’s block”.

And so, you need to...

Get some relief

Try to look at your materials from a different perspective...

When I am faced with so many raw materials to edit for a project, I’m starting to feel better, when I step back... and try look at them as a whole... to see how they would fit together.

I need to see the forest from afar.

See the forest for the trees.Ahhh!

And the moment I do that, is the moment, that I’m starting to see things clearly.

What you do next

When you see the big picture of your raw materials, it’s time to put those pieces together.

You combine them to form a whole.

And, when you begin editing your videos, from a broad perspective... sooner or later, you’ll gain confidence to finish your work... because of that sense of direction, that the big picture gives you.

And here are some things involved, when you're combining your materials, to form a meaningful whole:

  • Purpose of the video
  • Your own motivation for editing the video
  • Approach to "assembly" of materials
  • Your thought processes
  • Image materials (video and stills)
  • Sound materials
  • Quality control before the release of your "final cut"

Bottom line

Like other experiences in life, sometimes, we just need to see things from different angles. Because, it will allow us to see what’s wrong, and how to proceed, to finish our works.

Well, as you have seen, editing videos is just like that.

You may want to see this related topic...

Video Production Software: How To Look For “The One”


Do You Agree, “It’s Easier to Shoot Videos than to Edit Them”?

What is your experience in editing videos? Is it really a “pain” to do it? Is video editing “less exciting” than filming?

If you haven’t tried it yet, do you share that “common impression” about editing videos? Would you rather shoot than edit… or vice versa… or do both?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them here!