Technical: Editing

On November 4, 2017 we posted "The Most Comprehensive Editing Tutorial Ever" and damn it, 17 months later, I truly believe it's still the MOST comprehensive editing tutorial EVER. Yes, that video is about Adobe Premiere. No, you do not need to use Adobe Premiere to learn from it.

Setting up your edit

Let's talk about workflows and organization. Don't be the one person who stores everything on your desktop. Stay organized. I find myself collaborating with others more and more as an editor. When I shoot a video, I send the footage to my editor, but then after a few days, he sends his edit (files, folders, and project files) back to me so I can color grade it. But even when I know I'm not working with multiple editors, I still stay organized for my own sanity. I make a lot of videos. Folder structure is important to me. I use the same format for every video. I also use a handy app called Post Haste to help me create empty folder structures in one simple click.

Organization is key. you can see an example of my folder structure to the right. I don't have a "Projects" folder like most people do, that's because I work with FCPX. The way Premiere saves project files is way different than FCPX, I save all of my projects into one FCPX "Library" and just store that library in my root folder. If I use any Adobe CC apps, you'll find me making an "Adobe CC" folder with sub folders for each app I use. You'll also notice all editors use a different structure. Find one that works for you. There's no right or wrong way.

A Workflow is basically the steps you take to edit a video. From ingest to export. Ingest, is simply importing footage from the camera's cards to your computer. Most editors use the terms ingest or import.

Another important thing to do is set up your workspace. The workspace is just the way that the software looks. The "layout" if you will. If you have two monitors, use them. If you don't then don't worry about it (I've edited on one monitor for years). Your workspace doesn't have to conform to any standards. With Adobe Creative Cloud and FCPX, you can even save your custom workspace (as well as your custom keyboard shortcuts). Adobe takes it a step further and allows you to save to the cloud so that when you use a friend's computer, you can just load your workspace up just like it's your computer. Your friend can restore their workspace just as easily when you're done. I've done this countless times before and it is suuuuuuper helpful...

The only issue I have with this video is that he said the clip mixer is useless... in my opinion it's not, but also, make your workspace suitable for your needs!


Alright, Now that we're organized, we've ingested all of our footage and organized it all up to be edited, we can start editing.

Well unfortunately, I have no idea what you're editing on. This is where you're on your own... Just for a little bit, at least. Basically you should familiarize yourself with what each button on your workspace does. In FCPX there is a ton of different buttons that all do different things. Most of the buttons on screen will also have their own dedicated key binds. The "B" key is your blade tool, the "I" and "O" key will select an "in" and "out" point. The "J", "K", "L" and ";" keys will allow you to play through your footage, reverse, pause, and fast forward through your timeline. I can't possibly give you an example of every key bind or button in an editing software. You're going to have to look that up on your own. One thing I can suggest is buying an editing keyboard, which will have icons/pictograms and is color coordinated to what each key does.

These tools and keybinds are the most important part of editing. Stay away from your mouse unless you have to. Everything can be done with a keyboard when cutting. This will make you a faster editor.

When I was doing the tests for running a daily news show, I went from taking two and a half hours to edit a 5-10 minute long video, to taking less than thirty minutes per video all because I took that time to really hone in on my keyboard. I created new shortcuts that I found that I needed. I created presets. I even rearranged my workspace to suit my needs while editing those kinds of videos.

This next video is insane. But as Taran says, it isn't for beginners. But like I said in the beginning of this post, it is the best video I've ever seen pertaining to editing. However, you need to familiarize yourself with your software before you give this a go. One thing I can suggest is to just make a daily vlog... When I wanted to learn editing, I started a daily vlog... not to get views or to get famous, just to practice using a camera and to practice editing. (It also to helped me realize that just because I shot it, doesn't mean I have to include it in my final video)

I know that this video is for Adobe Premiere, like I said though, the premise is all the same. Listen to him. Treat yourself to this video. College didn't even give me this much insight.


Exporting! The best part! The part you do once thinking you're done but then you spot a problem, so you go back and fix it, creating a second export, that you send to the client and the client wants you to change something, so you do and you export it again, but then you realize you made a mistake and so you export the video to the wrong location on your computer and then you can't find it on your computer so you export again to the right spot and send it to the client again with the name like "MattressCommercial_Final_V4_THIS ONE".

Uhh, yeah, anyways... These first two videos are for you to get your basic understanding of exporting. Codecs are quintessential to editing. Quintessential to filmmaking in general. I can't explain it better than these guys so that's why I've included them below.

#HowToEdit #Editing #Edit #Filmmaking