7 Mistakes Beginning Video Editors Make

7 Mistakes Beginning Video Editors Make - FilterGrade

So you’re excited about editing and you’ve got all of your programs ready to go, you ave your raw footage, but whenever you go to edit, you can’t create what you actually visualized in your head. You’ve learned the basics of your editing program (Adobe Premiere, Avid, Final Cut X etc.), but it’s still not enough to really make the best video you know you could make.

Well if you are new to the editing it’s easy to make mistakes that may cost you in the long run. So to help you out we are going to give you tips to help you avoid 7 Mistakes Beginning Video Editors Make.

These tips will collectively help you become a more thoughtful video editor and will help you to create a personalized workflow for your own projects!

1. Being Unorganized

Gathering all your media into one organized area is key. Final Cut and Avid have their own way of organizing media. In other editors you’ll want to make sure to keep all your media in one place. The problem with having clips in various places on your computer is that if you ever change a folder name or move something it will make the media offline in your project.


Even if you have to duplicate a copy of it to put in a folder to edit with it may be worth it. Also to speed up the time you take to look for media separate your media by type. Music and audio can be put in one folder. Photos can go in another. Graphic and text can go in other. You may have another folder for overlays and stock footage as well.

2. Not Preparing Files for Editing

If you have a photo or graphics that are 300 dpi or in CMYK mode it may give you errors or issues in editing. At the very least it may slow down your renders. It may be worth lowering the resolution to between 72 to 150 and changing image to RGB.


You can keep a master that is full resolution but often it’s best to edit with the file formatted for video. If you have videos that are very large files taking up multiple gigabytes it may be worth compressing them in program like Adobe Media Encoder. Compressing your videos is worth it if your final product is going to be compressed anyway. Sometimes editing large gigabyte files can really slow down your editing. If you do want an uncompressed file for your final edit you may still want to create a low res file to edit with and replace it with the full res before exporting.

3. Not Naming & Logging

It’s really easy to get in a rush and not want to name your clips or make your sequence names original. But when you are looking for a clip and you are looking through thousands of clips called 5966, 5977, 5970.mp4 it can really slow down your edits and make it easy for you to make mistakes. Also name your sequences unique names that will make it clear what they are.

Final Draft 1,2,3 don’t tell you much later on. Also use the notes option in the meta data that many of the editing programs have. Adding notes about clips and sequence can save you time later especially if you are looking for something specific. So you can give more specific info about the sequences and videos.

4. Not Saving Drafts and Versions


It’s not enough to just save your edits. You should also save and make duplicate your versions. You may do two hours of editing and realize something got accidentally deleted 45 edits ago but don’t know what. Or you may have realized your first version was better. Having various versions lets you go back to previous edits and borrow from them. Another benefit of doing this is that sometimes a sequence gets corrupted or has errors. Having a previous version will help. Also make sure your auto save is set to save often.

5. Creating Accidental Jump Cuts


It’s really easy to edit from a zoomed out timeline when you do this you may not see two clips that have one frame of black or a frame from a previous cut in it. So, make sure to keep an eye out for those extra frames you didn’t mean to have. Many editing programs have a magnet/snap tool option that makes two clips lock together when they are close and thus removing black frames.

6. Not Leaving Up Clip For Long Enough

Sometimes you want the edit to be fast, but sometimes it’s too fast. Was the clip up long enough for people to tell what’s happening. If there’s a lot going on in-clip, you’ll need to be mindful of people’s vision. They will need to scan the image with their eyes and that will take some time – especially text. If you can’t read it out loud in the time the clip is up then it’s probably too short to read.

7. Not Focusing on the End Product

Your video will need to look different depending on how it’s watched. For a big screen you probably want slightly slower cuts because it takes a second for your eyes to scan the image. If you video is for a smaller screen you probably want the graphic and text to be bigger so people can read it. There are different ways you’ll want your final product to look depending on who’s watching it. If it’s going to be seen in different places you may want to create different versions for each venue. 

You’ll also need to be thinking about the whole project while you are working on small sections. This pertains to longer length projects especially. Always remember that your editing in one section will affect the overall project, so try to remain consistent and with a certain theme & direction.

Hopefully these tips will help you avoid some common beginning editor mistakes and become a more efficient and well-equipped video editor.

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