How to Learn Video Editing Skills

Do you dream of turning uncut footage into compelling videos As a key component of movie magic, video editing is a highly desirable skill. And while the learning curve for video editing is steep, much of it happens like ascending a set of scaffolds: each concept you learn helps you better understand the next.

What is video editing?

Video editor working at a desk

Video editing is the art of taking raw footage and manipulating and assembling shots into a cohesive narrative. Types of video editing include film editing, TV show editing, documentary editing, music video editing, advertisement editing, and social media video editing.

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Is it hard to learn video editing?

Video editing software

Since video editing requires both technical skills and an eye for aesthetics—not to mention a lot of practice and patience—it can be difficult to learn, at least initially.

One of the best ways to get started in your video editing education is to just get your feet wet. Pick a popular video editing software and go through their built-in tutorial so you have a grasp on how the interface works. From there, an external course or two can help you to better comprehend the basics, such as organizing footage, color correcting, cuts and transitions, and refining audio elements. 

Then put pedagogy to practice: Try your hand at some smaller-scale video projects to truly immerse yourself in the journey. You can work with your own videos or use uncut stock footage. It’s likely that you’ll experience some obstacles and frustrations along the way—but as long as you try and learn from your mistakes, even the most devastating disaster won’t be for naught.

Video editing requires that you understand basic visual storytelling, including composition, mood and tone, pacing, rhythm, and sequencing. That said, there are so many types of video aesthetics and mediums that what may be considered great or “in style” in one realm might not fly in another. 

If you always have your finger on the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist, turn that instinct into an opportunity for TikTok short-form video editing. If trends elude you but you’re interested in the art of persuasion, try your hand at editing advertisement videos. It’s all about taking your personal interest and aesthetic approach and applying it in a way that works.

How to learn video editing

Video editor working on a scene

Learning video editing skills requires familiarity with nonlinear editing software, knowledge of editing types and techniques, and lots of video editing practice.

Familiarize yourself with video editing software

You’ll want to become acquainted with an industry-standard program such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, or Lightworks; or a more beginner-friendly platform such as iMovie, OpenShot, or Filmora. These platforms are similar enough that you should be able to transfer between them without issue. Learn about each with its built-in tutorial, or take online introduction to video editing courses to refine your skills.