What is editing?
Editing is the art of putting film shots and clips together to make a completed film project. However, it’s not just about assembling the footage; an editor also makes all kinds of decisions that affect how the finished product will look, feel, and sound.
An editor will decide on the length of all the shots, which takes ultimately get used, and much more. They’re also instrumental in choosing how music and sound are used in a film.
An editor’s job is important, and a lot can depend on what an editor does with the footage provided. One editor might edit a film in a completely different way to another editor, and that can affect how the final story is told.
What do I need?
Editing software is a must. Apple's iMovie for Mac works well and is free. Movie Maker for Windows is free also. Some other programs used by professional editors include Final Cut Pro which is available on Mac, and Adobe Premiere, available on Mac and Windows.
You can also find some great tutorials for all these different editing software online and we've listed some here:
iMovie: Vimeo Film School have a series of very helpful and easy to understand video tutorials, starting with Ep 1: Introducing iMovie
Final Cut Pro X: Ripple Training have a create series of short how-to videos on YouTube. Here's a playlist of all those videos.
Premier Pro: Here's a twenty minute tutorial on Premier Pro that works through the basics through to some more advanced skills. Watch it here.
Once you can access some editing software, you can get stuck into one of the lessons below:
You’ve never edited film footage before or used editing software
What you’ll do: Learn how to create a rough and then a fine cut of a scene or short film, including a piece of music.
What you’ll find about: The principles of editing, the tools you’ll need to edit, and how to include music.
3.1 Editing for the beginner
You’ve used editing software before and know a little bit about editing a film or scene together, or you've completed the beginner section and are ready to move on.
What you’ll do: Edit together a fine cut that includes a variety of cuts (ways to edit) and includes sound design (sound effects and music)
What you’ll find about: You’ll learn some editing techniques, how to use them in your edit, and how to create effective sound design.
3.2 Editing for the advanced
You’re pretty handy when it comes to editing as you’ve edited quite a few film projects, and you’re looking to extend your editing skills. Or, you've completed the intermediate section and want to go further with your skills.
What you’ll do: Edit together a fine cut of a scene or your own short film using some advanced editing techniques, as well as complete sound design using music and sound effects
What you’ll find about: Advanced editing techniques and sound design