Video Editing Success: 5 Must-Have Skills

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High-quality video editing has become increasingly important to our tech-saturated society. To compete, professionals need these five skills.

In a culture that now routinely watches shorter videos using the screen of a smartphone, the need for high-quality video editing skills has exploded.

It’s actually something of an understatement to say that “visual content is everything” nowadays. Approximately 90 percent of the information we receive and analyze is coming from our eyes. The effective use of visual imagery wields great power to influence our thoughts and choices.

If we consider static visuals, such as photos or drawings, we notice right away that services such as Instagram or Pinterest occupy a lot of space in the spotlight. Additionally, increased access to photo editing software allows even a newbie to create attractive and engaging images. Someone with no formal training can easily use various effects such as changing the exposure or applying common bokeh shapes such as hearts, diamonds, and flowers.

Dynamic visual content must eclipse all entry-level contenders. The number of YouTube users around the globe has already reached 2.1 billion and is likely only to increase. TikTok, another well-known video-based social network, recently exploded in popularity. It’s already managed to acquire 689 million users. Clearly, demand for high-quality visuals is on the rise.

Video editing, in particular, has surged into high demand as content creators face high competition on these platforms and others. This forces them either to enhance their own skillset or turn to third-party specialists to edit video clips, images, and audio on a timeline or blur out a part of a video. Increasingly, brands and companies are looking to empower their marketing campaigns with videos. There’s more than enough opportunity for talented editors to enter the fray.

Before accepting client projects, though, what factors should you take into account? Which skills are critical? Listed below are five requirements.

5 Skills Every Professional Video Editor Must Have

If you want to maintain a competitive advantage as a video editor, here are the top five competencies you’ll need to master.

1. Imagination

Your primary job will consist of putting together various pieces of footage, audio, and special effects to turn them into a unique and captivating video that will be welcomed by any audience. Before that, you should be able to create a model of the final product in your head. Visualization will help you structure the workflow and move smoothly toward the final result without wavering.

A good imagination is a must for any video editor. This attribute helps you understand how to tell better stories using dynamic content. The good news is that imagination can be strengthened like any other discipline. Proper motivation, reinforcement, and innovation can help you train it.

2. Knowing Your Tech Stack

Video editors have a lot of technical tasks they need to be familiar with. Examples include how to add transitions, filters, titles, and stickers. You also need to know how to work with sound and visual effects, how to blur a video, or animate objects using keyframes. To edit videos at a pro-level, you’ll need to have experience working with multiple editing tools.

3. Communication and Networking

Video editing is part of post-production. This means that you are expected to assemble the work of others into one eye-catching and efficient end result. If you’re able to actively listen and ask the right questions, you’ll better understand what directors, actors, sound editors, and operators want to add or delete. Communication counts for a lot with video editors as you’ll have to network with various types of professionals, including:

  • directors;
  • producers;
  • editors;
  • actors;
  • bloggers; and
  • marketing specialists.

All these people will definitely have their own opinions as to what the video should look like in the end. Good communication skills will help you listen carefully to what they say during the revision process and articulate your own expectations and intentions.

4. Patience and Attention to Detail

It’s no secret that video editing can, at times, become quite monotonous. Depending on the task, there can be many, many small parts of collected footage you’ll need to focus on. Today’s audiences are picky and tend to notice even the smallest mistake. It’s important to be vigilant when managing details and not get rattled if something goes wrong.

The best solution for every editing situation is thorough planning and organizing. Name all the files and divide them into folders accordingly. A commitment to tedious work on the front end will very often save you from tremendous anxiety later on.

Since you are going to shoulder most of the responsibility for the video content, you may want to finish a project as quickly as possible. It goes without saying that your clients may not behave like angels throughout the process. Such situations can be trying on the best of us. However, being patient and attentive will play a huge role in enhancing your professional image.

5. Problem-Solving Skills

Being good at problem-solving never hurts anyone. It demonstrates your ability to estimate the complexity and possible outcomes of an issue and find an efficient solution for it. For video editing, this skill means quite a lot since you have to create a comprehensive story out of the pre-given material. Another way of saying this is to say that any video editing project will have problems. Since that’s a given, refining your problem-solving approach is never a waste of time.

Steps You Can Take to Level Up Your Video Editing Game

  • Invest in Learning. Ongoing education will be your best friend as you seek to stay sharp with your video editing skills. Try taking some online video courses, participate in training opportunities such as seminars and master classes, read related books, and study the technique of others. Platforms such as Coursera or Udemy can help you kickstart your educational process.
  • Use Pro-Level Hardware. When buying a computer, make sure it’s optimized for video editing. You can even consider modifying a base model to make the editing experience smoother. Before the need slows you down, acquire additional storage drives. Add increased-capacity graphic cards. Don’t allow your tech to interfere with the creative process.
  • …and Software. The software you use should be convenient and user-friendly, have extensive functionality, and export videos in any popular format.
  • Practice. Theory only gets you so far. Practice will be critical as you pursue improvement. You can complete an endless number of courses, visit thousands of master classes, buy the latest computer hardware, but without ongoing dedication to practicing your craft, you won’t make much of a video editor.

Summing It All Up

The successful video editing specialist is patient, attentive, and tech-savvy. He or she knows how to approach a problem and how to talk to people. Yes, the list of skills necessary for a video editor to master the craft goes on, with new challenges around every corner. However, the top five listed above should be considered as the core skills needed as you pursue becoming top-notch talent in the area. Master them and you’ll build a personal image that is sure to attract clients.