What is video editing?

Every audiovisual production goes through five stages before it’s finally delivered to the audience’s attention. Those stages are pre-preparatory, preparatory, filming, postproduction and distribution. The montage, or editing as we often say, is a part of the postproduction. Together with the composing the music, the sound design, and more other creative processes.

During the editing, we already have the whole footage filmed and ready for processing. From this footage, we find and pick the best shots and scenes.  Then arrange them in a certain logical order, based on a story.

Sounds easy?
Well, it isn’t! It’s still much easier than twenty years ago, some may say. Back then, my colleagues used to edit videos using the so-called “editing benches”. Editors from that time literally had to cut and glue together frames right from the videotape. That’s where modern expressions like “cut this frame away” or “stick this piece to the other one” come from.

This process was both hard and expensive, mostly because of all the tape they had to spare. Nowadays we have a great variety of editing software, which is based on the same principles of those editing benches but provides a much easier and cheaper way of processing video footage.

I think this is the right place to name some of those editing programs. As I already said, there are a lot of them, but without any doubt, the most widely – spread and reliable ones are Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID and Final Cut Pro (this one is not supported and updated anymore).

I work with Adobe Premiere Pro since 2008 now. I won’t try to persuade anyone how good it is or why, but for me personally, it’s the best one. What’s important here is, that if you are about to start doing some editing, no matter professional or just for fun, you should choose the montage software that best suits you and best serves your needs. Most of the programs, with few exceptions, are very similar in logic and workflow.

What is important is that the software you are using to be regularly supported and upgraded by its developers. So that you can work easy and fluently, instead of trying to fix bugs or other problems. As for Adobe, they offer an enormous package of interconnected programs, that allow you to quickly send your projects from one to another without wasting time with the endless exporting and importing.

For junior editors, I would recommend the book “Editing an audiovisual composition”. This is a great textbook in Bulgarian, that will introduce you to the world of montage. After you get yourselves familiar with these rules and you have editing software, all you need is a rich imagination and a sense of good composition.

For all editing programs, there is an infinite number of lessons and tutorials on the internet. Most of them are very good and helpful, especially if you are just making your first steps in the world of video montage.

You don’t need some kind of special college education to be a good editor. I did go to editing school, but I know a big number of great video editors who didn’t. The only thing I learned in the university were those montage rules and practices I mentioned earlier. In order to have good knowledge in the editing software, you need a lot of practice instead of just reading and memorizing endless textbooks. To become a good editor you need imagination and practice, practice, practice.

I work as a video editor for almost ten years now and I’ve done everything.
Editing TV shows and news reports, short movies, music video clips, commercials, and documentaries. All these formats are different in all aspects and you will probably choоse one or two of them in which you will specialize. In my opinion, in order to be a good video editor, you might want to give a try in all these areas. This way you will get familiar with a lot of different techniques, styles, and forms of art, and you will have the knowledge and the experience to do absolutely anything, all by yourself.

Work on as many different projects as you can find and be very persistent. Follow these simple rules and there will be no limits and boundaries for you.