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6 Ways to Avoid Common Mistakes Video Editing Rookies Make

I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of backlash for saying this, but I think still images are dying. Yep, I said it. I think our grandchildren will be more familiar with moving imagery than photographs. Whether or not you agree, it’s impossible to deny the dramatic rise of GIFs and video content online. Considering the significant role video marketing on social media plays in our overall consumption of paid advertising, it would indeed be foolish to not incorporate this form of media in your overall strategy. 

Having a well-executed video marketing strategy doesn’t have to break the bank. With the wealth of knowledge online, growing numbers of amateur videographers (perhaps within your own team!), and more affordable equipment, much of the content you produce can be done in-house. 

When you’re first starting out, the key is to keep the editing simple, learn ways to keep the viewer engaged, and eventually develop your own style. Keep reading as we share some common mistakes beginners make, how you can avoid them and get on your way to pro-status!

The Right Tools

With some companies using iPhones to shoot commercials, it should come as no surprise that there’s no longer a need to dish out thousands of dollars for professional filming equipment to get started. At the same time, it’s important to know what the basic necessities are for the content you have in mind, as to avoid having the video look homemade. 

How to avoid this problem: For example, if you’re doing action shots where you have to move the camera, then a stabiliser is pretty much essential for smooth camera work. Also, the minimum resolution standard for Youtube or any other platform is pretty much 1080p now (rather than 720p), so make sure you have a camera that supports this. 


All About Timing

The most visible sign of your experience as a video editor is the pacing of your video. Too fast and the viewer can’t process the content, too slow and they’re taken away from the content because the cut didn’t happen as they expect, disrupting the overall flow.  

How to avoid this problem: While this can be subjective, and deals a lot with general camera technique as well, a good rule of thumb when you’re starting out is to keep it short, which is the best way to keep viewer engaged. Think about it like this: the average shot for a feature length film is around 5 seconds, so for a short video, it should be less at around 2 - 3. 


Keep it Smooth

How smooth your video editing is is a crucial parameter for how experienced you are, though it’s easier said than done. At its worst, choppy editing or harsh transitions can completely take the viewer out of experience, making them aware of the fact they're watching a video. 

How to avoid this problem: Make sure video and audio cuts do not happen at the same time, so the change isn’t focused in one area. 


Cheesy Effects

We’re not talking about tacky transitions and filter effects - you should already know that those are a no-no when it comes to making professional looking videos. In this case, it’s about choppy slo-mo or incomplete transitions. When effects are used incorrectly, it can really drag down the quality of your work. 

How to avoid this problem: Make sure you have the right type of equipment to handle effects like slo-mo. Typically, if the frame-rate of your camera is low, then slo-mo effects won’t look right. Unfortunately, there’s no solution here aside from dishing out the money or skipping using the effect altogether. As for transitions, make sure it’s not longer than the outbound video clip. 


Visual Inconsistencies

Having all your shots look the same may seen straightforward, but it can be difficult to do so when you’re dealing with different lighting conditions. Aside from having the same colour grading for all the shots, it’s also important to be aware of the general mood you’re trying to evoke, and making sure it’s consistently represented visually. 

How to avoid this problem: Start with contrast, as it’s a huge determinant for the look of the shot. Adjust the shadows and highlights before going into temperature and other colour balance adjustments, which are more nuanced and difficult to perfect. 


Doesn’t Sound Good

Not adjusting your audio is another huge giveaway that you’re an amateur editor. Background noise or audio that isn’t timed to the visual element makes the editing feel half-hearted. Also, how many times have you instantly recognised the default background music from iMovie and felt turned off by it? We’re guessing a lot. 

How to avoid this problem: Obviously, don’t use the audio that comes with iMovie, Premiere Pro, and whichever software you use. There are countless royalty free music online to download if you’re on a budget (just remember to credit the creator). Also, be sure to take your time to really sync the audio and visual - it’ll be easier on the eyes and ears. 


Okay, so now you’re on your way to creating great content, but what about the rest of it? Join us later this month as we welcome content expert and Managing Director of APV, Angela Cheung, will help you figure out your video marketing strategy whether you’re a multinational brand or a small business with limited resources.

Join Garage Academy and APV for this workshop to learn:

  • A simple yet effective framework to get you started
  • Using data and online tools to find your tribe
  • How to figure out the correct 1) Format 2) Duration
  • How to create videos that engage with your target audience
  • How to optimize your content to increase views
  • How to repurpose your video into multiple formats on different channels to gain maximum ROI
  • The right and wrong way to make the most of your team when it comes to video
  • Lots of relevant and replicable case studies

This will be a great chance to ask a ton of questions and receive practical advice on what works for your specific business.


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