Shooting your own video can be a nervewracking experience. This is especially true if it’s your first time and you’re not sure where to start. The overwhelm can be real and soon, you either do one of two things – you give up or you push through but make countless mistakes.
Now, when you’re a beginner, mistakes are unavoidable. But it’s still best to instill good practice as you learn. This is true whether you want to be a freelance video editor or aiming to land a gig at a video production company or major studio.
Here are five of the most common mistakes that happen during video editing.
1. Bad Inconsistent Audio
Sometimes, in our excitement to get started, we neglect one of the most crucial components of the entire video production – the audio. Either we don’t stop to think about getting the right equipment or we neglect the fact that we need a backup in case our primary audio gear fails in between shots.
During any video project or shoot, you have three audio components, you have the voice, the music and the clip audio. When editing, you can make crucial decisions on which audio you need. If you don’t need the original audio, you can turn it off or hide the audio track.
Most new editors often place their music track over everything. This results in an overpowering sound that stops you from hearing anything else, including the dialogue or the actors. It takes a bit of experience to get this right but you can start paying attention if you’re making this mistake. You need to find a balance between the music blending with your voice talent.
One thing you can do is to listen to your music or audio with your eyes closed. Take away all the other visual cues. If you find it sounds off, then there’s something wrong and you can fix it.
2. Wrong or Incomplete Transitions
This kind of mistake happens when your transition length is longer compared to the previous clip. Editors place transitions between two clips but sometimes, one of the clips are shorter and for a brief second, it gives the viewers a black screen between the transition instead of a seamless one.
You can do one of two things, either make sure your transition time is extended or adjust so your previous clip is long enough.
3. Inconsistent Graphics
As a video editor, people will understand if you had odd fonts and less than superb graphics since you’re not a graphic designer. However, if you care about your video output (and all of us do!) you need to start tightening up your graphic skills so you don’t end up detracting from your scene with that odd font or neon pink color.
If you can, try and brush up on what looks good graphicwise with your shot and film. Be consistent in the style, size and font you choose if there is text. One big mistake is choosing different fonts for different texts throughout the project. Be consistent. Stick to one font and use it throughout. Also choose a single color palette and just refer to that while you’re doing the editing.
4. Music Doesn’t Mesh With the Video
When the music and video don’t mesh, you know something’s gone wrong in the editing bay. Ever seen video that has a fast paced scene but the music is slow and doesn’t match it? How about an upbeat music over a somber or melodramatic scene?
Make sure when you’re doing editing work, you have your scenes mapped out and you pick the right music to go with it. Again, this will take time if you’re a complete newbie. But it’s good practice to pay attention to these things ahead of time.
One trick is to focus on what you’re editing first. Discard any and all thoughts of putting music. Once you’re done with all the editing work, then start finding the right music to go with each scene.
5. Overusing One Type of Cut
There are several types of cuts you can use when transitioning from one scene to the next. However, there are newbie editors who overuse one type of cut from the next. The most common is the Jump cut. This jump cut is often used to collapse time. When used right, it can be an excellent and dynamic way of telling a visual story, but when overused and incorrectly employed, it can be jarring to the audience.
The great thing about editing is you can always learn. Whether you’re beginner editor, a freelancer or even working for a private video production company as an editor, as long as you’re willing to improve, you can pay attention to these mistakes and correct them.