Video Editing Basics:
Why Is Video Editing so Hard to Learn?

Video Editing Basics

Video editing basics are the fundamentals of how you approach constructing your film or video.

Here's a question I received awhile back from a person that was having trouble understanding the basic parts of video editing...

"This site says "video editing made easy". Why is video editing so hard to learn?"

BeachCat Martin (California, USA)

Thank you for your question!

What I have found over the years is that, a lot of times, it's not the subject itself that is hard to learn but that the person's approach to studying the video editing basics (or most any other subject for that matter) just needs a little work. 

VideoEditingSage – Tips on Learning Video Editing

I think that if people find video editing hard to learn it is mainly because of these three things. Here are some tips on how to handle them...


Tip #1:
Video Editing Is Best Studied "Hands-On"...

Video Editing Is Best Studied Hands-on

This subject really needs to be studied "hands-on" (with the camcorder or video editing program right in front of you) or it will be difficult to grasp. You need the mass (the actual "thing") in front of you to really get the concept and "feel" for what you are doing. 

Doing lots of video editing

You need to open up your video editing software program and work with it... do hours and hours of video editing! 

Shooting lots of footage with your camcorder

And... take your camcorder or video camera with you everywhere and shoot lots of footage so that you have plenty of new material!

You need to get the "feel" of your video camera or camcorder by using it all the time. And when using your video editing software... explore everything...!  Where to go in the program to do the edits, put in the transitions, render the special effects, export the finished product, etc.

It's hard to learn video editing without shooting lots and lots of footage and then spending hours on your video editing computer just simply editing!  You are becoming a craftsman and these are your tools!! It is really true that... Practice makes perfect!

VideoEditingSage – Tips on Learning Video Editing #1

You must become very familiar with your tools and be able to use them easily and with certainty! So... When you study be sure to have them with you and practice with them often!!


Tip #2:
Learning the Video Editing Fundamentals Is Done in a Sequence of Gradient Steps…

Video editing is done in a sequence of gradient steps

Video editing is made up of cycles of action that are done in a sequence of gradient steps.

Missing a step in the video editing process

A person very new to video editing may get the steps mixed up... Or the materials he is studying may (in actuality) have the steps mixed up... And from there... he or she may go into a confusion about the how you edit.

Frankly, a lot of times video editing is not taught following a logical sequence of actions. If steps are missed or are missing... the gradient becomes too steep and you can (and will) feel confused and your progress stopped.

Working out the sequence of steps in video editing

If this ever happens to you.. Cut back  to where it wasn't confusing to you and look to see if a step or steps were missed, are missing (which happens more than you would think) or are out of sequence. Once you've filled in the missing or missed step then go back up the line from there.

It should make sense to you now...  If not then take a look at tips #1 and #in this article to make sure that you are studying with the "mass" in front of you and you understand the words and terms that you are working with.

  • One more thing... Sometimes the sequence of actions that are recommended are not the best sequence for you!

VideoEditingSage – Tips on Learning Video Editing #2

Don't be afraid to work out and use a sequence of actions in video editing that makes sense and works best for you  and the way you  want to produce your video. There is no absolute "one right way to do it". The "right way" is the way that gets the job done!


Tip #3:
You Must Learn the "Language" of Video Editing…

The language of video editing

This maybe the most important factor of all... A lot of times people new to video editing do not ensure that they fully understand and can use the technical (and other) words that are used in video and video editing.

Video editing is a technical subject with a language all its own. To be able to understand a technical subject (or any subject) you must clearly understand and be able to work with the terms that are being used. If you don't understand the words you won't be able to learn the subject... It's as simple as that!

Defining the words of video editing

So ... Don't bypass words you don't fully understand as it will lead to a general blankness (things are hard to remember) about the subject and learning it will become difficult, unpleasant and you'll have a general feeling about the subject of "you don't quite get it" or worse ... you become annoyed with the subject in general and want to drop it altogether.

Understanding the terminology of video editing

So... if you do feel "blank" or "annoyed" about a subject while you are studying it or after you have studied it... well somewhere in materials... just before you went blank or felt annoyed then...

* There's a word or words you didn't fully understand while studying it (I guarantee it)... 

The solution is to just go back in the materials you have studied... Find the the point where you were last doing well and understood the material... then come forward from that point... Take a good honest look... (it doesn't necessarily have to be a technical word) and find the word(s) that you don't fully understand or are a little foggy about! 

VideoEditingSage – Tips on Learning Video Editing #3

You will be amazed how much better you will feel and how much better you will understand the subject once you find out what you didn't understand, look up and defined the word (s)!


By the way... I try to always keep the above three points in mind when writing articles for this site.

This site also has a video terminology glossary that I update periodically... so take a look there for any words you may need to look up. Also... Contact me here if there any words or terminology you want included in the glossary. I always love hearing from the readers!


So... Just keep the three points above in mind when you're studying your video editing basics and you'll find that video editing is not really hard to learn it all... As a matter of fact... It's a breeze!


Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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