Video Editing Skills: Definition and the Basic



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Instagram, TikTok, YouTube — nowadays, almost every app allows you to communicate your message through video. Have you ever found yourself wondering how video creators make those cool transitions and add audio and effects to their videos? Or maybe you’ve always admired the works of the greatest film editors and wanted to try your hand at video editing?

If you think that you need a whole set of expensive tools for this, we have good news for you: there are platforms that let you edit videos online.

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Table of Contents

What Is Video Editing?

Video editing is part of the post-production stage of content creation. It is the process of clipping, rearranging, and piecing together video shots, images, and sounds to make a new video clip with the help of special tools or software. Video editing is a versatile field that merges with other spheres to create movies, tutorials, and music videos.

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With the advance in technologies, video editing has been widely popularized. Aside from broadcasting and the film industry, people showcase their video editing skills on social media.

A quick historical fact: up until the late 1970s, people used scissors to edit videos manually. They cut the tape and rearranged the shots on a special table. Video editing has certainly come a long way, as now you can create a new video right on your phone within a few taps.

Essential Video Editing Skills

No matter why you want to learn video editing, there are a number of skills that are necessary to craft eye-catching works.

Technical Skills

Basic computer skills are a must if you want to edit a video. If you don’t feel confident enough with your PC yet, watch a couple of tutorials and practice a little before you start working.

Attention to Detail

The beauty is in the details, as they say. It is crucial that you make sure every shot is in its place and notice any mistakes. Cherry-pick the best shots to combine them into a cohesive and meaningful piece.


Generate new ideas and step outside the box to take your videos to the next level. Playing with angles, lighting, and other effects will help you come up with unexpected and impressive solutions.


Video editing is not only about inspiration and creativity: it is also about technical work that can be pretty time-consuming and sometimes even tiresome. Being able to focus on your work even when it gets tough makes a great video editor.


Every video you create tells a certain story: you need to decide what message you want to impart and how exactly you will do it. Set a certain mood and help the audience immerse themselves into your world by altering colors, adding sound effects, giving different perspectives, etc.


If you want your work to evolve, you need to learn new things about video editing and acquire new skills. Find ways to optimize your editing process: there are many keyboard shortcuts that will save you lots of time.

How Can You Become a Professional Video Editor?

You don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to work as a video editor. Many employers prize your experience, talent, and skills above such formalities as degrees.

To pick up the basics of video editing, you can enroll in an online course where you’ll learn how to use video editing platforms and what the stages of the editing process are.

Once you feel confident enough to navigate through the platform, you can start looking for your first projects. You might have to deal with a lot of rejections at first, but this must never stop you from pursuing your career.

By keeping your skills sharp and constantly growing as a professional, you can score bigger projects and create stunning editing works.

The Stages of Video Editing

Most editors speak of five key stages of video editing:

  • Logging. This means going through the footage you have and organizing it. This way, it will be easier for you to find the necessary shots and manipulate them.
  • Assembly Cut. This step is purely technical: you need to place the files you have in the order they will be shown in the video.
  • Rough Cut. Now it’s time to think how exactly you will combine the string of shots that you have. You may look at it as a draft or a sketch of a future video. If the client approves the rough cut, you may proceed to the next stage.
  • Fine Cut. Once you have a clear vision of the final result in mind, you can start polishing your work. At this stage, you make sure every shot is put in the perfect place, enhancing the meaning of the story.
  • Final Cut. At this point, you’re done with the video editing itself: it’s time for special effects, color correction, and sound effects.

All that is left to do is perform a final review and submit the work to the client.

The Future of Video Editing

AI tools have shown pretty impressive results in editing videos. If you’re feeling adventurous, you should definitely give AI a shot at optimizing your workflow.

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