These 5 video editing tricks will make your editing faster and your videos more enjoyable to watch!

1. Shorter is better, except when it isn’t.

With the shrinking attention span of most audiences, and all kinds of media fighting for your time on the internet, it’s often a good idea to keep your videos as short as possible. This is true for most cases, but you will find that strategically placed pauses in videos can actually make videos easier to watch, and therefore maintain viewers for longer periods.

This is called “breathing room.” Instead of cutting from one interview audiobyte directly to another with no break for a long period, try adding 3-5 seconds of b-roll in between them, bring the music up to full, and then lower it back down to begin the next speaking section.

2. Use intro and outro video clips that have natural segues.

Following in the idea of using specific edits to subconsciously trigger an understanding in the viewer, editors will often use cross dissolves when starting or ending scene.

3. Master the J-cut.

A J-cut refers the shape of the letter J, where the lower part of that letter form goes further left than the top section. What this means in an edit is having the audio from the incoming clip play before actually seeing the video it corresponds to.

Don’t overdo it, as a second or two works fine. Mentally this feels very natural because in real life when a noise occurs, we often turn and look to see what that noise was. In editing terms, that means we hear something slightly before we see it, making a mental “cut” with our eyes from the original thing we were looking at to turn and see this new thing that is creating audio. Pay close attention next time you watch a suspense thriller, and you’ll notice this type of edit happens all of the time.

4. Clean up your dialog and save time.

We are surprised when we see great looking video that is fraught with interview audio that is full of “ummms” and other speaking errors. We understand that people can slur their words to a point where you can’t separate one word from the next. It happens. But whenever you can cut out a long breath, an “umm” or other thoughtless comment, do it. The trick here is to use very short audio fades. This requires some patience and finesse, but cutting out 8-10 of these in a single interview can save a few seconds, and those seconds add up over the course of a long video.

5. Add markers to your music tracks to show places to make edits.

When working with your clips on a sequence that has some music, most editors will have the waveform of the audio displayed, and try to match some edits to where the music hits on a beat or crescendo. This is great, but if you simply play the music back in the viewer first and add markers to it, those markers will appear in your timeline. You can then just line up your edits to the markers, and they will snap right into place. So easy!