3 Mistakes All Beginner Editors Make

3 Mistakes All Beginner Editors Make

In this tutorial I’ll cover three mistakes that almost all beginner editors make; and I don’t mean this: I’m familiar with these mistakes because I was once guilty of making them too. A common mistake when you start editing is cutting too early It is important to know a fair amount about your available footage before you make your first cut. “And that’s probably the nicest looking footage we have.” If you don’t know what you have and what’s good, you run the risk of editing yourself into a corner. So find all the gold and uncover it first. Don’t just watch the footage; your brain can’t hold on to these fleeting shots unless you work with them. This process is called selecting, and that can be different for every editor. Some take handwritten notes as they watch the footage, others build extensive select reels and yet, there are some that dance to it… I don’t know if that works, but maybe I should try that. Whatever your process: Important is that you actively work with the material. “Five moments that I like.” Because once you start editing you want to have all these shots readily available to you, so that the magic happens. Rookies usually don’t use split edits, also called J- and L-Cuts. Notice how the dialogue starts right as we cut to the actors’ face. “I was so lonely. Until now.” “So you think I’m that the right lady?” “Maybe. Do you think I’m the ideal man?” “I haven’t told you the truth though.” “I knew it.” That makes for a choppy an awkward cut. Now let’s take the scene and let the dialogue prelap the visual. “I am just going to roll back the video…” Suddenly, it’s as if the cut seems to disappear. “Let’s see if I’m right.” – “I haven’t told you the truth though.” – “I knew it.” I demonstrated J- or L-cutting in a recent video. The key is to understand the purpose and meaning of the conversation to decide whether a split edit is appropriate. Michael Grabowski tells his students that they are simulating a third person watching a conversation take place. The cut is the person turning their head to see and hear the other person talking. “There is another girl.” “No. That is not true.” Sometimes someone starts to talk unexpectedly, or quickly and we hear the voice before we have a chance to turn our head to see the person. That’s the split edit. “There is another girl.” – “No. That is not true.” Perfect. Now this doesn’t feel awkward. *Applauding* I wanted to know what you think are some of the most common rookie mistakes, and the number one response: having no or very chaotic workflow. That includes file and media management, bin organization, correct sequence and compression settings, outputting… all that mumbo jumbo. I’ve been editing for a while now and I barely managed to maintain a decent workflow. “And these are all the different shoots.” For example I recently ingested my footage and immediately started selecting. Then I realized “Oh, this is a multi-camera shoot.” Wouldn’t it be better to group all the clips together? I basically had to start over and lost a couple of hours of work. So here’s my advice: Test your workflow all the way through the chain, take a couple of shots, import them, sync the audio, test build a multicam, put them in different bins, cut a select reel, use a little storytelling to actually try to cut a mini scene that simulates the real project. Then do color and sound and go all the way to the end product like a Blu-Ray Or a DCP, so that you catch any snags. Along the way document your workflow. That hour of testing can save you days of work that needs to be redone. Recap: Don’t start your edit until you know your footage. Use split edits appropriately to simulate an organic flow of a scene. Know and test your workflow before you get in too deep. Like I said, you guys brought up a whole array of Rookie mistakes And I sorted them into five categories. If you would like to go through them, I’ll leave yet another link in the video description. If you liked this video, please click like and subscribe. If you didn’t like this video, please click like and subscribe. I’ll see you on the next one. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “3 Mistakes All Beginner Editors Make”

  1. this is so helpful and well made. like, i thought i'll just see this and wouldn't understand a thing but turns out i was so wrong.

  2. My pet hate is on YouTube, so-called "presenters" (who've never had any coaching in presentation techniques in their lives) coming on camera like they're wired up after 12 espressos and jumping around like a firecracker and kicking off with "Hi Guys" and usually continuing with "What's up?". (as in the recent Wix advert)
    'Guys' is a slang word for Men. So, are these people excluding women – or promoting women to be honorary men for the sake of faux-friendliness?
    "What's up" or its close companion "How's it goin'?" is a question.
    Don't they realise that they are using a monodirectional medium to present in a video? Even to a live audience you can't ask a question – unless you're prepared to to listen to each and every member of your audience. There is no avenue for reciprocation.
    This is informal language for personal meetings NOT a suitable introduction to a video.
    Keep it simple.

    -Introduce Self & qualification to speak.
    -Introduce Topic

    for example
    "Hello" or "Welcome"
    "My name is…..XXX"
    "I am an editor/entrepreneur/expert on …..
    "This video will be about (Topic)" [Video Title or Tutorial Subject.

    If someone starts with "Hi Guys – What's up?" I instantly assume he is as dumb as his grasp of language would indicate and have no further interest in learning anything from him (her).
    If I do proceed, I will be watching this individual's performance from a now biased and critical viewpoint, because I have already decided they are far too casual in their approach to life or are pitching to the lowest common denominator.
    I want to listen to someone I respect for their intellect and expertise, not because they introduce themselves like they were hanging out at the skateboard park.

  3. Phew I’m not guilty of any of these…. minus a little messiness in the workflow 🙃🙃🙃. Always working on that

  4. Is it a mistake when there's too much time on a sound from the next scene? A long rap on a door, for example, just after two characters finish speaking, and I expect them to react to it, but instead we're shown a different location where the knock has come from. It's so disorientating, I often wonder if it's a mistake. Happens with sentences from nowhere, too — they sound like they're with the characters on screen at the time.

  5. When cutting dialogue remember this maxim “ follow the action – but the best action is often REaction “

  6. Great video thanks! 'If you like this video please like and subscribe, if you don't like this video please like and subscribe'… that made me literally laugh out loud 🙂 Thanks for that!

  7. " … if you didn't like this video, please click like and subscribe."

    Curse you! Now I have no choice but to click like and subscribe.

    But … where is the "Like and Subscribe" button … I can't find it anywhere … ?

  8. Thank you so much I'm very new to editing, I'm only 13 and trying to learn. Your YouTube channel is so amazing, thank you so much.

  9. I love J and L cuts. I never knew the terminology though.
    Split edits are great if you expect the reply, or in some rare cases, if the narrative is experiencing the shot from person-A's perspective, a split cut can be applicable if it's person A responding… I rarely rarely use that one.

  10. #4:Following the rules.
    When editing, break all the rules. Challenge authority, rules of thumb, and what can and can't be done.
    Try, fail, and try again.
    Eventually you'll develop your own style, and nurture the evolution of modern editing styles.

    Honestly, if you've ever watched MASH, you'll realize that at one time, even cuts themselves weren't mainstream.

  11. "No, that is not true" Couldn't help but be reminded of
    "It's bullshit. I did not hit her I did not. Oh, hi Mark."

    You're tearing me apart Lisa

  12. Man, your videos are gold
    I am studying filmmaking and editing all by myself and having found a content like you´d provide has been a bliss!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge
    Greetings from Portugal

  13. Who is this video made for? Because you keep cutting to irrelevant memes/popular gifs that are just really, really distracting.

  14. A huge issue I see in new editors is using extra footage or cool, flashy effects or transitions that have nothing to do with the content. Just because the tools are available to use does not always mean they should be used. The editing should not distract or pull the audience out of the content. The best editing is done when no one notices it.
    What do you guys think?

  15. what's the music at the 3:00 mark? Very successful use of the music, timing it to your advice, making it all the more magical.

  16. J and L cuts are cool, tho they apply solely to one type of film: dialogue. The more general advice I'd come up with, regarding more or less the same area, is to think of image + audio while editing, and how they don't NEED to end/start in the same moment

  17. That little "J cut" (by your words) at around 2:00 minutes made the clip SOOO much more watchable. That was actually quite intense, like a lightbulb just went off in my head

  18. Hate it when editors uses those unnecessary fade in's or out's. It makes it look awkward and annoying at the same time. (I'm looking at you mainstream anime)

  19. #5 – not all editors are graphic experts. God all mighty man, your font choices… ghastly!

    But great video overall. Good info, and the examples help a ton.

  20. The most common mistake is clickbaiting yes! Clickbaiting, like this videos thumbnail totally had to do with the video.

  21. I'm sad that i haven't seen the movie Birdemic, but recognised the actors right away…
    Why did my brain decide to remember that useless piece of information, while often allowing itself to forget important things…

  22. This video was boring, slightly rude towards people (beginners) and honestly helped no one because mistakes are how you learn and improve, but this video just killed half my brain cells off. So, please don't force this on everyone, I just began editing this week and i enjoy it even if i make few slip-ups, BTW literally no one uses premiere… After effects is the most used editing program.

  23. "If you liked this video, please click like and subscribe. If you didn't like this video, please click like and subscribe." HAHAHA, I love that!

  24. The most egregious mistake I see is filling this video with tons of fast cuts to distracting low-res memes in an attempt to tell a story…

  25. Excellent video I have learned much from your videos. As my filming knowledge grows and I add Media…ie separate 2nd Camera (GoPro) separate audio (Zoom H1n). My editing is getting more complex. As I import the media in order into FCPX. For some odd reason it seems to get mixed up in the Media section…how can I fix this to streamline my editing process?

  26. The most common beginner editor mistake is continuity errors. I just fixed 16 of them in a 4 minute film from a first time editor.

  27. For a 4 Min Video – What a Great Amount of Work – That is true passion ! I went back to listen to the Video from the beginning, closed eyes to fully focus on the sounds and music… Congratulations, you have a New Follower ; )

  28. Awesome! Thank You! Very helpful. I have found L and J cuts help the scenes flow. The workflow I need to work on. This was helpful.

  29. Please stop calling them J and L cuts. It signals that you are a novice. The correct terms are “Audio advance” or “Picture advance.” J and L has no relevance to any modes besides NLE software. Also, if you are starting out- spend some time cutting manually. It will enrich your methods and appreciation for NLE. My AE’s that have learned on film are more organized than those who only ever learned on digital platforms.

  30. Birdemic reference!! Also this is great. I think anyone, not just editors can appreciate this video.

  31. I always hate it when I see action / fight work edited TOO literally. That is to say… when they move/cut from shot to shot… it's "contiguous". Which may be decent / "right" for everyday interactions between humans, or showing more rudimentary, slower action… but…

    If I learned ANYthing from film over the decades + loving and studying Jackie Chan's work… it's that you edit action in much more sophisticated ways, so that certain fight actions have a LOT more pizazz and "power"–and this is especially important if the audience is going to have to re-orient their frame-of-reference when you make a cut from shot A to shot B.

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