Basic Mistakes of a Video Editor

Video editing can be overwhelming at times, especially when you need to edit lots of videos in a day. This leads to “unconscious” errors along the way. Most errors are basic ones that can be fixed right away if you double check your videos each time you finish it. If you’re just getting started in video editing, here’s the list of the basic mistakes that you can avoid:

Before Editing:

• Usage of low authority videos for speaker reels.
A speaker reel (mission reel, sizzle reel, testimonial reel, keynote speaker reel) is a short piece, usually 2-3 minutes long, of edited video or film footage showcasing a person’s previous work.
We are to use high authority videos for this. This is to display the credibility and edge of the speaker or the event. Using low authority videos as b-rolls will make it look like the opposite. Please see here how to consider a high authority video.

So before editing, editors must compile the high authority videos that s/he can use for the showreel.

During Editing:

• Weak introduction of the video
This is where we usually lose the viewers. The first 3-5 seconds are the most precious seconds of the video, may it be a showreel or a one minute video. Most beginners in editing don’t pay attention to this. They use a weak introduction in a one minute video such as starting it with a question or a ‘bumper’. Please see here what a bumper is. In our case, we use a ‘hook’ as a strong intro. Here’s a video explaining what a hook is. For the showreels, not leading with the highest authority shots makes a weak intro.

• Missing lower thirds
A lower third is a graphic overlay placed in the title-safe lower area of the screen. This contains the basic information of the speaker such as his/her name, title, and the company that s/he represents. Without this, viewers will be clueless on who is present in the video.

• Editing videos that are not mobile friendly. Nowadays, most viral videos are found on Facebook. It is important to optimize videos based on Facebook’s standard such as the updated dimension of videos. Recently, there are two sizes that are currently used in Facebook — square size and portrait size. Using either of the two is an upper hand rather than posting your videos in default size.

• Not working in a sound-off environment. Being one of the most used social media websites/apps in the world, you can see lots of people browsing Facebook everywhere, may it be in restaurants, train stations, beach resorts, anywhere as long as you have your data signal. But since most people use it in public places, they aren’t fond of watching videos with the volume on. Thus, creating videos that will work in a sound-off environment is an advantage. Besides, you don’t want the viewers ignoring your video just because they can’t understand what it is all about when it’s muted or they need to get their earphones just to watch it, right?

• Usage of stock images/videos as b-rolls.
One factor of a good video is personalization. Personalized videos make it easier to market your products or your event and make it more engaging to watch. Showing a part of you and what you do in your videos will build trust from your viewers. Using stock images and videos as b-rolls will create the opposite.

• Weak audio – echoey, robotic
Raw videos with background noise automatically need to be edited on Adobe Audition or any software/app that can enhance an audio. But echoey and robotic audio is also wrong.

• The background music is louder than the speaker’s voice. In relation to the audio, it’s a major no-no to have a higher volume of the background music than the speaker’s voice.

After Editing:
• Fail to check the caption on the first iteration This is a mistake that can easily be fixed if the editor will recheck it after exporting. It will help save time for the Proofer if the editor can fix the wrong grammar, capitalization, and usage of punctuation marks and the time of the editor sending the video back and forth just because of these basic errors. And with the help of Descript, it makes captioning a lot easier.

• Not using the proper naming convention
We normally use a proper naming convention, so we won’t get lost over which one is the updated version. So just using a general naming, such as video1.mp4 or How to create a lower thirds.mp4, for the video will cause problems eventually.

Saima Raza

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Saima Raza