Resources & Guides

Video editing for beginners

Video editing for beginners

 If you’ve decided that you’d like to use video as part of your overall marketing approach, then you may be considering how you can keep costs at a manageable level. With smartphones, everyone now has video technology at their fingertips. As a result, many business owners attempt to make their own video content.

The quality of this content can vary widely. A lot depends on how well you use and edit the footage that you capture. YouTube influencers and viral marketers make clever use of editing to create compelling content that appeals to the widest possible audience.

It may be visually appealing, feature great sound and visuals with clever transitions, but if you want your video content to stand out from the crowd, then it’s not only the footage that counts.It’s what you choose to do with it.

What is video editing?

Video editing is the process through which raw video is cut, shaped, and polished into something more concise and hopefully meaningful. At one end it might be cutting the length of a holiday or concert video to share on your social media, through to editing hours of video footage into a half-hour documentary.


There’s more to video editing than simply cutting. You’ll also need to think about what you can add. This might be sound effects, enhancing colours, smart use of lighting, visual effects, and smooth transitions. So whether you’re creating YouTube content, marketing content for your business, or a work presentation, you need to think carefully about how your video is going to stand out.

How does it work?


As with recording footage, video editing is a very accessible process. Basic video editing techniques are even available on the average digital camera or smartphone itself, allowing you to tweak and alter your footage in a limited way.


Also, platforms such as TikTok and Instagram have some in-platform editing tools that users can use when they upload their videos. These though, are very basic in what they offer, and won’t help you create a professional-looking video. To achieve that, you’ll need to use video editing software.


There is a range of free tools available to enable you to get started, but most of these will have use limitations and may mean that your content carries a watermark. That said, they’re an easy and cheap way to try video editing yourself before you think about investing in more expensive software.


If you’re serious about editing your own videos, you’ll need to get hold of some powerful software. Professional video companies will normally have expensive, state-of-the-art software at their disposal. The cost of this can run into thousands of pounds. There are cheaper options available, and some platforms have special offers, such as free one-year licenses for students.

Using templates

If you’re just starting out with video editing, then templates can make the task a lot easier. These make it easy to add pre-designed titles, captions, animation, transitions, visual effects and captions to your footage that can give a professional polish.

What kind of hardware will you need?

If you have a modern computer, whether it’s a laptop or desktop, you will have a piece of kit at your fingertips that’s capable of being used for video editing. If you’re filming on a camera phone or basic digital camera, it’s likely to be adequate for your needs. However, if you’re filming with a larger resolution and have longer footage, you’ll need a more powerful computer to be able to work effectively with your material.

In practical terms, you’ll need a computer with a powerful processor, such as Intel Core i5 or Core i7, at least 4GB of RAM, a good graphics card, and at least 256G SSD storage. You’ll also need to think about data transfer. As well as a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection your device should include USB 3.1, USB-C, and/or Thunderbolt ports.  

That said, if your budget is limited, or if you have a low-powered or older computer, you may still be able to use some of the more basic software options.

Tutorials and How-to guides

When selecting a video-editing software you should always select a platform that includes tutorials and how-to guides that explain how to start using the software.

Some common video editing terms

There’s a range of jargon and terminology related to video editing that it can be useful to understand:


  • Most video editing tools will be based on a timeline. This will display your video footage from start to finish, allowing you to scroll backwards and forward to make changes, such as trimming, rearranging your clips and adding visual effects.


  • This is the combination of visual elements from different sources that create the illusion that these different elements are all a part of the same scene.


  • This refers to the reduction in the size of data in your video file in order to save space on your hard drive.


  • Resolution denotes how many pixels appear on your screen. The higher the number of pixels, the more detailed your image will be.

Should you do your own video editing?

If you’re looking to create professional videos for your business then it might not be practical to do your own video editing, particularly if you’re a complete beginner. While it’s relatively straightforward to pick up some of the basic skills, it takes time and practice to become accomplished. For most people running a business, they’re unlikely to have the time to apply to learning the skill.

At Eight Engines, we understand how to use video editing to maximise the impact of your footage. We create professional-standard content for our clients, using skills we’ve developed while producing award-winning TV dramas.

If your business or organisation has a story to tell then we’d like to help you tell it. Get in touch to find out more.

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