Contributed by Videomaker and written by John Cassinari Photo by Julie M Cameron
Video editing is the place where the magic happens during the production of video content. The video editing process takes otherwise boring, dull, and commonplace video content to new storytelling heights. Raw or unedited video footage is ultimately nothing until a good video editor touches it.
Sadly the video editing process can be as confusing as it is daunting — but don’t fret, today we will show you what’s important so you can produce videos that your students will love and learn from.
First, Create a Great Story
The first and most important thing to remember when editing videos is to create a great story for your viewer to watch. Right about now people often ask, “How can I tell a great story when it’s just a training or educational video?” Remember, every video that you edit should tell a story.
For example, let’s say you’re producing a video about punctuation. In this case, your story would be how to best use punctuation in writing for more clarity. Open your video by telling a story of where good and bad punctuation made a difference. OK, sure it’s not a Star Wars caliber story, but it still represents what you’re trying to accomplish with the video. We often say begin with the end in mind.
Tip: A best practice is to “storyboard” your video before you start recording. A storyboard is an outline of a video using pictures or words. Learn more about storyboarding from this storyboard webinar recording.
Choose Footage to Enhance Your Story
Once you know what your story is, then you have to pick the best footage to tell that story. The footage you shoot should have good audio, great lighting, be steady and not shaky, and should show what you are trying to tell the viewer. The best-looking footage always gets the most viewer’s attention, so pick the really good stuff to use in your videos and let the rest hit the cutting room floor. Use a mix of close-up and distant shots. Close-up shots focus on the person speaking or performing, while wide and medium shots are used to show the setting or context. For example, if you were doing a math video, the close-up shot may be of the teacher’s hand working out a math problem or a screen capture of the problem and solution being worked out. Tip: If you will be creating multiple videos, invest in a tripod and iPad holder, and for video production best practices and training, visit SchoolTube University.
Great Text and Graphics are Crucial
Once you’ve picked great footage arrange it into a timeline – a rough composition of the final production. At this stage, you can now develop text and graphics that move your story forward. Text and graphics should enhance and not detract from your video. Often young video editors will put in way too many graphics. This actually detracts from the story of a video and should be avoided.
The Right Music is Magical
If you ever have a question about the important part music plays in a video, take a moment to watch your favorite movie and turn off the audio. The right music track can make or break a great movie. Without music and sound effects a video is often dull and boring. Now, there are sometimes where music is not required — like during a great speech. But most often music can only enhance the story and feel of a video. Students want to be entertained while learning, music and sound effects can make your teaching videos more entertaining.
Tip: Be careful of music copyright violation, there are multiple sources of free, royalty-free music.
Editing Videos on an iPad
Many teachers don’t have access to professional video editing programs, but many have access to iPads. Let’s take a look at some of the tools that you can access on your iPad that can help you make amazing videos.
When deciding what software to use to edit your videos, make sure that the application you choose allows you the most flexibility while making it easy for you to edit. You won’t be editing a Hollywood feature film on your iPad, so pick the software that’s the easiest for you to use. Ease of use will allow you to focus on the story content and not be bogged down trying to learn how to use the software. As your skills increase then maybe you can use an app with more bells and whistles.
- Clips is an amazing free video editing app for iPads and iPhones. Clips allow users to create both vertical and horizontal videos with filters, graphics, and more. For a more in-depth overview, read our Clips blog post. If you will be asking students to create videos, Clips is a perfect solution.
- Apple iMovie is free and is probably the most widely used video editing app on an iPad. It’s easy to use and since it’s native to the iOS environment, it works smoothly and efficiently. iMovie’s ease of use makes the learning curve very easy for editors who are just beginning to work with video. Don’t let the ease of use fool you — iMovie is a powerful video editing app and should be able to fill your needs for most if not all of your video editing requirements.
- InShot is free and somewhat similar to iMovie. A lot of the normal editing tasks such as transitions and layers are somewhat pre-canned, which means they are built for you already. This will save a great deal of time when you’re editing but may in some cases cause some angst in that you don’t have full control of them for your needs.
- VLLO is also free and looks and feels a lot like InShot. A great deal of the regular tasks are canned and very easy to use. The free version does not watermark your videos but you may want to upgrade to the $14.99 version to unlock more professional features.
- LumaFusion If you feel confident in your basic editing skills and want to amp up your game, you can invest in some better software. LumaFusion is $29.99, which is a steep price to pay, but it’s the closest to a professional editing package we’ve found at this price point. Multi-layer editing, custom bins, and several other professional features make this a great choice for video editors that need a bit more zip in their productions.
Tip: If there is a teacher in your school that makes great videos, ask them what they use and how they do it. Perhaps they can put on a workshop!
Professional-Grade Video Editing Apps
For those of you who are ready to step up their video-editing game, consider one of these professional-grade applications.
- Adobe Rush is the lighter version of Adobe Premiere and works and looks almost identical. If your video will eventually go to Premiere for finishing, then this is the app for you. Cross compatibility between the programs is seamless and very impressive. Sadly in order to get all the features, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee just like all Adobe products. Even with that, Rush is the most professional of all the iPad video editing apps.
- Final Cut Pro X Final Cut Pro X does not run natively on an iPad, but on an iPad Pro, you can run Final Cut, Pro X, in Mirror Mode. This means that as long as you have a workstation running Final Cut Pro X, you can mirror that machine on your iPad and edit videos. Learn how to use Final Cut Pro by taking Videomaker’s free Final Cut Pro X training course found on SchoolTube University.
In the final analysis, there are more than enough free and low-cost video editing applications to get your video editing done. Try several and see which one works with your unique workflow and requirements.