“Video Editing Software Programs?” Whoa, back up! What do people mean when they say video editing anyway? Let’s say you have a business on the internet and you know you need to use video in your marketing efforts. You may even be thinking: should I not be able to just go out, shoot some great video with my camera, come home, and then just upload it to the web? Well, yes, you could do that. Today’s technology makes it physically possible. But unless you’re talking about a quick video of your cat doing something cute, or a family member’s dance recital, sports performance, etc. that you plan to upload to a social site to share with friends and family, then you are going to need to edit the video. Why? Because while raw footage is great for social reasons, it just won’t do the job if what you really want is a polished, put-together product whose goal is to promote your business in some way.
So back to the question: what is video editing? And what software should I use to do it? Basically editing is the process that allows you to cut, copy and/or paste your raw video footage to build something that is focused and professional. You can cut out extra video where nothing interesting is happening, or bad takes, etc. You can also edit the audio at the same time. Maybe there were some sounds captured on the shoot that you don’t need or want on the final product. Heck, you can even replace the sound completely with new audio. Maybe you want to add studio quality narration and perhaps some background music. You can also add other video bits, or even still images, to the new video for variety, comparison, montages etc. Most video editing software programs allow you to add effects to your videos as well, such as zooming, lighting tricks, visual filters, adding text over the video, etc.
Video editing software programs come in a variety of prices and capabilities. There are hundreds of programs out there to choose from. For beginners, you’ll want to start out with a program that is powerful yet easy to use. If you are really just looking to slice and dice your video, maybe adding text or music, and organizing clips quickly, Windows Movie Maker does an excellent job. And quite conveniently, it’s almost certainly already on your computer if you’re running windows.
If you want a little more capability, a few more bells and whistles, look into a program that has proven itself as reliable and capable called Final Cut Pro. Another is Vegas Pro. Both of these programs come in different prices with different features. For example Final Cut has a lower-cost version called Final Cut Express and Vegas Pro has Vegas Movie Studio. Final Cut Pro is what many aspiring professional use, but this program only runs on Macs. Vegas Pro is arguably the PC-alternative to Final Cut.
Both of these video editing programs allow you to take average video shot with a digital camcorder, add filters and effects, and create a web video that looks like it was made by Hollywood film makers. Final Cut Pro actually won an Emmy award for its additions to the film making world.
So does that help answer your question about video editing? Yes, it is still true that a good deal of your video quality will depend on the camera you use, the lighting conditions when you shoot, and a few other factors associated with the actual video recording process, a lot also depends on the video editing process. The software you use, combined with some basic editing knowledge, will also factor hugely into the quality of your final video production. My advice is just to try one of the programs I mentioned here, learn a little bit about how to use them (forums have been a great source for me, as well as tutorials found at sites like Home Brew Video), and just get started. The more you use these editing programs, the better your productions will be.