How to Get Started With Video Editing (5 Tips for Beginners!)

Video Transcription

In this video, you will learn 5 pro-tips to help you get started editing your own videos.

Video editing is a key part of the video production process, so if you want your videos to really make an impression, you’ll need to ensure you have the tools and knowledge to edit them to a professional level.

Hi, I’m John here at Spiel Creative. Before we get started, make sure you click the subscribe button and hit the bell so that you’ll get notified every time we upload a video to help you with your video marketing.

If you’re just starting out and have no experience editing videos, then you’ve come to the right place. Getting started with video editing can seem intimidating — there’s so much to learn about editing software, codecs, frame rates, PC specs, and that’s not even taking into account the hours of practice you’ll need if you wish to hone your craft.

But remember, editing is an art, and not a science, so the best way to learn is to simply jump in and start experimenting. But, before you can roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, you’re gonna need something to edit with. So, our first tip is: invest in the right equipment.

Find a fast computer

There’s no two ways around it: editing videos takes a lot of processing power, so purchasing a fast computer is by far one of the best investments you can make when starting out. Without one, you’re going to end up pulling your hair out as you struggle through crashes and exceedingly long render times that can really take you out of the flow.

Now, beginners often ask: “what’s better, Mac or PC”? But, this question is a bit misguided: both Macs and PC’s are perfectly capable of editing videos — the only difference between them is the software that’s available on each platform.

Many programs like Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer are available on both, but Final Cut Pro is a Mac exclusive, so if that’s your preferred software, you’ll need to get a Mac.

Instead of worrying about deciding between a Mac or a PC, you should prioritise the hardware specs of your computer. So here are the most important factors to consider:

  1. The processor, also known as the CPU
  2. The amount of RAM
  3. Your hard drive’s storage capacity and rotation speed
  4. And finally, the graphics card or GPU

When it comes to CPU’s, the Intel Core i9 is by far the best choice, and it’s truly the only reliable option when it comes to editing 4K or higher resolution video. Unfortunately, that high performance comes with a hefty price tag, so be prepared to shell out some cash for one.

If you’re not going to be editing 4k, you can save some money and get away with using an Intel Core i5 or Core i7, but we’d recommend investing in the Core i9 so that you have some room to grow.

Now, as far as RAM goes, the more you can afford, the better off you’ll be. The bare minimum you’ll need for reliable editing these days is going to be 8GB, but even that’s a bit low. Ideally, you’ll want something with around 16GB of RAM or more.

Of course, you’ll need to make sure you have room to store your footage, so we recommend getting a computer with at least 512 GB of internal storage space as well as an external 1TB scratch drive to store footage on.

Keep in mind that the higher the resolution of your video, the more storage space it will take up. One minute of full HD video at 30 frames per second is only around 130 MB, but the same footage in 4K is a whopping 375 MB.

You’ll also want to make sure your hard drive has a fast rotation speed, but this won’t be a problem with most modern drives. That said, we recommend you use a Solid-State Drive, also known as SSD, to ensure a quick and stress-free editing experience.

Now your GPU isn’t as important as the other items on this list, but we recommend getting an Nvidia GTX 1050. If you’re planning to edit 4K video, an upgrade to the GTX 1660 or higher is worthwhile, and will make your editing workflow even faster.

But of course, this is just our advice, there are plenty of other options out there, so be sure to do the right research first.

Well that’s your video editing equipment setup, now onto our next tip, tip two.

Choose the right software

With so many great options on the market these days, it’s really hard to go wrong no matter what software you choose. In the end, the “right” choice will be based on your own personal goals and preferences, so I’d encourage you to sign up for some free trials, look up some tutorial videos on YouTube for each software, and play around with each of them to get a feel for which you like the best.

Today, the standard is to use a non-linear editor, or NLE. We at Spiel are big fans of Adobe Premiere Pro, and I highly recommend it to aspiring editors. It’s very popular in the industry, so it’s generally pretty easy to collaborate with other editors and video makers when using it.

That said, you’ll also want to look into:

  1. Avid Media Composer, which is widely considered the industry-standard NLE for enterprises, broadcast networks, and big budget film and TV studios,
  2. There’s also Final Cut, a Mac exclusive which has shifted its focus a bit more towards the consumer market in recent years due to its ease-of-use, and finally,
  3. DaVinci Resolve, which is a powerful editor that’s become increasingly popular recently due to its robust feature setup and intuitive user interface. Plus, there’s a free version, which is great for editors with a tight budget.

If you want to keep costs low, you may also want to take a look at Blender as well. While it’s primarily a 3D modeling software, it does provide editing tools that can be used for regular video as well.

So that’s your editing setup, and your software chosen, it’s time to learn the layout.

Learn the basics

There are a few things that every editor should know before even touching the keyboard. You wanna know where your timeline is, which is where you’ll place your clips. As well as how to cut, trim, and also add in some effects like cross fades and zooms.

All of this is based on which software you choose, so be sure to look up all of these basic elements before getting started.

Now most editing softwares also include keyboard shortcuts, and knowing the hotkeys can save you hours of time in the long run, so start learning those right from the start as well.

I find a printed out cheat sheet helps me.

That said, like most arts, the best way to learn is by doing, so don’t think you need to memorize every hotkey before you start — you’ll learn them as you go. If you want to be an editor, then just start editing! You’ll naturally learn from your mistakes and successes along the way.

On our channel you find a step by step overview of the editing process. I have included a link to this in the description below. Be sure to check it out.

Now, once you’ve played around a bit and editing something together, you want to know your export settings.

Export your video

Video exporting can be the most confusing part of editing as it sometimes require a bit of technical understanding. Now, some softwares make exporting pretty simple: you select export, choose your desired file type, and hit ok. Since when we using Premiere Pro as you see we simply click Match Sequence Settings and click export.

However, in some cases, you’ll need to configure all the settings yourself, and that can get confusing. So, let’s break it down for you.

When you export your video, you’ll choose a codec that will compress your video and save it as a specific file type. Codecs vary based on their output file type and how much they compress your video — the more compression a codec applies, the smaller its file size will be. Unfortunately, the more compression a codec applies, the lower the output quality will be as well.

Some hosting platforms will only accept certain video file types, so we recommend exporting in a universal format like MP4 or MPEG4. In Premiere Pro, you can do this by selecting the H.264 codec.

Next choose an output resolution. This is simply how many pixels your video will have. For example, a 4K video has 4,096 by 2,160 pixels, which is four times higher than a regular HD video which is 1280 x 720.

Next, you’ll need to set your bitrate, which determines how much data is included in each second of video. The file size and quality of your video will increase or decrease as you raise or lower the bitrate. This can be useful for keeping your video’s file size within a specific hosting platform’s limits.

Finally, you’ll select a frame rate. This will determine how many frames are included in each second of your video. Generally, most productions are filmed at 24 frames-per-second, so choose this for a more cinematic look. But make sure that no matter what you choose, your export frame rate matches the frame rate of the original video in your timeline.

Once your video is exported, you’ve done it. You’ve officially created a video!

Now, before we sign off, we’ve got one more tip for you that can help speed up your edits — especially if you’re working on a slower computer:

Use video proxies

This is a fairly advanced optimization technique, but if you can’t get your hands on a fast computer, it can truly be a lifesaver.

In short, a video proxy is a lower-resolution stand-in for high-resolution footage.

What does that mean? Well, imagine you’re trying to edit 4K on an old computer, and it’s moving along at a snail’s pace. With a video proxy, you can create a HD copy, or proxy, of the 4K footage. You’ll make your edits on the HD footage, which is easier on your computer, and when you’re ready to export the final version, you’ll simply swap back to the original 4K video, and all your edits will still be there without having had to edit on the 4K footage directly.

You can use proxies with many modern editing softwares, so look up tutorials on Google or YouTube if you want to try this out for yourself.

And that’s about it! With these tips in your toolbox, you should be able to start your editing journey off on the right foot. Remember though, the key to becoming a great editor is edit, edit, and edit! So, get out there, start editing, and don’t worry about making mistakes!

We hope you found this video helpful. If you have don’t forget to like, share and subscribe.

If you’ve got any further questions about video production you can always reach out to us at

Goodbye for now.