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Video Editing - The Basics

Professional video editors take the raw footage from the shoot, cut that footage into a story line, collect feedback from the customer on changes/edits to the video, add a background music track and voice over as appropriate and deliver the final video in a viewable file format. For traditional television productions, television ads, feature films and documentaries, the editor is usually separate from the shooter; for internet videos the shooter and the editor may well be the same individual. In cases where the customer has previously shot footage, wants to add content to an older video, or the final video includes shoots from multiple locations all over the country, a video editor cuts the footage into the final product based on the direction of the producer of customer. Video and film editing is just as much of an art as shooting and is an integral part of creating a compelling story. A good video editor, while they may not save a shoot that went less than perfectly, has an extensive bag of tricks and software solutions to put some extra production value and polish on your video, so the final product looks and sounds as good as possible.

by SmartShoot
Barbara Grandvoinet

Tips for Video Editing Videography


Find Your Style

Video editing style varies from editor to editor. Be sure to examine each editors’ style and pacing. Consult with your video editor about what you would like the video to communicate and what pace and style you prefer. Use examples of other videos that you like, but remember that the editors are constrained somewhat by the footage that you provide. Be sure to include a budget for music (pop music is almost certainly not available for your budget) and other add-ons, including graphics.


Decide On Deliverables

Most final edited videos are delivered digitally via a file sharing site (like DropBox) or can be delivered on a hard drive or flash media.



Video editing can be time consuming and is often delayed waiting for the feedback and input of the customer. Be sure to schedule video editing when you, or the appropriate contact person, is available to provide edits and direction to the video editor in a timely fashion.

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How much does video editing cost?

Video editors generally charge by the hour. Depending on the project and if music is requested, the price may jump substantially as licensing tracks for video can be be expensive. Most editors will let you know what your options are and give you various options if you are looking to avoid breaking the bank. $25 to $40 per hour for simple videos. $50-100 per hour for professional editor on complex videos. $200 - $500+ per hour for very complex videos that need a lot of animation or graphics and/or professional editing teams.

Find a Video Editing Creative near you!

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We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

Video Editor needed for 2-4 minute Video

When selecting a video editor, be sure to include the following: the length of the edit and the edit formats that you need and what the raw footage was captured with. Mention the purpose of the video, the desired total run time and if there are any specific messages or footage that must be included in the video. If you would like to have music played, be specific as to the style that you have in mind and let the editor know if you have music budgeted for the video edit. Let the video editor know the desired output settings and if the project is for broadcast.

Suggested Price: $700

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