Editing

Choosing Your Editing Program

This short post is for the aspiring editors out there wondering what program they should use. The answer is very simple: not Windows Movie Maker. End of post.

What? Too short? Okay fine. I suppose I’ll talk about the programs I’ve used, and what I think of them. First up, the one probably that is probably the most well-known among everyone.

Adobe Premiere

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While not my preference, this is a fine program that is easy to learn, with enough basic features to put together most projects. However, the main advantage of this program is how well it works with other adobe products such as After Effects, which is indispensable if you plan on doing any kind of graphics. It can import/export most video formats and is very stable. To be honest, I recommend all editors get familiar with Premiere regardless of what their preference is. It can be difficult to have a career without it.

Sony Vegas

There is a certain stigma surrounding this program that is mostly unjustified. This one is my personal preference, and any prejudice against it is mostly due to it not being as widely used as others. That said, it can be a bit unstable and prone to crashing unless you have the settings exactly right. It also does not have the advantage of easily integrating with other programs. However, for pure editing, Vegas is without peer. I find it far more intuitive than Premiere with a much more streamlined interface that increases capability and decreases complexity. It may not be able to import/export as many formats as Premiere, but you shouldn’t really be trying to use any that it can’t handle in the first place.

Avid

MediaComposer_AdvancedColorEffectEditing

This program is a tough sell. It is obtuse, unintuitive, ugly, scary, and very very temperamental. What takes one step in other programs, takes three to five steps in Avid. It is also the industry standard, so it’s worth it to bite the bullet and get familiar with it. It works very differently from other programs because of the way it imports footage. Rather that just referencing the source files like other programs, it actually creates its own copy of the file somewhere else. Make sure you have a lot of memory to spare.

Windows Movie Maker

I thought I said don’t use this program. Seriously, don’t even consider it. I used it for over a year before I decided to move up to actual editing programs and I will regret that forever. Don’t waste your time, and pick one of the other ones I’ve listed.

I could talk about Final Cut Pro, but I haven’t used it so I don’t know to recommend it. But give it a try if you’re inclined. It’s not Windows Movie Maker and you cannot undervalue that feature.


 

Stephen Kennedy

Stephen Kennedy is a 27-year-old video editor from Connecticut. He has been editing as a hobby since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Western Connecticut State University. Interested in creativity in all its forms, Stephen loves both hearing and telling good stories in any form, be it writing, movies, or music, and is constantly seeking God within all of them.

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