Video Editing: Are you an Amateur or Pro? 2

There’s one sure fire way to aggravate a professional video editor; claim you’re also a professional video editor after 3 long weeks of perfecting your skills in Windows Movie Maker. This is like claiming you’re a writer in front of novelists when you know good and well you write in a blog once a week. These things make the real professionals very angry.

Over the years, video editing has become a profession that has lost its barrier of entry. There was once a time when you had to invest $100,000 into an editing platform and have a background in engineering to master the technical side of editing. Today, you can buy a brand new apple computer and have a free editing software that even a child can learn and produce decent videos on.

I think it’s great that you can get reliable software at a reasonable price, but these cheaper tools give the impression that the craft of editing is somehow less valuable. One downside is everyone with iMovie begins to claim they’re a “video editor.” Just because I have a cocktail on a Saturday night doesn’t make me an “alcoholic”, just because I write this 3G3Y blog doesn’t make me a “writer”, and I definitely don’t think that because I’ve spent time editing videos makes me a “video editor.”

The experts and dare I say “professionals” in video editing spend years maturing in their craft over time. They focus on gaining technical knowledge, speed, real world experience (not just your iphone movies), and expanding their creative capacity.

One of the first indicators of an editor that’s been in the game for a long time is one who has great speed and muscle memory. Do you find yourself looking at the keyboard rather than the screen when you’re editing/typing? It’s a pretty common thing to do when you’re getting to know the keys of an editing platform. You can automatically point out the people that have been editing for a while because they very rarely glance at their keyboard.

Unfortunately, knowing the keyboard shortcuts in and out doesn’t automatically make you a pro. Your creative skills and the ability to produce a thought/emotion within the viewer is important as well.

Similarly, just because you spent thousands of dollars on the best professional software isn’t confirmation that you’re a pro. There’s still the strong possibility you’ll have the best programs and produce crappy videos. Alternatively, a professional could have access to Windows Movie Maker and produce gold.

The difference between an amateur and professional video editor: TALENT.

How are you going about bettering you skills to have more talent in your profession?

Comments 0

  • Hi Samantha,

    Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post on video editing. I’ve been a professional video editor for 5 years, and it’s true – a copy of FCP doesn’t make you an editor. That said, if this technology wasn’t now so widely available many of us simply wouldn’t be editors, and that’d be a real shame. :-)

    Keep up the great work on the blog. I’m on a debt-free mission myself, and am enjoying hearing about your techniques and progress!

    Best of luck,

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