Edit video tightly and precisely

CNN iReport by Brandon Ancil

Editor's note:
Brandon Ancil is a digital producer and editor for CNN.com. Like many CNN iReporters, he shoots, edits and produces all of his content himself. Below are some tips to editing a video piece from start to finish. Read up, then give Ancil's advice a try in this week's iReport Boot Camp challenge.

In the world of video production, it's not a stretch to say that video editors are easily overlooked. Last in line to get their hands on the material, the choices a video editor makes can drastically change the impact a video has. With the right style, tone and technique, an ordinary video can be transformed into a gripping video experience. And once you have the basic tools of how to edit, it's only a matter of time before you're editing like a pro.

Review footage

The first step when editing is to get your footage onto your computer. The very next step should be to review it. Watching all of the video you have to work with, from beginning to end, will bring the story back to you. And while you're reviewing your footage, you should also be organizing it.


All editors have their own system of organization. Some lay their clips out chronologically while others set their clips into scenes. First determine how you'd like to organize your clips and then make it happen. Luckily, all editing programs from Final Cut Pro to Windows Movie Maker have one basic organized layout. They include: a timeline (an area where footage can be laid down for review and cutting), a clip bin (an area where transferred clips can be labeled and organized for viewing) and a viewer (the video playback area of your editing program). Whether you're editing a small project or a large one, it's best to keep the elements in your bin well catalogued. Organization will save you time and stop an editor from being overwhelmed by the amount of available footage. read more...

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