September 4, 2014


When you’re ready to edit your movie or cinematography school projects, you need to keep video editing techniques in mind. Some video editing techniques and styles are so helpful that they make even novice film editors look good at the craft. But remember: not every editor uses every video editing technique! Knowing that you have choices does allow you to develop your own film editing style.

With that in mind, here are five Cinematography School tips to help you become better at the skill of video editing and succeed in the film industry. These are the types of skills that will be taught to you by top video editing schools!

5 Video Editing Tips To Help You Improve Your Skills

1. Cut Tight Scenes — Take out pauses between the dialogue-delivery lines of actors. These pauses are absolutely unnecessary. This may mean having to tighten gaps that are within the sentences of the dialogue by carefully placing cutaways. Cutting tight could also result in losing lines of redundant dialogue as well.

2. Don’t Use Temporary Music — Not every video editor agrees with this. But, those who do believe it is an effective video editing technique do so for two reasons:

  • Viewers have a way of falling in love with temporary soundtracks and scores. That makes it difficult to find permanent music for the film that gives the same feeling as the temp score.
  • Temporary music tends to become a crutch to film editors. When interesting music is involved, you may be too forgiving of scenes that are weak. When the scene has to stand on its own merits, you’re much more critical, making your video editing more effective.



3. Avoid Dragnet-Style Editing — This style of film editing was nicknamed by Walter Murch. He named it after the straight cut video and audio editing techniques used in the Dragnet TV series. There were no overlaps in between actors delivering lines. The formula went like this:

  • Move camera to actor A
  • Actor A delivers line
  • Cut to actor B
  • Actor B delivers line

This mundane camera movement went on throughout the entire feature. Human brains react better when the change in sound and picture are very in sync with each other. IE, J-cuts, L-cuts and split ends. Top video editing schools help you achieve more than these basic shots!

4. Cut to Capture Attention — Common, proper video editing involves matching stage position, eyeline, prop usage and hand positions of actors. But, who wants to be a common film editor? Film editor and sound designer Walter Murch teaches that a cut should take place at a given instance to either drive the scene’s emotion or to move the story line along. As a film editor in the film industry, your job is to ensure that the cuts create a continuity that keeps the audience engrossed completely in the story line.

5. Use the Right Camera Movements — Action sequences depend greatly on camera movements. Whether it’s hand held, on a Steadicam, crane or dolly, the way the camera is moved and operated by a cameraman determines the level of tension. Cutting tighter keeps your audience from resting their eyes on a scene, shot or the set for too long. This is not the only approach. But, it is a video editing technique worth knowing.


Learning the art of the film industry from an accredited video production school gives you an edge among industry competition. It takes a good cinematography school to teach you the skills needed to start a career in the film industry!

F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Digital Filmmaking and Video Production program is just what you need to achieve that edge. With our small class sizes, hands on instructors, and real studio settings, you won’t find anywhere better to begin your video editing career! Call us today to learn more about Digital Filmmaking and Video Production courses at F.I.R.S.T. Institute, one of the best film schools in Orlando, today!