June 24, 2015
Exclusive

6 Practical Tips That Will Help You Become a More Efficient & Organized Editor

Academy of Storytellers Efficient Editing Tutorial
Editing is a lot like writing. It's a tedious process that requires keen attention to detail, and if you don't work efficiently, your next project will take a whole lot longer than you want it to.

Academy of Storytellers Logo
Our friends over at Story & Heart, the story-driven stock footage service, are celebrating the 6-month birthday of the film school that's built directly into their service. It's called the Academy of Storytellers, and it features awesome filmmaking tutorials, webinars, one-on-one conversations with working filmmakers, and exclusive gear discounts. Right now, they're offering $100 off your first year of the Academy by entering the code "cheer" at checkout. That's pretty cool, and you should definitely check it out, but let's get back to issue of editing more efficiently.

Justin and the S&H team were also kind enough to share with us an exclusive tutorial from the Academy, and it deals with a few of their favorite tricks for making the editing process more efficient and organized. It features filmmaking rockstars like Joe Simon of The Delivery Men and Ray Tsang, who has won a pile of Emmys. Check it out:

Notebooks for Efficient Editing
While these tips are absolutely fantastic for all editors, not just those working on commercial projects with tight deadlines, they're also applicable to far more than the editing process. In fact, Joe Simon's tips for time chunking and getting rid of distractions (yes, all of them) are applicable to any creative endeavor, particularly ones where you're sitting in front of the computer for long stretches of time. Ray's tip of getting everything down on paper are also applicable to far more than just editing. I've found that carrying a notebook around at all times to be one of the best ways to capture creative ideas, especially because they always seem to come when I'm nowhere near a computer.

Lastly, even though we've written about keyboard shortcuts quite a few times, it's worth stressing the point again. Keyboard shortcuts, once you've committed them to your muscle memory, will speed up your editing process considerably. Personally, I recommend creating your own set of shortcuts or modifying the default set in your NLE. Using shortcuts that make sense to you is a better strategy than rote memorization of shortcuts that don't make much sense at all. The last tip I have in regards to keyboard shortcuts is customizing and memorizing only the shortcuts that you use most often. There are hundreds of shortcuts in any NLE, and trying to memorize every single one of them will just drive you insane. If you can memorize the few that make up the bulk of your editing actions, you'll see a huge boost in efficiency.

Here's a quick recap of the other tips and tricks in the video:

Efficient Editing Recap

If you're interested in more tutorials like this one (plus a whole lot of other cool stuff), go check out the Academy of Storytellers. They're offering $100 off your first year of membership up until Friday evening (June 26th) at 9pm PST. Just enter the code "cheer" at checkout. Head on over to the Academy to learn more.

What are your most powerful tips for editing and working more efficiently? Share them with us down in the comments!      

Your Comment

15 Comments

I'm actually more curious on what that timer app he had was!

June 25, 2015 at 5:16AM

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KTimer

June 25, 2015 at 12:19PM

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Juanky Álvarez
Video Editor | Photographer
100

haha! that's the first thing I checked too. Ktime in app store.

October 21, 2015 at 3:57AM

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inca
Photographer | Videographer
74

Withstand the urge to test colorgrade right away, just to see how your footage could look in the end and have faith it will work out nicely.

June 25, 2015 at 6:22AM

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Auke Hamers
Filmmaker
86

Step 1: Purchase ridiculously looking office chairs.
But seriously, some really good tips. I struggle the most with eliminating distractions especially when I'm hitting a road block during an edit. Similar to setting custom keystrokes, I think a custom workspace is also as important for a smooth workflow.

June 25, 2015 at 8:21AM

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The black video tip is good advice. Going to use that trick especially for features.

Turning off your phone is only good if you are your own boss. Did it once and my Post Supervisor freaked out.

June 25, 2015 at 3:02PM

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bobunitone
Editor/Director/Writer/All Round Great Dude
154

Meh...nothing to great here. Shot well though. I thought about it a bit and I don't think the black video thing is actually better than markers and here is why (at least in Premiere):
1. You can choose to ripple or not ripple markers. If you cut out a chunk of your video, you will also cut out a chunk the black layer and could end up with a bunch of those black clips. You could lock that layer, but then they won't move with the sections.

2. You can roll out the markers and make them as long as you want them to be. You can also quickly jump from marker to marker with hot keys and in premiere, if you set up the markers window right next to your timeline, you can have a really easy way of finding sections; a brilliant feature.

3. You can put comments in markers.

4. You can print out marker lists with thumbnails.

5. You can set the marker information to be an overlay in your program monitor.

I honestly don't see how the black video thing can be any better than using markers if you know how to use them correctly they can be extremely powerful.

June 25, 2015 at 9:14PM

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Eli Mavros
Director/Editor
86

Didn't know how powerful Première Pro markers were until I watched Larry Jordan's training on CreativeLive... really improved hopping around on the timeline.

October 21, 2015 at 1:37PM

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Kayode
706

I feel like people should think of editing the way they think of any production. Preproduction saves you the most time, gains the most quality. In the same way, planning/labeling/clip managing really decides how creative and succesful your edits are-especially in doc work.

June 26, 2015 at 11:54AM

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Paul B
353

So true...

October 21, 2015 at 1:34PM

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Kayode
706

For those of us who don't follow the time block rule because we get passionate, glued to the screen for eight hours straight... make sure you stretch, maybe do a few pushups before you start!

June 26, 2015 at 7:24PM

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It would be nicer if the videos were subtitled.

July 13, 2015 at 7:54AM, Edited July 13, 7:54AM

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Anh
Filmmaking Overseas Study Counsellor
74

Anyone still using nested sequences?

October 21, 2015 at 1:33PM, Edited October 21, 1:33PM

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Kayode
706

Did I just see Final Cut in there? 2015 people...

October 21, 2015 at 3:08PM

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Simon Reichel
Director & Editor
43

That one about a notebook is a great one-- will be sure to implement. For what it's worth, I switched to a standup desk and my productivity went up twofold.

October 21, 2015 at 3:49PM

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Sean Voysey
Creative Director
236