Today’s editing computers are a marvel in my opinion. Did you know that before computers, it took around ONE MILLION DOLLARS of equipment to stock a professional editing room?
- multiple tape decks
- a switcher
- an effects generator
- a character generator
- an audio mixer
- signal enhancers,
- multiple monitors and
- years of experience to operate it all.
To rent out all this much stuff, it cost $500-$1,000 per HOUR to edit.
If you were doing anything complicated, a two or three minute spot could easily take ten hours to edit. That’s TEN GRAND just for one step in the production of a video that lasts a few measly minutes!
We’ve got it great compared to that. Today, ten grand is MORE than enough to buy a total system and all the software you’d ever need to edit a lifetime of shows.
Computer editing is loads of fun and the creative possibilities are endless.
Computer editing revolutionized the entire television and video production industry. Computer video editing put power in the hands of the little guy, not just the companies that could afford million-dollar edit suites.
For a small investment, (maybe nothing beyond a computer that has free video editing software already on it) you have the opportunity to produce professional quality edited video stories.
I got Windows Movie Maker version 5.1 free on the Compaq I bought at Sam’s Club for half-off after Christmas.
Windows Movie Maker is very common and easy to use. It will easily edit together your video and add some simple- looking graphics.
The timeline is labeled #3 in the picture above. The time line is where you build your movie. You place your different video clips and audio clips in the time line moving left to right. You build things in layers. There are different lines for audio and video.
If you have a Mac instead of a PC, you will probably have iMovie. I think it’s a MUCH better program than Movie Maker and certainly a killer freebie. iMovie can do amazing things and is easier to use than Movie Maker. There are other free programs that you can read about here.
If you want more creative and complex editing options than what freebies give you, you can get awesome software for $50-$300 and knock-your-socks-off. Here are some video editing programs to consider.
If you want to get more sophisticated, you can compete-with-Hollywood software for $1,300. Apple’s Final Cut Pro, now called Studio 2, is the ultimate video editing software experience in my humble opinion. Avid is another popular brand of professional grade video software. It’s usually more expensive than the comparable Apple program.
When FCP first came on the market, it was chump change at $1,000, compared to its competitor, Avid with its $50,000 version of Media Composer. At the time, people were clamoring to learn Media Composer because it seemed like such a revolutionary bargain compared to the million-dollar fully equipped suites. Then, all of a sudden, you can get a program equal to Media Composer for just a grand?
Final Cut Pro’s price today of $1,299 might seem high to newbies, but the power of a program like FCP can not be understated and when it is put into perspective, it is very inexpensive. FCP can do what used to take about one-million dollars worth of equipment.
Hollywood uses FCP and top=-of-the-line Avid programs. However, chances are you’re not Hollywood bound. Final Cut Pro Express is only $300 and gives you all the punch you’d probably ever want unless you’re competing on the very uppermost levels.
FCPE is what I use. Here is a video tutorial I did to show you the basics of the program and how video editing works in general.
Many companies put out video editing software but I must confess my prejudice for Macs and Apple editing software. That’s what I always used when working for large companies and the vast majority of professionals I know prefer Apple Computers to PCs for video editing and other large-file creative tasks. There are a million reasons for that. I’ve seen such heated debates about the topic, it’s scary.
“We’ll get PCs for editing over my dead body!”
“That can be arranged! I hate those things!”
I try not to get that hot about it, but my money goes to Apple.
Since PCs solidly dominate the market whether I think they should or not, there are plenty of video editing programs for the PC market.
VIDEO EDITING ON A PC
Sony Vegas Movie Studio is popular and one of the most frequently recommended. There are several different levels for this program. I’ve seen it for $99 at the Best Buy store down the street and for $53.99 on Amazon.com. The TrustRadius reviews are mixed, some people give up in confusion but others plod through the learning curve and say it’s a good program. It can do quite a bit more than most freebies.
Corel DVD Movie Maker 6 goes for about $48 on Amazon and Pinnacle Studio runs about $50. Neither is quite as sophisticated as Sony Vegas, but as the price indicates, you can do more with them than you can with the freebies. Corel Paint shop Pro for still picture and Sony Vegas combine into one and they call it Corel Sony Visual Creation. $110 on Amazon.
HitFilm Express is FREE – yes, free – comes with a substantial range of presets and effects (including VFX), and also allows to you create and edit 3D composition. Unlike many of the free programs out there, HitFilm Express has the tools for you to create realistic green/blue screen effect compositions. If this sounds like the one for you, you could check the hitfilm express system requirements here and see if your system will support it.
Video editing software has a learning curve, but it’s really not any more difficult than using a word processing program.
Here at VideoProductionTips.com, we have an extensive article base and video tutorials that explain video editing.
If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a computer especially for editing video, get the biggest and baddest you can afford.
Video editing demands a lot of your computer. Video files are huge, and making them spin and dance requires power. Get the biggest, most powerful computer you can afford. At the time of this original writing, The Mac G-5 , now Mac Pro, blows any other computer out of the pond when it comes to computer video editing because it is the most powerful individual computer you can get. But whatever you have can work.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips
Internet Video Gal