In learning how to edit videos, many filmmakers become devoted to one particular type of editing software. Editors, just like Directors of Photography or Sound Mixers, have preferences regarding the tools they like to use.
For someone just starting out as an Editor or a filmmaker wanting to gain editing skills, it’s essential to select an editing system that is easy to learn to mitigate the frustrations that naturally come up when picking up a new skill. For some, it might also mean first trying out free options, such as Blender, DaVinci Resolve or iMovie2.
Mark Hoffmeister, Trailer Editor at Big Picture Entertainment, has this advice:
“For the ultra-beginner who has never touched any kind of editing, I suggest iMovie. It’s a good way to just cut clips together, set to music, to see what it feels like. Stepping up from that is Final Cut Pro X. It’s not great for professionals, but as with most Apple stuff, it’s pretty user-friendly. The best for someone who is serious about editing is Adobe Premiere. It’s quickly taking over in the professional field and can also be bought on a subscription basis so people can try it out and stop after a month if they don’t like it.”
Sterling Scott, Trailer Editor at Aspect Creative Marketing Agency, adds:
“Sounds like a copout but [the best beginning software is] whatever is most affordable! Being able to start is the most important thing. Once talking with your team, the best software will emerge. When learning, try a few demos for the software you can afford and get the less difficult. Software is specific to project or employer, based on needs. I can get the same creative result from iMovie as I can from the Avid system, but they definitely won’t work into the same workflow….Editing is like carpentry: I can make a straight cut with a hand saw or a circular saw (one is definitely faster). Knowing where to cut is where the profession kicks in.”