Edit a Great Video Fast With These Simple Tips!

by Steven Washer on October 21, 2015

Editing your own video can be daunting. I get it. So much of how your message is received has to do with the way it looks and sounds. If you want to present in a way that it can be appreciated, then you need some degree of control over the tools that are capable of making that happen.

Of course the fear is that you won’t be up to the task. That’s a disturbing thought, especially if you’ve made it this far on the video path.

For once you get beyond the magic of what lighting and microphones and backdrops and scripts can offer, you find yourself standing at the doorstep of a video editing program. And maybe that seems to be a door with a lock on it that only a professional can open.

Well, I’m here to tell you that thought is an illusion. It’s an illusion of the exact same type that told you you could not be on video in the first place; that that was only for those few “chosen” ones. Yet somehow you saw through that illusion and broke through to the freedom that putting yourself on camera can offer.

So, OK,  you’ve now discovered that was just the first step in a multi-step process. And while this next step seems harder, the truth is, it’s much easier.

Many of today’s video editing programs can help you fly through the process, if you know what to do with them.

You just need a recipe. It’s that simple.

Here’s mine. It’s a way to cut your editing time by 85% without losing a bit of quality. I think you’ll like it.

There’s strategy for all three parts of the edit process, including:

  1. The Shoot
  2. The Pre-Edit
  3. The Adjustments

When you combine these elements, you’re easily able to cut down your time, your frustration and up your quality by a fairly large percentage!

This strategy will defeat worry, crush doubt, decimate anxiety and hand you yet another big video breakthrough.

Not a bad outcome for an 11 minute investment. 🙂


And if you need some recommendations for an entry-level editing program, just click below to see what works today.

  1. Sony
  2. Adobe
  3. Apple

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Derry October 21, 2015 at 9:58 am

As always Steve, great video with informative, useful content. Although I’m not sure how a ‘Cow’ produces eggs??? (See egg box) 😉


Steven Washer October 21, 2015 at 9:59 am

I wondered the same thing myself! 🙂


Mel Hardman October 21, 2015 at 10:10 am

You did a nice job explaining a very challenging subject — editing video. May I add a thought or two about the editing systems you’ve recommended?

I own Sony Vegas Pro (bought both v11 and v12).
I found their tutorials very….well, what’s the right word? Boring, difficult trying to follow (with no narration), time consuming and, well, I just don’t even use them. Adobe Premiere? With all of the great wonderful technical capability they built into Photoshop, so little got transferred to their video editor—Premiere. What I got…for the time and effort it took left me totally un-enchanted with it.

I recognize I was probably spoiled right from the beginning of my editing career by having my first introduction being the AVID Media Composer; but, when I wanted an editor for shorter, less complicated web site videos than the TV shows I edited with the AVID, I turned to a little system called Camtasia Studio. Not only is it a great screen capturing system, its version 8 now lets me do anything I can imagine…and so much easier and simpler than Sony or Premiere …and faster.

I know… I’ve heard you say you didn’t like Camtasia. I use the word ‘didn’t’ because you must have based you experience with Camtasia on the earlier versions. Version 8 really brings Camtasia to the forefront. ( As I recall…. I paid more for both Sony and Adobe Premiere than Camtasia; or, maybe it was just because I got v8 for their upgrade price.)

Anyway… again, you did a very nice job explaining video editing. I’m sure every one of your customers will appreciate it.

PS: Amazing how nobody ever believes a video editor when we say
‘it takes an hour to edit one minute of video’….and that’s just the first rough cut!
I usually spend days polishing and fine-tuning edits, exits and entries and
syncing music for maximum impact.


Steven Washer October 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

Great comments, Mel! Yes, Camtasia 8 does a lot and will handle all of this very nicely, including greenscreen now, but I was going for entry-level pricing and basic functionality.

And of course, our editing tutorials aren’t boring. 🙂


Peter October 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Love your style and content Steve. For a future video or post could you give your thoughts on iOS video editing software? I’m thinking of taking the plunge with the new iPad pro and am wondering if it will be good enough for short video production of up to 15 minutes max productions. More than likely I’ll only be doing 2 -5 minute videos.

Looking out for it.



Steve October 22, 2015 at 8:04 am

Well, Peter, the videos would have to be pretty small for an iPad. Raw video takes a lot of space, and a 15 minute video could take more than is available on the iPad. Plus there is the frustration factor of trying to do some of these things with substandard tools. Still, there is the fun factor. That alone might keep you going. I’ve edited a couple of very short videos for fun on the iPhone, and while it was a hoot, it was far too slow and clunky to be considered for business. But that’s just me. YMMV.


Steven Washer November 6, 2015 at 5:31 pm

I looked into this further and changed my mind. I think your iPad strategy will work.
Here’s how: http://www.brainyvideo.com/blog/2015/11/edit-business-class-videos-imovie/


Lucas Selbach October 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Hi Steve!
Great recipe! That cookie seems to taste really good!

I use Adobe Premiere Pro since 2001 (with Matrox at that time). Tried Vegas but simply didn’t had time to steep the learning curve. And Apple has prohibitive prices in Brazil (it is sad, but check this article to take a look http://thenextweb.com/la/2012/09/30/from-brazil-cost-brazil-profit-why-electronics-expensive-brazil/).

Really loved the recipe, it is simple but very effective.
Specially about the soundtrack, sometimes I spend more than one hour to find a track.

So, thanks again and hope that many people enjoy this wisdom!
Cheers from Brazil!

Lucas Selbach


Steven Washer October 21, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Thanks, Lucas. Too bad about that 60% tax on Apple products. It’s amazing the things we do in the name of saving business from itself.


Lucien October 21, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Great video as always Steve. Really like the baking recipe analogy. Also want to say that your key was very convincing. I thought that you were actually in your kitchen. What software did you use to edit this video?


Steven Washer October 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm

Glad you enjoyed it, Lucien! The green screen is just what I teach in the Video Brain Trust. You can get this effect from any of the standard editing packages today if you follow the right recipe. 😉


Renato October 22, 2015 at 6:36 am

Hi Steve, in an increasing mobile video consuming market, do you think we should opt to a more vertical or at least squared video format to better match smartphone screens? I just bumped with this video today and I think it has to do with this trend: https://www.facebook.com/buzzfeedtasty/videos/1660703770848932/


Steve October 22, 2015 at 7:00 am

While that’s certainly an interesting video, there are two very practical reasons I would never opt for that format. 1. Smartphone screens are not square. They are rectangular. In fact, they are the exact aspect ratio found in HD video. Making a square video wastes a lot of that precious real estate. 2. Video cameras do not shoot square videos. You’d have to create that video in post production through a rather complicated process of cropping the picture. And that would take a lot of extra time, both in shooting and editing. But that’s just me. I may simply be too lazy. 🙂


Grahame November 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Hi Steve
Very engaging and informative as always. I found the jump cuts tips very handy and a great reminder to ensure your video looks more professional than amateur.


Steven Washer November 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Well thank you, Grahame! Glad you found it helpful.


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