Sep 13, 2017

Using YouTube to learn video editing

by Julian
Julian Brehney
Communications & Video Producer
“My arms looks like two long, beige tubes! I'm going to the gym now.”

When he was 21, Julian was riding his bicycle down St Kilda Road in heavy traffic. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw something magical - two dogs having sex. In his excitement, he swerved across eight lanes of traffic. 

Even though he nearly died that day, his video "2 dawgs going at it" went viral, receiving 128 views on Facebook and a "lollll" from Greg. He's been working as a videographer ever since.

Lightcreative  Julian  V2

I decided to learn video editing because I wanted to make skate videos, it’s that simple. I was around 16 and spent most of my free time either skating or looking through the www.skateboard.com.au forums. The forums were constantly updated with short skate clips made by members of the local skating community. I wanted to to contribute so I bought a camera and started making some of my own. As I got older, and was skating less, I started enjoying film in general. I wanted to make comedies or action movies one day, so I started making sketches and posting them on YouTube.

The point is that I always started with what I wanted to make, and then learnt how to do it. I didn’t pick up ‘Video Editing for Dummies’, and learn every single element of editing in chronological order. I would have been wasting my time. Instead, I decided what type of video I wanted make, and I worked backwards from there to learn the effect. This is the best way to stay passionate about something you love, and to constantly test your skills. You don’t have to know everything, just enough to finish the project. By the time the video is rendered, you’ll know more than when you started, and you’ll have practical experience to boot!

We live in an amazing time for self-teaching. Through the miracle of YouTube, and its thousands of bored contributors, there are years of online tutorials to help you learn video editing. If you have a quick Google you’ll find online courses completely for free that teach you everything from A-Z. But, as I said before, that’s not what I would recommend.

Instead, go to Google, type in the effect you want to learn, and watch the 5 minute video that explains it. When I wanted to learn how to do kinetic typography, I found this video in about 5 seconds.

At the time it was way to advanced for me as I had barely used After Effects at all, and didn’t know the basics. But as I slowly made my way through the tutorial, I learned all the basics I needed, and skipped the irrelevant ones. It’s just like learning to swim by diving in the deep end. Except the worst consequence you could face is a messy project file, not literally drowning. 

One of the YouTube channels I followed religiously, and helped me learn video editing, was FreddieW. They would make a fun weekly sketch with special effects of everything from portal guns to knife throwing. Then they would release a clip explaining how they did it. Just like this one.

Have a look around YouTube and see if you can find your perfect channel.

Don’t get too bogged down in having all of the best programs. What’s more important is to just use what you’ve got, and learn by doing. This is explained perfectly by FreddieW himself.

Having said all of that, it’s a slightly different story if you’re looking to make videos for your business. Not only because the stakes are higher, but because you won’t be paying for the programs yourself!

In that case, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud. This is a suite of programs for everything from photoshopping to motion graphics. You can pick which programs you need, and ignore the rest. And they have great functionality between them with the Dynamic Link setting the makes workflows much less of a hassle.

Video is  a requirement of modern marketing and digital engagements. You can learn more about it here, but the take away is that expertise in video makes you more valuable to clients. And from a non-business perspective. It’s just really fun. And it’s never been easier to get started.