Video Editing

If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine what video – which is basically a series of pictures in fast succession – can say about you, your advocacy, or your business.  A singular, well-composed and carefully thought out picture already has the potential to relate to your audience what you are all about.  Multiply this potential into several frames per second, and the possibilities are endless.

Video offers a platform from which you can deliver a story – your story.  It tells this story in a manner which evokes not just a sensory experience, but also emotions and thought.  In this digital age, this kind of connection is indeed vital to get your products and messages across in a way that is personal.

Producing and editing videos is something that most anyone can do.  Your video can either be a straight video, or a series of photos and texts strung together, or a combination.  There is a wide range of video editing tools and techniques available to the newbie.  Sometimes the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming and confusing.  The key to making the whole process of video editing easier is having a good, solid storyline.  When you are clear about the message you want to send across, then the choices become easier and less intimidating.  This guide will give a basic overview of video editing for PC users.

Again, it’s always best to start with a good outline of the story you want to share in your video.  Treat your video like an essay; so you need an outline, with main points and subpoints, to serve as the roadmap for the project.  If able, you can even conceptualize or paint a picture of how you want a particular segment to look like and create what is called a storyboard; basically an outline with pictures.  The outline or storyboard serves as a guide in the subsequent steps of video editing: collecting material, choosing your editing tool, familiarizing with the interface, and playing with effects.

With an outline already in hand, you can start taking video and collecting materials to support your storyboard.  A script will be helpful to ensure that you or your actors are ready with what must be said when the cameras start rolling.  You may also want to gather some photos that you want to flash, or music to play in the background or provide added effect to the images you present.

Once you’ve got your materials and outline, you can then proceed with actual editing.  There is a variety of programs for video editing.  For newbies on PC systems, you can start with Windows Movie Maker.  When you open Movie Maker, the interface is split into two halves:  the top half is where you can view the materials and effects available for the project, while the bottom half shows a timeline where you can line up the images, audio, or text that you want to appear in the video.

The first step is to “Import Media”.  This step loads your materials into Movie Maker, so you can then simply drag them from the top pane to their place on the timeline on the bottom pane.  A preview pane is available on the upper right corner of the interface, where you can playback the video to check how your images, music and texts are aligned.

Text and effects may be added to enhance your video using “Titles and Credits” under the “Tools” menu.  You may want to include the video title, your name and contact information (necessary if you want to make sales), and some details that you want to emphasize.  These may be added before or after the video, or superimposed on a particular image or point in time in the video by dragging the title block to the appropriate place in the timeline.

Play around with Movie Maker.  Pull down the “Tools” menu to see more options to further enhance your video.  In “Titles and Credits” you can change fonts, colors, and the placement of texts against your images.  Right-clicking on the blocks representing your materials in the timeline also opens up more transitions and effects.  When you are ready, you can then upload your video to YouTube or Facebook using their own uploading tools.

While getting comfortable with Movie Maker, you can also explore specific tools or techniques that bring your videos – and your businesses – further, like those found on  The site lists tips on how to further enhance your videos, and teaches by example by presenting through videos its ideas or products.

To recap, the key to basic video editing is a clear outline and familiarizing yourself with the tools available.  Keep your purpose and objective in mind, while allowing yourself to play around, make mistakes, and find out which works best for you.


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