Video Editing | Media Production

In this weeks blog we are focusing on video editing. Filming and photographing media is only half the story. In order to produce engaging media a great deal of time is put into a production behind the scenes editing.

The way a film or production is edited, contributes to the mood and feel of a production. Editing can create pace and drama, the finest editors are often the unsung heroes of film production (I would say that)… but it is true!

Showreel and Edit History

At Firetree Visual Media, we now offer a freelance editing service. Both Roy and I have a background in video editing working for broadcast television. My history was in music videos and documentaries and Roy still works in Soho on popular television series, his recent work includes George Clarkes ‘Amazing Spaces’ and he is currently working on a production featuring James May.

Editing The Basics

So what really goes on behind the scenes video editing? Well quite frankly, a lot of long days staring at a computer. In the day’s of film it was a much more physical process, manually splicing and handling reels of film and sound reels. Today, film has obviously been replaced with digital media but the process is still the same.

Video editing involves cutting, trimming and re-sequencing clips shot in production to tell a linear story. The way video and audio media is put together, the order, the length of clip, where the audio falls in the sequence, plays a very significant part in how the viewer experiences the film.

clapper board and computer showing video editing


If you have ever filmed two or three hours of media and tried to find a clip within it, you will appreciate that it can be like finding a needle in a haystack. A professional shoot will obviously be meticulously organised with a clear shooting script and shot list (most anyway), and you will work with a director who will have a clear idea as to how the media should go together.

Being organised is the first key skill to have in editing. Managing and sorting hours of media, syncing audio and managing multiple cameras at the start of an edit is an essential part of the process.  Creating project folders, bins with your raw material, bins with audio clips, graphics and music is your starting point. Once you start building sequences, then you create folders with your sequences, rough cuts and edits.

You need this level of organisation to find exactly what you want in the least possible time.

back view of a lady looking at a video editing screen

Trim and Splice

Building sequences, trimming edits, mixing audio and building a finished edit that makes the best out of the media you have is essentially editing. How good the finished work, depends on both the quality of the media shot and the production level, but also the experience of the editor. Creating a ‘silk purse from a sows ear’ from hours of media that looks like it has been shot on a rollercoaster is quite often the starting point for a junior editor so by the time they are a full time editor handling media from a professional production, they are more than capable of crafting a story from any volume or quality of media. (somethings are a struggle though!)


Not enough weight is given to audio quality in semi-professional filming. Audio from a camera or worse a smartphone is usually terrible. If you are considering producing media for your own marketing, consider recording your audio with a better microphone and separate recording equipment. Yes this will involve syncing your audio with your video media in post-production but you can produce a visually stunning sequence that fails to impress because the sound is so poor.

If you planning to sync in post, clapping at the start of your shot and clearly marking your takes will make the syncing process easier later.

retro style microphone


Beginning, middle, end… simple? Editors – the professional ones – are the best storytellers there are. Films, music videos, documentaries are not just a collection of random shots put together because they look pretty. Editors provide the structure of the video, build the narrative, take the pace of the film from fast to slow, build tension and drama, evoke emotion. Whether the outcome is a music video, documentary or a marketing video, the same storytelling techniques are used in every edit.

Apps and Budget Editing

You may not have the budget to pay for a professional editor. There are many apps that can put together simple sequences from your media. Have a look at Animoto or Wave, they are limited in flexibility, but you can throw together a very rough sequence of shots for your social marketing at a very low cost. The trick if you are intending to use these apps for editing is to film very short 2 second clips, don’t record sound and stick with a simple montage of images.

Firetree Visual Media | Freelance Editing

At Firetree we are keen to help with any editing project you may have which is giving you a headache. There is very little we would not be able to edit into some sort of shape, and are able to take on larger projects, multi-cam, drama, documentary and promos.

If you are a videographer and want to outsource some of your work, we are used to managing media and working on a variety of productions.

Find our more about us and our video editing service.

Contact Firetree

Over the following few months, I will be introducing the Firetree team so don’t forget to subscribe to our blogs in the footer area of the website to keep up with us!