7 Common Video Editing Mistakes | From My 5 Years Experience

Updated on October 13, 2021

As a professional video editor, I've edited hundreds or maybe even thousands of videos. Over the years working in video editing, I've encountered many things that can be improved or optimized during the video editing process, leading to a better product. I've also seen many edits that were ruined by simple editing mistakes. Here's a list of the 7 common video editing mistakes I see most often, and what you can do to avoid making them yourself.

1. Not Properly Preparing Video Editing Footage for Editing

Every video editor knows how crucial it is to prepare footage for editing before starting the actual edit. If you expect to make a good edit without taking the time to properly prepare footage for editing, you're probably going to end up with a lot of wasted time or/and not that good quality final product.

Preparation for video editing includes choosing the right frame rate, audio sample rate, and sorting the footage.

2. Wrong Frame Rate

So as I mentioned about the preparation process, this is probably the most common mistake I see among beginners, and it's a very simple mistake to solve. The wrong frame rate can be selected because users are not aware of the frame rate differences of their footage and set in project settings, so they just import everything at "default" 30fps (frames per second), or maybe they didn't even know there was more than 1 option for frame rate. This leads to the skipped frames or "jerking" that you see in the video, most noticeable when playing fast-moving scenes.

3. Transitions That Were Incorrectly Chosen

Incorrectly chosen transitions can really ruin an edit, and this is another editing mistake that includes a wrong setting as well as incorrect application during the edit. As you probably already know, there are many options for video editing transition effects like "dissolves", "wipes" etc. Each transition has its own characteristics and requirements. Some should be applied only on specific video types or shot types, some should be applied for a short time and on specific moments of the edit, etc.

4. Wrong Color Correction

It is very common to see oversaturated, too bright, or too dark footage when the color correction was either overdone, non-existent, or incorrectly applied. Some novice video editors don't realize that the color correction settings or just LUT's are not the same for all video footage. There are many aspects you need to consider before applying the final color corrections like your brand, mood or style of source footage, personal preferences, etc. There are a lot of wrong practices that you can observe in many amateur videos, but one of the most common mistakes is trying to force all footage into one mood / preset while it was shot at different times of the day, lightning and footage have completely opposite white balance.

5. Noise Reduction for Low-Quality Footage

I mostly see this mistake among beginners who try to correct poorly shot footage by applying noise reduction filters on them without properly understanding what's happening. Usually, part of the noise can be removed from your footage with proper color grading and video editing grade filters that you have in the editing program, but, if you shoot with low resolution, there will be some noise that is not possible to remove completely. All you can do about it is lowering your target audience's expectations and resolving the "noise" issue for them by adding soft "focus" filters on top of footage in motion. Also, by adding noise reduction filters you need to keep in mind that overdoing it will make your footage soft looking.

6. Audio Issues

There are many bad practices that can be seen in amateur videos when it comes to audio. Usually, this is the result of using cheap mics and equipment for recording sound on set, you should keep in mind that getting a good quality sound is not possible with many consumer video cameras. So if you are shooting something important with bad microphones or a poor recorder, you need to try your best to fix the bad sound in post-production (as much as possible).

7. Underestimating the power of audio layers

I'm sure you've seen some popular videos where the quality of sound maybe was not the best, but thanks to their choice of background music and mixing the audio with various effects, the end result sounded great. Many people underestimate the importance of the right music choice and its impact on video, even though it is one of the factors that affect the final viewer's experience. Carefully selected music and sounds effects can improve video energy and emotional impact as well as make it more relatable.

Finally, one of the most common mistakes is rushing an edit, not taking time to think about it. Many people try to save money by cutting corners and rush-editing their videos with bad sound effects, bad music, basic text titles, etc. So always try your best to plan ahead and prepare everything correctly before you start editing!

Don't forget to check out our other articles for more helpful video tips and useful guides. Thanks and all the best!

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