Skip to main content

Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 25 of 37

Editing Choices


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 25 of 37

Editing Choices


Lesson Info

Editing Choices

Editing choices; as we talk about editing choices, and again, let's remove editing choices with storytelling choices, narrative choices, thinking choices, feeling choices. It doesn't have to be editing. Take that word out of this slide and replace it with something less scary. Okay? Choices. Remove it entirely, okay? Make a decision to start. Here's the beauty of our world right now. You can make a decision and you can always change your mind. But if you don't make a decision, you can never change your mind. Okay? Especially when it comes to editing. You'll see I kept the beginning of my edit the same, the same, the same until about the very end when I flipped the statement out. Because it just didn't feel right, but I was so focused on the other parts of the edit that I couldn't focus on the beginning. It's okay, I knew that something was not right about it. And once you do this, you're gonna get a feeling. Every edit, you'll hit something, I call it the hurdle. You're gonna get to a ...

hurdle and it's gonna stop you dead in your tracks and the minute you get over that hurdle, it's easy sailing. That's the way of editing, okay? You're gonna hit a hurdle, you're gonna stop, you're gonna agonize for about two or three hours, and then once you get over that hurdle the rest of it just goes, just goes. Because everything just falls into place, okay? Every choice you make now will be one you will not have to make later. Okay, learn that. Because everything you do at the beginning of the edit will save you time from making decisions later. Which means the more you cut now, the less you'll have to cut later. The more you leave out now, the less you'll have to leave out later. Don't start with a 50 minute edit and then expect to get down to two minutes within the span of a day, right? Try to get to three and a half minutes first, okay? Get there. Remember, whatever you say yes to now you're automatically saying no to later. Okay, exact same thing. You've gotta make that choice up front. You've gotta be confident in that choice. Why are you guys confident? Because you already know what looks good. You already know how to make an image. You already know how all these things work. You just gotta step out there and actually just do it, okay? When in doubt, mute it or cut it. That's it, that's your two choices: mute it or cut it. Move it to a different track and mute it or cut it. There is no doubt in editing, there is yes or no. Okay? there is yes or no. Famous little guy said that a little bit differently, right? Star Wars? "There is no try, only do" right? Same thing here, same thing here guys. Last thing, your choices do affect tempo. And what do we mean by tempo? Have you guys ever just watched a movie and you just drag, just feels slow? That's on purpose because they make it feel that way. Other times you watch music videos, they're fast and rapid. Their choices make it feel that way. So let's talk about editing choices, okay? How they make us feel. I wanna hang here on this topic for a good moment, okay? Just hang here for a moment because I think understanding this as a concept or as concepts will really kinda bring it home for us as we start to kind of craft our narrative and craft our story, okay? So, fast or slow? That's pretty self explanatory. But what it really practically means, am I jumping from cut to cut to cut to cut very quickly or am I moving from cut to cut very slowly? Typically, right now on episodic television a cut between cameras or between angles is typically between three to four seconds, maybe five. Okay, it's getting a little bit longer these days with some of the long form episodic television, you know. But generally speaking, we're looking at three to five seconds, okay? Three to five seconds. And what that means is every three to five seconds, we're expecting a cut. And if you either make it slower than that or faster than that, it's gonna affect people's resting perception of that. So if I'm expecting a cut every three seconds and you make it every two seconds, it's gonna feel really fast to me. But then if you make it every five seconds, it's gonna make it very slow to me. If you want to practice this, just cue up a slideshow. Change the slideshow from three seconds every image to two seconds every image, and then to five seconds every image. And see which one feels better. Don't play music, don't play music to it. Just kinda see which one feels better, and that will be your resting tempo that you watch things at, okay? Generally speaking, we're all at around three seconds. Sometimes two, if you're me, okay? Linear versus nonlinear, okay? Linear means the beginning is the beginning, the middle is the middle, the end is the end, okay? So I walk into a building, I grab some cheese, I walk out of it, I go home, I make a sandwich. That's very linear, beginning, middle, and end. Nonlinear is, I could start with the sandwich, I could go, "Hey, it's a great sandwich!" And then it could be the story of me walking to the store, grabbing the cheese, walking out, going into the kitchen. Do you see how the story still is the same, but yet the end has come forward? One of the movies that always, always explains this really well is "Memento." If you guys are familiar with that movie, it is one of the best examples of a nonlinear movie. There's tons of 'em out there, "Memento" is always one that I remember. And it starts in the middle, and if it even starts in the middle, okay, if the movie starts in the middle, and then proceeds with flashbacks to current to the middle, you know, I think "Gone Girl" did that? Okay, so that's all nonlinear. And right now in the way that we are watching TV and movies, we're so intelligent that we can understand a nonlinear movie and a nonlinear TV show just like that. It takes us a few minutes, that first part is really important to communicate what type of movie we're watching but we're so smart now at watching things it comes through very quickly. Long or short? Is the cut long, is the clip long like a long take? Okay, am I following someone, is it going through a building is it a long take or is it a short take? And a long take and a short take really helps out in tempo, fast or slow. Another one is big or small. Big or small. Are we trying to fill up the frame with imagery and B-roll of big things? Are we trying to get into detail, are we trying to get in and show stuff? Or are we trying to back out and give people space to see? And this here is informed by our shoot, what we're capturing, okay? So when we get to our editing, it's like okay, do I wanna give people like a really close up look on how these things are in real life or do I wanna pull 'em back and let them kind of experience it and not be so intense about it? Do I punch in and just show faces as things are happening? Or do I pull back and let them be just a spectator, or supposed to be a participant? These are shooting choices that help us in the edit. So again, as we think about projects and things you're doing, thinking about your How-Tos, right? The cooking How-Tos. The choices you make here can greatly affect the perception. 'Cause if it's fast, nonlinear, short clips with small detail, with big detail, it's entirely different than the other opposites, right? And it creates something entirely different. So sitting down and figuring out how you want the story to feel in this way is going to get you a million years light ahead. Because it's gonna give you something to grasp onto when you're sitting there looking at the nebulous void of a timeline. Okay? How are we doing, guys? Do you have questions here? Awesome. Cool. Alright, so when I looked at Ivan's timeline, what does this all mean? Here was the one I decided. But to give you can idea, I could have led in with Ivan introducing himself and then moved to an emotional statement. And then I could have described the customer, showed the family, and finished on the why. I could have just flipped those two, right? The thing about an edit is you theoretically can move any of these components in any portion, in any place, and the story should still be able to make sense in some way, shape, or form with some minor tweaks, k? But when you chunk it down and you've got these components, you should be able to move them around in your edit and the edit should still make sense. So when you get to that moment, let's say you thought this was the thing, if you wanna try messing around when you're at that point, you could do that still. And I encourage you to do that. We're actually gonna look at three different edits. We're gonna look at actually these three edits later on. And we can see how they work, and when I do them I still can't make my mind up and I'm gonna go with the one I wanted initially because I think that's a good one.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video