Video Editing
Video editing can be a daunting process. In this section we aim to simplify the whole process from downloading the assets onto your computer, setting up a projects in Adobe Premiere, editing a short one minute video piece and then exporting this video in a high resolution master file and a small web ready video. In addition we will also look at how to edit a simple time lapse

We are going to cover all the steps in a basic editing workflow in this section, of course there are more complex tools and methods, but with the tools you’ll learn here you’ll know enough to competently produce a professional quality video edit. It’s pretty important you go through this section methodically, setting up an editing project needs a systemised workflow.

Organising Assets
Extras: Time lapse

For this section we are editing our video in Abobe Premiere CS5 as it is available on both PC and MAC platforms.  There are many other non linear video editors available and even though the interface might differ all of the editing principles and many of the tools remain the same.

The next series of videos will cover editing together a short one minute video about the ice swimmers in Houhai lake, a famous Beijing sightseeing and recreation spot.

Organising assets

Organising your assets is the first step of video editing.

It’s important to create a workflow and set up a system for dealing with all the assets you will produce whilst working as a multimedia journalist. Before you start to edit your video your assets needs to be ingested, browsed and finally organised before you can start video editing.

Once you have your files ingested into your computer label your footage in order to pick out video, audio and even images that you might want to use in your video edit. There are many tools available but Adobe Bridge works well for multimedia projects.

Once your assets are labelled and transcoded you can set up a project in Adobe Premiere and begin to edit and create your video. Remember to set up a premiere project with the same frame rate and frame size settings from your camera.

The timeline

In this video Peter introduces how to edit in Adobe Premiere software.

To start editing your videos you need to browse your assets to find the clips you need to build your narrative.

Now there are no right or wrong answers in telling a story but it’s best to usually start your video by introducing a location to set the scene. Then follow this by introducing your character or characters and then either allow them to tell the story through your interview or narrate the story with a voice over.

To edit the videos you can either use in and out points on the source or you can drag the clip onto the timeline and use the cut tool.

Once you have put a few video clips on the timeline you can then edit your interview to remove any unwanted footage and to isolate quotes from your subject.


Peter starts to layer his video into A-roll and B-roll.

Once you have your interview edited and some footage it’s time to start to layer your video. We usually separate our footage into A -roll for our interview and B-roll which is our general footage or supplementary footage which is used to intercut with our interview.

It helps to separate these two type of video into separate video channels and then cut from one to the other.

The interview generally provides the structure of the story and then is visually aided with the B-roll.

Another great feature of layering your video is the ability to cover over any jump cuts you have in the interview by adding your b-roll over the jump cut.


After layering your video it’s necessary to smooth out any transitions in your video.

Once you have made your layers it’s  time to smooth out the transitions and make the audio and the video cuts much less apparent. This is achieved by avoiding cutting audio and video at the same time.

To soften the transitions you can use the pen tool to fade in the audio and the video as needed.


In this video Peter explains how to add titles to videos.

All videos need title slides to introduce the video this is simple and easy to do in Premiere using the titling tool.

In addition to titles you will also need to add a lower third to introduce anyone you interview in your videos. Adobe comes with lower third templates installed and can be easily edited and adapted.

Lastly if you are producing a video in a foreign country or conducting an interview in a language that differs to the target market then you will have to add subtitles to the videos. Again subtitles maybe created using the titling tool but its important to remember to add a grey box underneath your subtitles or use a drop shadow so they can be read easily.


In this sixth video Peter explains how to correct some common mistakes using video filters.


Sometimes you may make mistakes when shooting your video. Perhaps you have under or overexposed your video or the white balance isn’t quite right.

It is possible to correct these mistakes by using video filters. There are a range of filters available in Adobe Premiere. The colour correcter and brightness/contrast filters are covered in video below.

If you are producing journalism videos there is a limit to which you can alter the colour and tone of your video. For more specialist toning and colouring information have a look at installing a custom made camera profile from Cinestyle.


In this video Peter exports his final video.

Once you have completed your video edit you have to then export your media. As a rule its generally a good idea to export a high quality master file of your project which can then be used to create smaller web versions if needed.

Several video compression and codec options are available and there is no definitive answer. H264 is a very popular codec and is used to create MPEG or MP4 files which are one of the most used formats for online videos. Flash  or FLV video files can be created and can really reduce the file size of your video but it will not be viewable on any Apple IOS devices like the iphone or iPad. It’s best to stay with MP4 and MPEG 4 and reduce the bit-rate to reduce the file size.

Extra: Timelapse

In this extras video Peter goes through how to edit together a simple time lapse.

Time lapses can be a visually interesting addition to your videos and are actually produced by combining many photographs together.

In order to put together a time lapse you first need to correct the aspect ratio of your images to 16:9  from the traditional 4:3 ratio. Is it easier and time efficient to do this in Lightroom as it can apply the crop to all your images quickly and easily. Once you have your images exported you import them into Premiere and by reducing the standard for how long images are displayed on the timeline a time lapse can be created.

Continue to the next module: Infographics: Introduction