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Ahhhhhhhh….. learning video would be fun they said. Learning video would be easy they said. haha. Well, learning video is exciting, but it can quickly get over complicated. The question we get often in our Life in Motion workshop is about video editing software. There are so many out there, some you buy one time, some are cloud based, and some are free.

What are you looking for in a video editing software, will honestly determine what you need. For us, we like to keep our videos simple and really only need a few essentials. Our essential video editing software must haves are: A way to import video clips, cut clips down to a desired length, place clips where we want them, overlay music, some slight color correction, and exporting. Those features should be found in most free or paid for software.

Cloud Based Programs

We use Premiere Pro honestly because we have the Adobe cloud and use multiple other Adobe programs. We needed the full cloud for our business making it a no-brainer to use Premiere. We really like Premiere although like any robust program (that does WAY more than we use it for) there is a learning curve.  Premiere is on the cloud meaning we pay a monthly subscription. The advantage of a cloud based program is you get all the newest updates. The downside if you are paying monthly.

One Time Purchased Programs

If we weren’t using Premiere I think we would have used Final Cut Pro. I believe this is only for Macs, but essentially it is very similar to Premiere. Final cut is a one time purchase and costs a few hundred dollars. The great thing is you buy it once.  The downside is it costs a bit more upfront than cloud based programs. The other downside with a one time purchase is you may not get the newest updates automatically, but often sides offer updates on their websites for free or at a discount.  You can also purchase Premiere Elements and other one time purchase editors on line and from office supply retailers. Again, you are looking for relativity simple editing features if you are a beginner.

Free Software

There are some free software options like iMovie and DaVinci Resolve.  Most people have heard of iMovie and the simplicity of it. It’s for Mac’s only though, which isn’t helpful if you are on a PC. My only issue with iMovie is that sometimes programs are so simple that it makes it hard to do anything outside of box. I believe iMovie has scaled back some of their features really simplifying the program, which is both a pro and a con. Making videos from your phone is really easy and consist of dragging and dropping cell phone or dropbox based images/clips into a timeline and boom! you have a video. But by making it simple for everyone to easily use, some of the advanced features are either harder to find or have been dropped. For a beginner who isn’t sure if they want to purchase video editing software, I think it is a great way to go.  The other free program many of our students have used is DiVanci Resolve. You can download it onto your computer. They offer a free and a paid for version. The free version is very robust. I honestly haven’t used it, but I have eyed some tutorials. This program, while free, isn’t simple like iMovie. It can do a whole lot, but it will require you to do some Youtube tutorials. I haven’t tested or reviewed Filmora Video Editor for Mac, but it is another free program that come up in my search for video editors. It maybe another one to check out!

 

If you are thinking of taking either our Life in Motion video workshop or another video class our suggestion is to start out small and build up, especially if you are brand new. Understand that some of the free or cheaper box programs will have limitations. On the other hand more robust programs will leave your brain hurting for a bit as you learn it. But once you learn the handful of tools you need to create amazing videos you won’t be nearly as overwhelmed. It is like moving to a new city… you learn your way around soon enough and you find things accidentally that you find you really love.

You can also find free trials for programs. Most offer at least seven days to download and look at the program.  Which is nice to take advantage of. Another thing to consider is space and RAM. If you are working on an older computer or a jammed packed computer (guilty!!), you may find running a video editor frustrating. Many take up quite a bit of space and and RAM.

So…what is this workshop you speak of. Ok yes..shameless plug. We are teaching over at Click Photo School and have the opportunity to lead others into the world of video through our workshop Life in Motion! Life in Motion is the companion to our breakout (immediate PDF download ) Photography in Motion.  With these two classes you will rock your video equipment and storytelling.

So, who should take this workshop? We believe anyone can learn video, but there are some photography skills you need. First you need to understand how to shoot in manual mode. While this this is a beginner video class, honestly it is an advanced photography level. This workshop is 5 weeks and by the end of the 5 weeks you will have completed three videos if you complete the course. All that equals a lot of fun work! We offer two kinds of seats for this class, a full participant and a study along. The full participant is all in. They get to ask questions, do assignments, submit assignments for our feedback, and get a one on one with Amy or I to take about whatever video topic they want.  Study alongs get to take advance to all of the questions others ask, get to take in the info, and really do the class at their own pace.

 

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