The Cons of Video Editing: Reasons Not to Edit Your Video Footage

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What is Video Editing?

Video editing is really where a film is put together. This is where you select video clips, arrange them properly, alter them in the way you want, import outside audio and video, and really put together the final product. Video editing software and associated technology has become incredibly easy, especially when professional video editing software became accessible with Final Cut Pro. Video editing changes the fundamental nature of what you have and allows you to create something new, but this may not be what you want. Video as you have it can serve a number of purposes and video editing may compromise this. Here are a few cons of video editing that you may have to deal with.

Direct Footage

One of the major cons of video editing, especially as it applies to documentary or other type of non-fiction filmmaking or documentation, is that it simply cuts out footage. This means that as an observational tool, the video is compromised in that you will not see everything. Video editing forces you to prioritize footage, which is a creative choice. This is fine in the filmmaking sense, but does not give the audience raw footage that they can watch and make up their own mind about. In most cases people do not have the time to watch hours of raw footage and you will have little interest in doing this either, but these situations do exist.

Home Video

With video editing programs like iMovie, many people have begun editing their home movies into little video pieces that really act like the highlights of a child’s sports game or vacation. This is fine in a certain sense, but you again miss all the special little moments from your video that would not get seen except outside of their original format. Since people rarely save their base footage after editing you will end up losing most of this, and this can be priceless to your family. This loss can also compromise access to the video history of your family from years passed that could be used for different purposes later on.


Real non-linear video editing is expensive. A computer that can handle the video editing software is expensive, and the software itself will often run over a thousand dollars. You will most often need to take the footage from the camera and capture it to your computer for video editing, which can require tape deck equipment. The time it takes to actually edit your footage is substantial, not to mention the long periods it will take to learn it. Then is compression, DVD authoring, and the rest of the process. Oftentimes you may just want to take the base footage and get it onto a DVD, which you can get simple equipment for without having to invest time and energy into a professional video editing suite.

Making it Worse

Video editing is a technical and creative form that is difficult to get down. People spend years studying and practicing video post-production, and since there are only techniques and no guidelines you have a lot of choices ahead of you. If you are simply trying to show footage as it is you may end up creating a series of distracting cuts that take away from the general video all together.