Hopefully, you’ve all been busy shooting the scenes of your movies. Once you have all your footage ‘in the can’ you can begin the third and final stage of filmmaking: post-production. This mostly involves editing your film together and adding any extra bits.
Select your editing software
There are loads of options when choosing how you want to edit your movie. Firstly, decide if you're going to do the editing on the same device you did the filming.
If this is a smartphone or tablet, you can find editing applications that work on Android and Apple. Some of them are entirely free, but others might charge money, or offer paid-for extra features.
Some we like are:
KineMaster (Android & iOS)
FilmoraGo (Android & iOS)
If you can use an actual computer instead, there are editing applications that already have more features. Again, some are free and are a great place to start learning your editing skills.
iMovie (free on every Apple Mac)
HitFilm Express (Windows & Mac)
Filmora (Windows & Mac)
As always, check with the adult who pays for apps before downloading.
Before you start editing
Ideally, you filmed your movie using the storyboards you created in Pre-Production. If so, the storyboards can guide you in correctly building your story. Even if the filming didn’t go exactly to plan, the storyboards are a great place to start and can remind you of your original idea.
You may also have to transfer the video files from your camera/device to your editing computer. Don’t delete anything from the camera just yet though! It’s best to make sure you have all the material you need first.
The first process of editing is to get your story in the correct order: The beginning > The Middle > the End. All the fancy stuff can wait until later, having a story that makes sense is what makes your movie even better.
To start with, you may have to pick the best takes of scenes you’ve recorded. That could be based on the best performances by your actors, or those that just look really good.
If you have talking in your scenes, make sure all the dialogue is in the right order and people aren’t cut-off before they’ve finished speaking.
If you realise something is missing - maybe you forgot the film an important scene or an actor got their lines wrong - it’s never too late to reassemble your cast and crew to film the missing parts.
Despite the name, this part doesn’t have anything to do with the internet.
Instead, once you have your story built, the next stage is to add any transitions, graphics, special effects, sound effects, music and credits.
The editing application you use will have lots of built-in transitions you can use to move between your scenes. If you’ve seen any Star Wars movies, you’ll like recognise ‘Wipes’ as a transition used all the time.
Graphics might include adding photographs or other images needed to help tell your story, or keep the audience informed.
Special Effects could be all sorts of spectacular things, like lighting bolts, explosions, or green screen background replacement. Check what your editing software can do and if it has any special effect templates included.
Sound Effects are used to help your action feel more real. You could be adding noises of vehicles moving, buttons being pushed, alarms going off or even phones ringing. If the sounds you want aren’t on offer in your editing software, you can try recording them yourself with items around your home.
Music can be a great way to give your scenes more emotion. That might be because the moments are sad, scary exciting or even funny. Your editing app should let you use music already on your device, or have its own selection of instrumental tracks available.
Remember that the volume of any Sound Effects or Music used in your film shouldn’t be louder than people talking. Your editing app should let you adjust the levels of all sound to get a perfect mix.
Credits are shown at the start and/or end of movies. They tell the audience the names of the actors, the director, the producer, writer and film crew that made the film. All editing apps will have text templates you can use for your credits. They’re a great way to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who helped bring your creation to life.
The World Premiere
Once you’re happy with your final cut, your film is ready to share with the world.
Your editing software will allow you to save your film directly to the device, where it can be moved to other devices, and even streamed to your television. If you have access to a YouTube account, you can even upload it for friends and family to enjoy.
It’s important you show your film to as many people as possible. Not only will they love it, they’ll be able to help inspire you to make your next blockbuster production even better.