Video editing software. Three simple words but rather a mouthful, concerning the figurative jungle of a tangled, confused, overcrowded market that this term refers to.
Find what will work best for your ministry.
If you’re looking to dive in or are just kicking around the idea of upgrading, how do you navigate this haystack of options? What’s the best software package/suite?
Assess Your Needs
You’ll first want to ask about what are your ministry’s needs and goals. For real, plan this out, if you haven’t already. We all want to crank out great videos like the professionals, but you’d better have your act together, before you charge ahead.
Are you in a rural area, operating out of a church that serves a small community, by simply posting basic videos on YouTube? If that’s the case, the 80-90 percent of the time you’re essentially doing the same thing week after week, and you don’t need a full-featured Adobe Creative Suite, or its price tag.
The flip side of that coin, though, is for those of you that have an active media production program, with multiple outlets across television, mobile, social media, live streams and web embeds. This is the category my own church falls into, so I can safely tell you that you’re in need of a feature-rich creative solution.
Let’s look at the software cheap route
For those of you who don’t have a budget at all, and need a low-cost option and frankly, the freer the betterer likely serves you best. You have some pretty good options at this end of the spectrum.
Software options like Hitfilm Express, DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer First just to name a few are available. Heck, even iMovie can get your job done.
These are all cross platform by the way, which is a big plus, even if you don’t understand why. Just trust me on that point.
Going free is going to present you with the ever-present hurdles of overcoming a production system that has been assembled piecemeal and you should be aware that sometimes file types from different publishers don’t always shake hands like they should.
The good news is that these are free so, oh well. Download them and launch a few things, see how it all feels. Find what will work best for your ministry. I can’t tell you that, because I’m not in your chair in your church in your community, charged with reaching your people.
That’s on you.
I can tell you that the best option here that I’ve used to this point is DaVinci Resolve. It’s too good. I can’t believe they just give it out, but there are no complaints here on this end. It’s a little resource heavy, though, and if you’re on a budget, you may not have a beefy workstation either. Trying it out for free is free so, get on it.
While you’re assembling your free-to-use workhorse, be sure and get a copy of Audacity for your sound editing as well. it’s great. Why do you need this? Can’t you just edit sound clips in your video editor? Yeah, of course you can. But video editors, deep down, are for video, not sound. There’s no such thing as a good video with bad sound. Clean up and enhance your audio quality.
Getting a big bang for your big bucks
Let’s drop names. Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, Sony Vega, DaVinci Resolve. All great choices with a wide variety of features, applications and price points.
They all do the same thing.
They cut and render video.
The creative values appear when you begin pairing them with other programs, like when you mix FCPX and Motion to create sweet animated graphical sequences. It’s a match made in heaven.
I could go through each and give you a big list of boring specs, but let’s get right down the point. Who’s the real winner here?
I can’t deny it, because I can’t seem to get away from Adobe Creative Cloud 2020. Not just Premiere but Premiere as a part of a suite with After Effects, Media Encoder, Photoshop, Audition, and even Lightroom at times.
Videos, titles, graphical sequences, animations, audio track processing, whatever. You name it, and for $50 a month, you can do anything you can imagine and schedule.
Adobe’s addition of Motion Graphics into Premiere has done more to up the quality of our productions than anything ever. If you’re not sure what this is, it’s essentially a module that allows you to drop After Effects elements directly into your timeline, that can be edited on the fly within Premiere, without having to swap back and forth into AE when you need to twiddle the knobs on an element.
I feel free as a bird now. More than that, the availability of free hints, tips, tricks, plugins, templates, effects, tutorials and everything else you need is ubiquitous, because of the widespread use of Creative Cloud.
Are there other suites that include video editing software that can pump out the same production quality? Sure. What’s the difference?
Compatibility (as it pertains to collaboration), quality, versatility and the outrageous quantity of resources that are available for Adobe’s video, image and audio collection puts CC above the rest for me.
If you haven’t jumped on board with Adobe CC yet, I strongly recommend it. It’s a great bundle for the price and if it doesn’t work for your needs, there’s always DaVinci.