Video Editing Hibernation


by Clara Lieu

Although I’m now fairly proficient with using Premiere to edit video, I’m still learning more every day about the editing process.  I’m constantly looking for ways to make my editing process more efficient, but it’s still a rocky process at times, with occasional moments of panic that can be pretty stressful.

However, as challenging as the process is, learning how to shoot and edit video has been really exciting. It’s been really interesting for me to compare how completely different the process is compared to drawing/printmaking/sculpture. Not only are the materials incredibly different, but the entire mindset and work rhythms are in great contrast to what I’m used to.  For example, I’m accustomed to having only about 40% of what I create actually get used and exhibited in a public setting. The concept of not using everything I create, and throwing out pieces that took hours of labor is not foreign.  However, I was not prepared for how much more dramatic this would process would be in terms of video. I feel like with video, only about 5% of what I create actually ends up in the finished product.


Putting together our sizzle reel to announce the upcoming site launch took a painful amount of time for a video that is only 1:30 minutes long. I spent two afternoons outside of our studio shooting B roll clips with various artists that amounted to about 10 hours total. In the end, only about 15 seconds of those 10 hours ended up in the sizzle reel.

When editing the tutorials, I feel like I’m lopping off heads left and right.  I do several passes of editing because each time I watch the footage, I see something different. A video that began as a 10 minutes long, gets whittled down to 7 minutes, then 5 minutes, and then 3 minutes.  I’m hoping that in the future my first pass of editing will be more vicious, but I’m amazed at how difficult it is to judge your own content and ask yourself, “do I REALLY need this clip?” Boiling the videos now to the barest essentials is so challenging, and I’ve had to make some tough decisions about what is truly critical to get across. People have such short attention spans today, and I know that if I ramble off about something I will lose them.  I would rather teach a short lesson that gets people to truly grasp a simple, fundamental idea really well, than have them watch a tutorial that is overly full of detail to the point that they end up tuning out.


On top of that, there are so many details to this process that it’s hard for me to even keep them straight.  I had absolutely no clue that file storage was going to become such a huge issue. With the vast quantity of video we are shooting,  I had a bit of scare this week because my laptop started crashing really often.  My laptop was getting too full and we had to buy several new drives and compulsively back everything up in several places to be sure that nothing would be lost. Things got so bad that I actually spent 2 whole days just organizing, renaming, and copying files.  I can’t think of a task that is more boring and tedious, but it was critical to do.  The thought of losing everything was enough to scare me into doing it!


ART PROF is a free, online educational platform for visual arts which provides equal access to art education for people of all ages and means.

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Portfolio Video Critiques for Art Students & Artists
Prof Clara Lieu offers 30 minute video critiques on 8-20 artworks for students working on a portfolio for art school admission, and for artists of any age working on their artwork. Watch a sample below, and get more info here.

Every month, we assign a topic for you to respond to with an artwork. We give out prizes in several categories, and post select submissions on our Instagram  and other sites throughout the month. Use #artprofwip and Prof Clara Lieu might just stop by and give you some feedback! We have a special prize for art teachers who assign the Art Dare to one of their classes. More info is here.

Ask the Art Prof Live was a weekly live video broadcast on our Facebook page where Prof Clara Lieu provided professional advice for art students and professional artists. Ask the Art Prof began as a written column in 2013 and was featured in the Huffington Post from 2013-2015.  See the full archive of columns here. Prof Lieu discussed being an artist today, art technique & materials, work strategies for artists, career advice, teaching art, and more.


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