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Why Video Editing is like Sculpting

CreativeFilm & VideoSkillsArticle

Getting the finest details right

So, what do editing and sculpting have in common?


If you’re anywhere around a Video Editor while they’re editing a video, you might observe the following: growling, fist banging on the table, pulling of hair, intensely staring at the screen day and night or painfully overworked wrists.


Editing a video is a slow, meticulous, and painful process. You have to get the finest details right. Starting from the image quality, the split-second timings, the flow, the sound effects, the choice of music, the pace, the export settings – there are a million ways you can stumble while making a video.


You have to get the finest details right.


When a sculptor is working on their piece, nobody knows the final vision except them – because it is just a vision, an idea, a direction. People see a block of stone, the sculptor sees their final masterpiece (old analogy, I know).

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A Video Editor uses a million tools to bring their masterpiece to life.

What's interesting here is the process

To the sculptor, all that matters is the feeling their sculpture conveys. To get there, they do whatever it takes – pick the perfect quality of stone, use the best tools, use a variety of tools, draw on paper a million times, play the right music in the background to be in ‘the zone’. And there are a thousand other quirks every sculptor has.

sculptors tools

Having the right tools is paramount

Tools are the ladder that take you from vision to execution. You can’t sculpt with your bare hands.


A Video Editor uses a million tools to bring their masterpiece to life. The editing software is the platform. Then there’s the actual cutting of clips. Exposure corrections. The image has to have just the right exposure and just the right contrast. The viewer should know exactly where to look at on the screen, even if the clip appears for half a second. And then there’s colour corrections, colour grading, sound effects, text and titles. The font also has a major impact on the overall feel. The size of the font is important too. The transitions – how do you get from one clip to the other? How do you maintain the narrative flow? Why is this clip here and not somewhere else? What if you extend the clip by 1 frame, will it destroy the whole flow?

video editing

Learning the keyboard shortcuts is key (pun unintended)

If a sculptors tools are spread all over the studio, it’s just a waste of time trying to find what they want and when they want it. Tools have to be at your fingertips. And that’s what keyboard shortcuts do. In Video Editing, keyboard shortcuts save large amounts of time and stress.

I’m writing this article while my editing program has frozen. My computer gets overloaded so much and so frequently, sometimes I think I’ve lost my mind to be doing this. Only a crazy person would have the patience to sit and ‘sculpt’ a video with such painstaking efforts.

And for now, that crazy person is me.
And for all I know, it could be you too.

video editing on computer
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