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🎥 I'm not allowed to edit videos


I’ve created and edited hundreds of videos over the course of the last few years. I’ve used Descript, Screenflow, Final Cut Pro, and various in-app editors. I’ve shared these videos on my now-nearly-defunct YouTube channel, on my now-defunct TikTok account, for clients and courses. I even hosted a now-defunct video creators’ community, and explored running a video editing agency. (We served a couple clients, weren’t optimistic about the uniqueness or margins of the business model … it’s now defunct :)

No more.

From here on out, I’m not editing any more videos. It turns out I’m the worst kind of person on earth for this kind of work.

Why?

I’m the kind of nerd who enjoys pursuing mastery of tools. Any tool. So I get really into learning features and shortcuts for whatever tool I’m using.

This isn’t a bad thing, but I also have a nasty perfectionist streak.

You might not know that from watching any of the videos I shared! But each time I hit “Upload” it was a forceful decision to quit overthinking, quit tweaking, move on with life. Each time I stopped editing (I never really finished) it cost me.

On top of that, some of the videos I made were collaborative. Interviews that I thoroughly enjoyed, then proceeded to turn into nightmare projects of obsessive fussing.

Add a hefty dose of people-pleasing to the perfectionism, put someone else’s image and expectations on the line, and you have a recipe for a never-finished, never-published video. I’ve got three of these in my queue right now. I’m abandoning them. It feels terrible. But at least I’m not adding to the queue.

What I’ll do instead

As evidenced by the inclusion of a one-take, no-edits video at the top of this post … I’ll do one-take videos and share them without editing.

I’ll focus on training myself to recover when I misspeak, or fumble my words, or stutter. I’ll push myself to let a video be Good Enough as it is. Hopefully this will train me to be a better podcast guest so by mid-2024, when I hope to start marketing my second book, I can enter those calls with confidence—and leave the edits to the hosts.

I’ll turn my nerdy passion for tools to focus on using OBS Studio to add a bit of flourish to my live recordings.

I’ll spend more time on prep for videos, but not much more—nothing even close to how long I used to spend on edits.

I’m on the fence as to whether I trust myself to edit audio content. I had a blast recording a proof-of-concept podcast episode for my blog post about criticism of Jimi Hendrix, and I’d like to do more. Audio is way simpler than video.

So, do I dare trust myself with a few Audacity sessions? Probably, we’ll see. (Watch this space for a January 2025 “I’m not allowed to edit mp3s” post.)


    © 2024 Brian David Hall