How to Edit GoPro Videos

How to Edit GoPro VideosGoPro cameras are popular with people interested in capturing close-up video of high action sports such as car racing and surfing. Designed to be ultra-portable while capturing high-definition photography and video, GoPro captures action like no other camera. Because they are capable of long continuous recording, they allow you to capture images that you may miss otherwise. They’re also incredibly durable, and can handle the rough conditions of many of the world’s most high impact sports. GoPro was designed for sports photography and video, so might be tempted to think that’s all the GoPro is for. If you’re not into sports, what would having a GoPro camera matter?

Why GoPro is More Than Just a Sports Photography Camera

While GoPro was originally designed with action sports in mind, GoPro is just a great camera for almost any application. Many people utilize a GoPro camera as their primary camcorder. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, especially when it comes to short films, a GoPro camera could be considered a great beginning filming option. If you’re new to filmmaking, check out this Udemy course to learn how to shoot video. While it has its limitations and shouldn’t be used for a feature film, you can get really creative with the GoPro camera in filming for a short film. Even if you use it in conjunction with a more focused cinematic camera, the GoPro is great for first-person point-of-view shots. Considering its durability and how well the camera works in filming high impact sports, if you have shots that involve car chases, people running, or even underwater shots, the GoPro works great for these types of applications. 

GoPro For Short Films

If you have a character in a short film that is running away from a villain through through the alleyways of a city, you can attach the GoPro camera to the actor’s head, capturing everything the character would see, including the pursuer when the actor looks over their shoulder. If you’re doing a short film that has a Fast and the Furious type feel to it, mount the GoPro camera onto the front of a car to capture the action of cars racing down the street or around a track. You could even film a short film as if it were all in first-person point-of-view. This style worked particularly well in the movie Cloverfield with the whole filmed story presented as “found footage.” The Blair Witch Project was probably the first film to popularize the “found footage” concept.

Of course, you could borrow ideas from previous films, but the greatest thing about being a filmmaker is coming up with new ideas or fresh approaches to old ideas. That being said, the GoPro’s portability makes it a great option for a camera to carry around with you everywhere you go and capture footage in all sorts of places, gathering ideas for short films all along the way.

So if you have a GoPro camera, how to do create a film from concept to completion? Below, you’ll have the opportunity to think through the kind of story you want to tell before learning how to edit GoPro video.

Planning Your Story

If you’re going to create a short film production, the first thing you have to do is to come up with an idea for a story before fleshing the idea out into a complete story narrative. Knowing that using a GoPro presents some limitations that you wouldn’t have with a feature film camera, you can utilize those limitations by allowing them to force you to think through what is possible with the filming option you have. As you’re planning your story and ideally scripting it out, think about your story visually and plan it as something that exists in your mind but can be translated into real life to be filmed. If you’re interested in learning more about story development in screenwriting, take a look at this Screenwriting Workshop course at Udemy. You can take your script a step further by creating a storyboard of all of your shots. This is helpful before filming because it helps you to visualize what the story will look like before you try to capture your shots in real life. This course teaches you all about visualizing your story through storyboarding.

Filming Your Story

With a script, you’ve planned out the shots you want to capture. Now, it’s time to pull out your GoPro and start capturing those shots. Though the GoPro works well in low light, you may still want to consider any type of film lighting you might need in filming any shots that take place at night or in the evening. Remember that the key thing to do is to use the capability of the GoPro to be creative in your filming, including the angles you shoot from, the distance from your subjects you shoot from, and any point-of-view shots you mention. This course introduces you to filming and includes information on lighting, as well as the phases of post-production.

How to Edit GoPro Video

GoPro records MP4 video files, and you simply need to load the files you capture into video editing software on a computer or on an iPhone or iPad.

  • GoPro has its own video editing software for PC called GoPro Studio Edit, which allows you to trim clips, insert transitions, add effects, add music and sound effects, and control speed for fast or slow motion. GoPro Studio Edit is designed to make creating your own great-looking GoPro videos easy and user-friendly.

  • If you want to go with a more professional option and you’re willing spend quite a bit of money, another option is Adobe Premiere Pro. This gives you more control over your video clips as you edit, clip, splice, insert transitions, video effects, and add a music soundtrack. For more information about editing in Adobe Premiere, check out this course on Adobe Premiere Training.

  • Another professional looking option is Apple’s Final Cut Pro X, and it features capabilities that are very similar to Adobe Premiere Pro X. With Final Cut Pro X, you can have an incredible amount of control over your clips and how you put your final film together. This course will walk you through how to edit in Final Cut Pro X.

  • If you want to work in mobile environment, you can import your GoPro video clips into iMovie on either the iPhone or the iPad. This allows you to make some basic edits, transitions, and musical background. Check out this course for more information on iMovie for iPad.

After you import your video into your editing software, you can begin manipulating your clips in any way you want, arranging them to tell your story, and adding any transitions and music that will enhance the overall story your short film is telling. You can have a lot of fun with a GoPro camera and even more fun with editing what you capture with your GoPro camera as you put your own short film together. Check out this Udemy course to go more in depth into filming and editing HD GoPro video.