The Kids Are Learning Video Editing From TikTok
The first time you sit down with video editing software like Premiere and Final Cut, you realize that the experience runs counter to everything intuitive about modern conventions of UI design and functionality. There are so many buttons, dials, knobs, settings, and keyboard shortcuts to remember that learning how it all works becomes in and of itself an exercise in patience and resolve. The barrier to entry is also steep — you have to own a capable machine and know how everything works. And what happens when you’ve finally edited your video masterpiece? You’re going to need connections, possibly a film-school degree, and it also helps if you live in New York or L.A., which obviously isn’t accessible to most people in the world.
And then, there’s TikTok.
Following in the footsteps of now-defunct Vine, TikTok is pitting an entire generation of youngsters in fierce competition against each other for popularity. But along the way, they’re learning how to cut video in a short span of time, and it’s making them better video editors and storytellers in the process.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a video sharing platform that operates similarly to Vine, the company that Twitter bought in 2012 and then discontinued in 2017. Whereas Vine was trying to be “Instagram, but for short videos,” TikTok embraces what it delivers front and center. You simply open the app and a TikTok video immediately plays. You don’t need to follow anybody — you just immediately start scrolling. What distinguishes TikTok from virtually any other platform is the unspoken understanding within the community that making good TikToks is what’s going to get you noticed amongst the impossibly large pile of content on the platform’s discovery channels. And for that, a TikTok creator must have a basic understanding of how to tell short stories and edit video.
What distinguishes TikTok from virtually any other platform, is that there’s an unspoken understanding within the community that making good TikToks is what’s going to get you promoted.