Saturday, July 06, 2013

10 Free Video Editing Software for Filmmakers

Money is, by definition, 
always a difficult issue for the low budget filmmaker.  The challenge is in getting as much of your meagre budget up on the screen as possible. Luckily, by the wonders of open source development, just about every $800 software package has its freebie equivalent.

1. Lightworks

PC ( LINUX public beta released early 2013, MAC TBA)
An incredibly powerful editing package that is head and shoulders above all other freebie editing packages.  Just take a look at their website to see some of the high profile projects that have used Lightworks.  Lightworks has features that even some of the big packages don’t have without the addition of expensive plugins.  With a strong community supporting it, this is only going to get better.
Get Lightworks here

2. HyperEngine-AV – Equivalent to Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro

A decent editing package.  A step up from the likes of imovie though still not up to the professional standards of the pricey packages.  For simple edits though, you could do a lot worse.
Get HyperEngine-AV here

3. Avidemux

One of the best free editing packages out there.  Avidemux allows you to do basic cutting, apply filters and work with a wide variety of different file types.  It gets better with each release.
Get Avidemux here

4. Windows movie maker, pinnacle videospin

These lightweight freebie editors should not be overlooked entirely.  For quick edits and changes there’s no need for the big guns.
Get Windows Movie Maker
Get Pinnacle Videospin

5. Avid Free DV

This was a great idea but has sadly been discontinued by Avid.  Avid Free DV is a free version of their high end editing software, preserving the interface but removing many of the advanced features.  Great for simple editing whilst also learning your way around Avid.  Copies are still floating around online, though now it’s unsupported it is just going to get more out of date with time.  Get it while it’s still useful.
Get Avid Free DV here

6. MPEG Streamclip

Another powerful, professional encoding and conversion tool.  It accepts even the most obscure video formats and can even download YouTube videos. It is widely used as a simple tool for transcoding unwieldly DSLR footage.
Get MPEG Streamclip here

7. ffmpeg

A powerful encoding tool that can read and convert just about any video file format.
Get ffmpeg here

8. DCP Builder – Equivalent to taking your project to an expensive post house

Want to screen your film at the utmost quality?  Modern digital projectors require something called a DCP (Digital Cinema Package).  Most post houses will charge you several thousands for the privilege, even for a short.  DCP Builder is free.
Get DCP Builder here

9. Open DCP

Another DCP package.  Personally I’ve had better results with this one than with DCP Builder.  But hey, they’re both free so give them both a shot and see what works best for you.
Get Open DCP here

10. Black Magic DaVinci Resolve Lite

A good colour correcting job can make your budget movie look a million dollars.  Black Magic now offer a lite version of their powerful colour correcting tool absolutely free!
Please feel free to add your own favourite free software that give an edge to the filmmaker.