AI video editing: How to use AI to speed up video production

Are AI video editing tools right for you? Phil Edwards, Senior Producer at Vox, shares his experience and advice to video professionals.

Creating videos is a process requiring an ample supply of both time and patience. Each stage of production brings a new set of challenges, which can be particularly stressful if you’re juggling multiple deadlines. With so many video professionals feeling the pressure, it’s no surprise that many have turned to AI for help. The rise of AI video editing has introduced a variety of new tools that enable creators to work faster and more efficiently.

With its rise, AI has become a hot topic in the world of video production. While some view the technology as a potential threat, many others consider it an indispensable tool for doing better work. Last month, Storyblocks partnered with Phil Edwards, Senior Video Producer at Vox, for an in-depth webinar about this exciting technology and how today’s video pros can use AI to speed up their production workflow.

Edwards spearheads Vox’s most popular YouTube series, much of which has centered around the topic of AI in recent months with over 315 million views. Edwards also has his own popular YouTube channel with nearly 260,000 subscribers. In this post, we’ll cover some of the high-level takeaways from the discussion between Edwards and Lauren Zoltick, Storyblocks’ Director of Performance Marketing.

Why AI video editing tools are a great option for creative professionals

AI has applications for every production stage. Even Storyblocks is using AI to enhance our on-site search! Not only can it save time, effort, and money, it also allows creators to fearlessly tackle more ambitious projects. AI’s large language models can simplify the pre-production process by generating ideas about everything from scripts to shot composition. 

Knowing what AI tools are available in later stages helps make the production phase a lot less uncertain. In post production, it gives creators the freedom to try various AI video editing tools to give their project something extra. These tools won’t all necessarily always be the right fit for your project, but that’s where experimentation comes in. You might discover something you never would have tried before AI that significantly elevates your video.

How to evaluate AI video editing’s place your current production workflow

It can be tempting to jump in with both feet when a new technology like AI video editing comes along. But it’s wise to first examine your production workflow for specific areas where AI can actually serve your processes.

AI is capable of doing many things, but it’s not always the right fit for every creator or team. As Phil points out, you want to evaluate its potential on its merits, not just by how cool the technology is. Sometimes, Phil says, “I become enamored with a capability and then later on I realized I just sort of had this crush on a product that’s not actually practical or tasteful to incorporate for the rest of my work.”

But once you find the right use case, AI can really expand your capabilities.

Phil uses ChatGPT to assist in creating animation with Adobe Premiere and After Effects. Many After Effects animations are created by inputting JavaScript-like “expressions” that allow you to manipulate objects. This can be daunting to creators without programming backgrounds, but for Phil it was no problem. “I’m not a programmer, but I can describe the expression that I want to ChatGPT and it’ll give me code to use,” he says.

Although the expressions that AI outputs don’t always work. But when they do, Phil says, “I end up being a much more robust animator than I would have otherwise been.”

Ask yourself what parts of production are taking up the most time

It becomes easier to figure out how to integrate AI into your workflow when you know where you’re spending the most time. Start by breaking out your production workflow by stages and identify areas that could be done more efficiently.

Audio, as well as transcription-based editing were two of Phil’s biggest time-consumers. Before AI, he says, “I used to have to go through this very laborious process in order to get [the audio quality] there.” Once you find the right AI tool, however, Phil estimates that “you can save ten times the speed.”

Trial and error is part of any creator’s AI video editing journey. As Phil puts it, “I think it’s just kind of seeing what you gravitate toward project after project. Then it’ll save you enough time that you’ll have to use it, it’ll feel imperative.”

Determine what parts of production are your weak spots

By Phil’s own admission, audio has traditionally been a huge weak spot for him. But AI has given him the confidence to create at a higher level. AI, Phil says, “can do what I simply could not achieve on my own because of lack of skill and resources.” Audio processing, once an arduous, multi-hour process, now can be done in “a matter of minutes,” Phil says.

Phil says AI has totally changed his workflow, especially when it comes to audio. He says audio “can be tangibly approved with AI to this kind of professional level. It’s as if you have a sound engineer and a better recording facility no matter where you are or how you recorded it.”

Learn more about AI video editing by watching the webinar

We’ve covered some of the most important things to think about when considering adding AI tools to your production workflow. When AI video editing tools are used deliberately, there are huge efficiencies to be gained. AI’s ability to automate time-intensive tasks can “save producers a lot of time and heartache,” Phil says. This gives creatives more freedom to be creative, and more time to put their core skills to the best possible use.

For all of Phil’s insights and takeaways, watch the full webinar for free on-demand.