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How to Edit Podcast and Interview Videos in Descript — With Captions, Titles, and Graphics

Tedious, time-consuming video editing is yesterday. Thanks to the technology brainiacs out there, a mind-bendingly efficient, AI-powered software program called Descript will actually make you want to edit. An all-in-one audio and video editing program, Descript lets you record, transcribe, edit, mix, collaborate, and finish your audio and video projects with tremendous ease.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to edit and further customize your videos with Descript’s powerful video editing features. You’ll learn how to use Descript’s video editing features, which feel so intuitive that, over time, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to progress.

The Basics

Once you’ve recorded your video, in a way the work has just begun. Adding freeze frames, images, GIFs, titles, animations, shapes, and captions, as well as adjusting visual fades and cross dissolves allow you to perfect and customize your video and bring it to its fullest potential.

Here are a few key features Descript offers:

  • Automatic transcription with industry leading accuracy (95%) in just minutes.
  • White Glove human transcription service with 99% accuracy for $2/minute and delivery in 24 hours on average.
  • Safe and secure technologies to ensure your data is private and protected.
  • A video word processor, allowing you to edit your video by editing your text.
  • Relative affordability ($12-$24 a month if you pay annually)

You can try out Descript by activating a free trial, which includes three hours of transcription, full audio and video editing, unlimited screen recordings, 1,000 words of overdub technology, and studio sound effects. Buy monthly access by subscribing to a Creator plan at $15/month or a Pro plan at $30/month or purchase an annual plan to receive a 20% discount.

1. Upload Your Video

For the purposes of this tutorial, we uploaded a video of artist Amy Hook-Therrien being interviewed by Taylor Long and had Descript transcribe it.

2. Add a Freeze Frame

To add an adjustable freeze frame in your video, right-click on the clip in the Timeline and select Add freeze frame.

The freeze frame can then be seen in the timeline. To adjust the length of the freeze frame, move the clip edges in the timeline accordingly.

3. Add an Image or GIF

To add an image or GIF to your video, simply drag it in and drop it where you’d like it to be placed within the video. I placed an image of Birch trees after the artist discusses them. To adjust how long the image or GIF is displayed in the video, lengthen or shorten the clip edges in the timeline.

4. Add a Shape

To add a shape to your video, click on the + icon at the top and select Rectangle, Ellipse or Arrow from the dropdown menu. 

An editable shape then appears in the video pane. It can be edited further using the options in the Clip Properties. To adjust how long the shape is displayed in the video, lengthen or shorten the clip edges in the timeline.

5. Add a Title

To add a title to your video, click on the + icon at the top and select Title from the dropdown menu. 

Editable text then appears in the video pane. To adjust how long the title displays in the video, lengthen or shorten the clip edges in the timeline.

Use the options under Clip Properties to change the font, font size, color, opacity, and more.

6. Add Animation

To bring a part of your video to life, add a Cue, or special effect. Click on the + icon at the top and select Cue from the dropdown menu.

If your cursor is positioned over more than one clip, a prompt appears asking which track the Cue should be applied to. I applied it to the script.

Another prompt follows asking what the effect the Cue should have. Here are the options:

  • Kitchen Sink: All cue animation options
  • Zoom and Pan: Animate the clip’s size and position
  • Dissolve Video: Animate the clip’s opacity
  • Fade Audio (for clips with audio): Automate the clip’s volume

Once the Cue has been selected (in this case I selected Zoom and Pan), an icon appears in the transcription. The Cue be further modified in the panel on the right under Cue Properties. To adjust the adjust how long the Cue takes effect, lengthen or shorten the clip edges in the timeline.

7. Adjust Visual Fades and Cross Dissolves

Add fades and cross dissolves in the timeline. Hover over the section you want to modify and a white arrow marker appears. While dragging the marker to the left or right, hold the Option key (Alt on Windows) to dissolve only the audio or the Shift Option key (Shift Alt on Windows) to dissolve the video only.

The exact length of fade or cross dissolve then appears in the timeline as shaded area within the clip.

A visual dissolve can also be achieved by inserting a Cue and selecting Dissolve Video from the dropdown menu.

8. Add Fancy Captions

Fancy Captions are captions you can create from your transcription and insert directly into the video. Click on the + icon at the top and select Fancy Captions in the dropdown menu.

Then adjust how long Fancy Captions should take effect by lengthening or shortening the clip edges in the timeline. Use the options under Clip Properties to change the font, font size, color, opacity, and more.

9. Detach Audio From Video

To make edits to the audio portion only of a video, right-click on the video in the timeline and select Detach audio. The video clip will then be turned into a multitrack sequence, allowing each track to be edited separately.

10. Add a Video Overlay

To add a video overlay, drag the video file from a browser and drop it where it should be positioned either in the transcription or in the timeline. Then click on the video overlay in the video pane and adjust the size and position of it using the options in the Clip Properties.

11. Organize Video Layers

To order the visual layout of multiple elements, right-click on the clip in the timeline and select from the given options: moving the layer up, down, to the top, or bottom.

Video Editing Made Intuitive

Video editing doesn’t have to be a painstakingly slow process that’s mired down in minutiae. It can be simple, and intuitive, and efficient—if you find the right tools. Descript has integrated recording and editing with video, audio, and transcription so that everything can happen simultaneously. After just a few moments of becoming familiar with the software, it’s quite possible you’ll never edit video without Descript again.

Keep Learning About Video Editing

Here are a few more free tutorials and resources to help you study up on Descript and video editing:

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