Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.

Editing 101

Free Film School


Last updated 6/24/13

Do you want to make your videos more professional? Do you want to stand out from the rest of the YouTube rabble because your movies are awesome? Have you been cutting your films but just can't seem to make them work as well as you'd like? Then the free Editing 101 course is for you.

This free online film school class will take you step-by-step through the editing process. You will gain insights into the basics of your non-liner editor (NLE ...which is just a fancy term for a video editing program). You will also experience firsthand practical editing theory as you cut projects together. Each lesson will build on the ideas before, giving you tons of editing practice.

Ready to get started with your Editing 101 free film school class?

Join the FREE Editing 101 class.

Parents, please read the content warning for this course.

Is this course right for you or your children?

Like all of, this Editing 101 course is designed for young and/or poor filmmakers. However, this class is geared for a slightly older group, around jr. high and up. And while I strive to make this free film school cost you absolutely nothing, you will likely need a video editing program that has more features than the free options out there.

Each lesson gives your student a project to work on. Most of the time I will provide downloadable media to use. This gives you or your child many opportunities to see what it's like to work as an editor.

This course is right for you if you are a:
  • Homeschooler
  • Student
  • Teen
  • Adult who can carve some time from your schedule
  • Or anyone interested in editing

Keep in mind, if your child is under 13 years of age, you will need to create a family YouTube channel to comply with their terms. Also, please take a minute to read the content warning for this course. This course can work for pre-teen students, but you--as a parent--will need to be more involved in the curriculum.

Get started with Lesson 1 now!

Meet your mentor:

My name is Luke Holzmann.

I have a degree in Motion Picture Production and am an editor at heart. Over the years I have

  • founded my own film company
  • cut almost a dozen educational DVDs
  • helped film school students improve their edits
  • provided individualized training to beginning editors
  • and launched the Filmmaking 101 course

For Editing 101, I've created several film projects designed to teach you specific editing skills. For each lesson, you can download the footage for free. You'll watch a brief "lecture"--more like a pep talk with a little bit of instruction and example thrown in--and get to work on your project. Work at your own pace. When you complete a Lesson, post it to YouTube and move on. And please feel free to go back and try again as many times as you like. The idea here is to practice!

Get started with your first free film school lesson now:

Register now!

This sounds too good to be true

Most things that sound too good to be true, probably are. So, let me break this down for you:
  1. This is an Editing 101 course. You will not likely become the next hit Hollywood editor by taking this one class. You will gain a broad overview of editing theory and begin to hone your skills, but you will need even more practice before you will master this art. My hope is that this class will inspire you to do more video projects.
  2. This is an online class. You will have very little--if any--direct contact from me or other students. This is a self-driven course, and you will get out of it only as much as you put in. I have carefully built the projects for you, but if you just toss stuff together, that's your prerogative. This is both a blessing and a curse: You work only as hard as you choose.
  3. Editing is difficult. Today's tools are marketed as if it were now quick and easy to cut together a video. It is true that technology has made editing incredibly accessible to all of us, perfecting an edit takes time, effort, and know-how. This Editing 101 program will get your started with editing by giving you a bunch of projects to work on. But you'll be the one developing the skill largely on your own.

Think you're up for it?

I'm ready to learn how to edit movies!

What you will need for this online class:

I've created this class with young and poor filmmakers in mind. I know what it's like to have almost no equipment. This is a free movie making program, but you will need:
  1. A computer with an internet connection. The faster your internet connection, the better. You will be watching the lessons online and, I hope, posting videos to YouTube.
  2. A slightly advanced video editing program. There are many free options out there, but few (if any) them have the advanced features you need as an editor. Please ensure you have software that gives you multiple audio and video tracks that you can edit independently. Without this key feature, your films will not likely progress beyond cat-video quality.
  3. Optional (but recommended):
  4. A YouTube Account. This is free. I would appreciate it if you would upload your completed assignments to YouTube so you can share them with others who take this course and I can give you feedback as I have time.

Ready to get started? Jump to the first lesson now.

Editing 101 Note to Parents


The Editing 101 course contains content that requires maturity to handle. Some of the projects have visuals and dialog you may find objectionable. Some examples:

  • I film with my friends when they are available. Often we just pick up the camera and go, shooting in whatever clothes they happen to be wearing. If modesty is a high value in your home, you may be horrified by what you see.
  • Some of my scripts are based on pretty heavy content. The gossip scene in Lesson 2, for example, is based on the events surrounding the birth of Christ. There is plenty of opportunity for ridicule and innuendo, and I take advantage of that. You may not appreciate either my religious leanings or my modern take on things.
  • I ask students to submit their own projects as samples. Editing 101 mostly uses footage I provide, but there are a few that are more open. I can't control what people submit, but I do not accept those that are egregiously inappropriate.

You know your child, but if he or she is not ready to handle this content, please wait a few years. I believe this course will be very beneficial for an aspiring filmmaker and editor, and could be used successfully at even a pre-teen level, but it's not worth it if your student isn't ready.

If your student is close to high school, I suggest you participate in this course with them. As aspiring filmmakers, they will likely come across even more troubling content in their film studies and future projects. There is a growing number of Christian filmmakers, but their influence is, as of yet, still mostly insignificant. And I pray, if your student's path is film making, that he or she will become a major contributor to the media world, sharing Christ's love and redemption through the work he or she is blessed to create.

If your student delves deeper into the arts, wisdom and discernment will become an ever greater necessity. I believe holiness is something we become as we draw closer to Christ. We do not become holy by trying to shrink further from the evils in the world around us. As Christians, I believe our goal should be to become the kind of people who can walk into ever darker situations to shine the love and light of Christ.

Christ was mocked by the religious of His day as a friend of sinners. May the same be said of your children.

The arts and media constantly test the bounds of our societies moral fiber. With fame, there is also an alluring cocktail of sin and vice and power. I believe it is best that children learn how to stay near Christ under your leadership and modeling before heading out into the world.

But your students need more than upstanding character. This course also requires the maturity to stick with projects. Editing is a time-consuming endeavor. This course requires your students to push themselves to cut together excellent pieces. If your student is not driven to go above and beyond the bare minimum, this film program will likely be a waste of time.

Please at least preview the content for your student. Better yet, be involved in the program with them. You will have opportunities to nudge them closer to Christ even as they gain skills and insights into communicating His love through film.

~Luke Holzmann

-- Get Started --

Lesson List:
Lesson 1: Get to Know Your Video Editing Program
Lesson 2: Practicing Pacing
Lesson 3: How to Use B-Roll

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