Thoughts On HitFilm

It’s been said that post production is the final rewrite of your movie. And today, I’d love to share my thoughts on the popular editing software, HitFilm.

If you’re like most filmmakers,  you probably have access to the best equipment for shooting video. But you still need to be able to cut the video together into your final product and deliver it for your audience.

When it comes to post, most filmmakers know Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Avid are the industry standard when it comes to  editing. And at the same time, anyone with a Mac has iMovie and Windows users can get Windows Movie Maker.

There are times when these editing solutions are either too limited or too robust. For this reason, I’d like to share my thoughts on HitFilm, which has been used by such successful YouTubers as Freddie Wong on “Video Game High School.”

HitFilm

Thoughts On HitFilm

HitFilm provides numerous advantages over some of the free editing solutions that make it a much more capable and complete editing suite. HitFilm provides the ability to have multiple video and audio tracks. This flexibility alone makes HitFilm much better suited to professional editing then iMovie. Multiple tracks allows for such editing practices as easy J and L cuts, which might not sound like a big deal but in fact can have a huge impact on the flow of editing.

Additionally, HitFilm is not only an editor but it includes built-in compositing capabilities. While After Effects from Adobe is probably the most well known compositor and is used in post-production, HitFilm does allow a user to create basic video composites such as green screen shots and built in, manipulatable special effects.

Keep in mind that HitFilm is not After Effects, but with some creativity it can be used to enhance your videos with special effects and basic color correction far beyond what iMovie and Windows Movie Maker can accomplish.

The Good on HitFilm:

  • Multiple audio and video tracks for more editing control
  • Built-in compositor with numerous built-in effects
  • Color Correction and grading effects

The Not So Good on HitFilm:

  • Limited Audio Controls and Effects
  • No AVCHD support (see below)

Final Thoughts on HitFilm

In addition to the full HitFilm Ulitmate, they offer an express version. HitFilm 2 Express is a great step up from more basic editing programs, but it is not perfect.

The biggest drawback of the HitFilm 2 Express is the lack of AVCHD file support, but there is a work around on a Mac – You can open an AVCHD package in the most recent version of Quicktime, open all of your video files individually, and then export them each onto your hard drive, at which point you can import the .MOV files into HitFilm 2 Express.

The same workaround might work on a Windows computer, but I have not tried it.

Obviously, this sort of transcoding is inconvenient but it is basically transcoding the files. And when you think about it this way, almost every editor does this work when you import files for editing. More audio controls would be nice as well, but it does allow for basic volume control (and adding audio tracks means you can add in ambient noise and more sound effects).

All in all, it is a great step up for content creators looking to step up their editing and compositing game.

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ARTICLE BY Michael Head

Michael Head is a filmmaker and full-time geek living the the Dallas-Fort Worth Metromess. Follow him at @michaeldhead. Check in every Tuesday for Micheal’s “tech-Tuesday” articles. Check out his website.
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