Whether it’s comedy, drama, or action, your favorite Hollywood movie or series looks glamorous on the screen because of the rigorous editing process that goes into it.
Movie editing involves the assembly of shots into a television series or motion picture to achieve the director’s vision.
Editing is both a creative and technical skill, as Hollywood movie editors use video editing software to assemble film footage and make artistic changes that ultimately impact the film’s narrative.
Editing is a post-production process done with the help of different video editing software. It’s usually up to the editor to decide on which tool to use.
Filmmakers use a variety of editing techniques, including crosscutting, cutaways, continuity editing, match cuts, and parallel editing to reconceptualize a film story’s scripted version and make it come alive.
In this post, I will walk you through a number of high-quality video editing software used in Hollywood movies.
The best part? I have also given examples of some of the world’s best movies and shows edited by specific software.
So, whether you plan to edit a business video, or a personal video production project, use any of these video editing software to create Hollywood-quality videos.
Adobe Premiere Pro is among the most used video editing software in the Hollywood film industry.
Adobe comes as an integrated suite that handles color correction, titles, audio graphics, video, and various other aspects of video editing. Its AI, Sensei, detects and balances the light around actors’ faces.
With Adobe Premiere comes a toolset and all the features required for video editing. If you’re looking to make pretty crisp and sleek videos, this is the product to go for.
It comes with a user-friendly interface and top-notch features. This software is friendly to both novices and established movie directors in Hollywood. It’s easy to figure out and use, and it comes with plenty of tutorials and guides to walk you through the process.
The software has edited numerous Hollywood movies, including ‘Dust to Glory,’ ‘Act of Valor,’ ‘A Liar’s Autobiography,’ ‘Hail Caesar,’ ‘Gone Girl,’ and more.
Pricing plans include a free trial and a Pro plan at $20.99.
Apple’s Final Cut Pro is another excellent video editor used in Hollywood movies. Like Adobe Premiere, this program has an excellent feature set for big and small-budget movie releases.
It’s been used to refine a lot of Hollywood movies, including ‘John Carter,’ ‘Hugo,’ and ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,’ among others. It comes with a streamlined interface that is easy to navigate.
The program fits nicely into the Apple ecosystem and is optimized for Mac Pro. It has advanced features like effect options, magnetic timeline, intelligent smart conform cropping, noise reduction, multi-cam editing, detailed color correction, 360-degree VR support, and more.
The metal engine lets it edit large and complex projects with ease. You can edit your 4K project without experiencing any lags. Regardless of the frame rate’s height or the frame’s size, this program manages video footage at high speeds.
Its pricing model is not subscription-based – it offers a one-time payment option of $299.99 and offers a 90-day free trial to help you understand it before making your decision.
Avid Media Composer is popularly used by Netflix. It gives video editors the flexibility and creative freedom, next-generation toolset, and intuitive user experience they need to make their films stand out.
Avid is a top-rated program for professional movie editors. It’s been used to polish TV programs, movies, and ad commercials, including ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Jurassic World,’ ‘Hotel Artemis,’ ‘Oceans 8’, ‘Superman Returns,’ and other prominent films.
It has high-end video editing tools to fine-tune any video’s looks, including adding titles and color correction. Its audio editing tools are some of the best. Editors can send audio to sound engineers easily, unlike with other programs.
Its free version lets you start editing without any difficulty. You can edit eight audio tracks and four video tracks without paying a dime. It comes with two pricing plans, including the Media Composer plan at $23.99 and Media Composer Ultimate at 49.99.
A tool like Autodesk Maya is what animators need to train 3D artists. The program is commonly used in almost all animation films in Hollywood, including Disney films.
Autodesk Maya is widely used because it brings life into the storyline using exceptional 3D effects and rendering and displaying highlights.
It’s infused with the magic of beautiful visuals in films like ‘Transformers,’ ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Half-Blood,’ ‘Infinity War,’ ‘Into the Spider-Verse,’ and computer games like ‘Prince of Persia,’ ‘FIFA 09,’ and more.
The software’s features and tools help to improve movie characters and perform other 3D displaying wonders.
Pricing plans for Autodesk Maya include three subscription plans for 246 pounds a month, 1,968 pounds per year, and 5,610 pounds for three years.
If you’re scouting for an industry-standard 3D compositing tool, this is it. The Foundry Nuke is used in almost every Hollywood film and TV show.
It offers cutting-edge tools for editorial, review, and node-based video compositing. Editors also enjoy collaborative workflows and the flexibility needed to achieve quality results.
With Nuke, you have features like editorial timeline and finishing, visual effects, color correcting, playback at 4K, effects, conforming, compositing, and more at your disposal.
It’s a powerful post-production powerhouse that ensures pixel-perfect movies all the time. It has more than 200 nodes, an image processing engine, and a node graph to ensure all digital post-production challenges are dealt with on all resolutions and scales.
It lets artists work with images with multiple opacity. It also supports OpenEXR standards and technologies like USD and Hydra. For color management, you can count on ACES and OpenColorIO support.
Besides providing fluid workflows, Nuke also ensures you reuse tools through features, such as Presets, Toolsets, and Gizmos. You can also parallelize work and share your Nuke scripts using LiveGroups.
Its Pyside and Python API ensures automation of procedures and tasks, and you can write your image processing operations with the BlinkScript node or C++ SDK.
It was used to edit Hollywood movies like ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’
Pricing for this tool includes a free version and four paid versions: Nuke plan going at $5,518, NukeX at $10,268, Nuke Studio, which costs $11,868, and Nuke Render, which goes for $622.
6. FUSION 17
FUSION 17 is among the most popular 3D compositors used in the Hollywood film industry.
It is an advanced solution for 3D, motion graphics, VR, and visual effects. The software has been around for more than 30 years, helping to create the best TV shows and blockbuster movies in Hollywood.
It comes with a powerful node-based interface for creating sophisticated effects just by connecting various image processing tools.
We are talking about incredible 3D and VR support, unlimited network rendering, GPU accelerated performance, and so much more. The result is stimulating visual effects, dramatic titles, and broadcast graphics for your movie.
It’s the place to create precisely timed animations and build your own effects templates. With the animation curve modifiers, you can squish or stretch keyframes, loop or mirror animations and add bounce. On Fusion, animations adjust accordingly when you drop effects or titles on the timeline.
This platform has a host of tools and effects to make any movie stand out.
Hollywood movies that use Blackmagic Fusion include ‘The Martian,’ ‘Ant-Man,’ ‘Red Sparrow,’ and ‘Thor,’ among others.
The software costs $295.
Remember ‘Avengers Endgame’ from Marvel Studios? You heard that right. Many other big-budget Hollywood movies have utilized Adobe After Effects to create stunning visual effects for their movies.
Adobe After Effects is well known for its digital composting power. The VFX software lets you incorporate novel effects into your movie or TV projects, including opening arrangements for science fiction motion pictures or the enchantment spells you see in ‘Harry Potter.’
Whether it’s 3D movement, motion graphics, or animation, Adobe After Effects will take care of it. This motion graphics monster has tools like puppet, built-in motion blur, animations, preset effects, and an excellent camera for smooth motions.
It is built for professional editors and offers a monthly subscription. Pricing plans include an individual plan, one for educators and students, another for businesses and teams, and the last one for schools and universities. They all have multiple pricing subcategories.
Lightworks has been serving the Hollywood film industry for more than 25 years. Its presence has been felt in Hollywood movies, including ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall-Street,’ among many others.
It’s an excellent solution for both small and big screens. You can use it to produce stunning videos for Facebook, 4K film projects, YouTube, and other social media. It’s got top-notch features for enthusiasts as well as professionals.
On its free version, you get plenty of editing features except for the restriction in the output format. You’re only allowed to watch your final video at 720p with no HD. A one-month license is required in order to export your piece at a higher resolution.
The Pro version lets you export videos in HD and 4K, with support for multiple output formats. Trim and edit your projects based on timelines and your needs.
It features a simple user interface, royalty-free video and audio content, effect keyframes, chroma-key, support for wide file format, including a variable frame rate media, Boris FX, Graffiti Pro bundle, and LUTs for color correction.
Pricing information is not provided.
DaVinci Resolve 17 is among the best software for color correction and non-linear video editing.
The program has a rich feature set for people looking to design quality, accurate videos/movies.
It lets you refine your audio as you work on the visuals. You get to access its professional 8K features and curate modern screen-grade content.
DaVinci integrates with different tools to help you enhance your projects. It includes facial recognition technology, video stabilization, custom timeline settings, and adjustment clips to ensure you produce professional videos.
It comes with a wide variety of collaboration tools to use, including its universal timeline for team collaboration.
The built-in chat feature keeps communication between team members working on their projects. Another significant feature is its audio scrubbing for Farlight audios with up to 100 enhancements.
With DaVinci, you have top-of-the-line tools to finish your gig budget commercials, TV programs, and even full-length feature films.
The Fusion visual effects section offers a complete 3D workspace to editors with more than 250 toolsets for tracking, rotoscoping, compositing, keying, text animation, and much more.
The playback engine offers fast processing and high-performance editing even when working with heavy RAW formats. It can also carry out multi-cam editing for sixteen cameras and playback views.
The Neural Engine enables speed warp retiming, facial recognition, and much more. With keyframe editing, you can animate anything with ease. Its audio scrubbing and pitch correction helps to understand dialogue without playing videos faster.
DaVinci Resolve has been used for color grading or editing feature films such as ‘The Golden Circle,’ ‘Prometheus,’ ‘Robin Hood,’ and more.
It has a free plan and a paid option that costs $295.
10. Vegas Pro
Vegas Pro still retained its looks even after getting sold to Magix. It has undergone various upgrades and additions to become one of the best video editing programs in the industry.
It is highly known for its clear timeline and picture-to-picture editing capabilities. And it comes in various versions to suit your needs. Besides, this tool is compatible with a wide variety of plugins.
It provides special effects and works with various project files and file formats. It’s one of the editors with powerful video editing features.
If you’re new to video editing, this software will help you grow as you aspire to become a pro editor. It supports chroma keying, color correction, multi-cam editing, subtitles, and more.
Since it supports various project files, you can use this tool to edit your own videos from scratch to the end.
Its customizable interface allows you to have a comfortable workspace for your tasks. It makes up for a friendly platform with a low learning curve.
It’s been used in films like ‘The Craving Heart,’ ‘Paranormal Activity,’ and ‘Bred in the Bone’ and TV shows like ‘Survivorman’ from Discovery Channel.
It offers a Vegas Pro 365 plan at $11.99/mo and a Vegas Post 365 plan at $17.99/mo.
ZBrush is meant for artists who want to create illustrations and models from imagination.
Its features let you use brushes to texture, shape, and paint virtual clay in real-time. It has tools for game developers, film editors, and other artists to use in their digital sculpting and painting works.
It comes with intuitive workflows and powerful features for modern artists. The interface is elegantly built, with advanced tools to sculpt millions of high-resolution polygons in games, animations, and movies.
Its animation timeline enables the creation of moving turntables for demo reels. You can animate poses, sync animation to music, store camera positions, and import audio to lip-synch and test blend shapes.
Movies that have utilized the power of ZBrush include ‘The Incredible Hulk,’ Hobbit Films, ‘Pacific Rim,’ ‘Tron,’ ‘The Pirates,’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ and ‘Star Trek into Darkness.’
It offers different pricing models, including a Single User monthly subscription of $39.95, a Single User yearly subscription at $359, and a Single User Perpetual License of $895.
Houdini is a Side Effects Software product for 3D animation and special effects. Since 25 years back, the software has been serving artists specializing in 3D animation and VFX for video games, film, virtual reality, and TV.
The program utilizes node-based procedural workflow to help editors explore iterations while refining work. It allows multiple iterations, making it easy to develop animations and effects.
Houdini can be used in multiple ways, including particle effects, dynamic environments, modeling, rendering, and animating through keyframes.
It also has a powerful volumetrics system that creates fire and smoke simulations and a compositor that produces layered image effects.
This versatile program offers internal scripting that helps automate specific tasks and create custom plugins and tools.
It contains all the video editing tools and VFX tools. This software has powerful, customizable, and reliable tools built to help artists achieve high-end production.
It’s been used by big-budget industries, including Disney, to create top-of-the-line effects in movies like ‘Zootopia,’ ‘Frozen,’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’ Video game studios use it in cinematics for games like ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Call of Duty.’
It has a free version and three other paid versions, including the Indie, Studio, Education, and Engine versions with subcategories at different prices, as seen on the pricing page.
Mocha Pro is an ideal video editing tool for animated graphics. Animation artists use it for rotoscoping and replacing the screen.
It also acts as a plugin in Adobe Premiere or After Effects, meaning you can use After Effects to track shots in Mocha before getting back to After Effects with the tracked data.
Mocha is a planar-based tracking system that helps track any movement outside a cluster of pixels. It makes the screen replacement process a breeze, especially when using spline-based workflow. You can track almost any type of movement without a problem.
Other features besides splines and tracking include lens calibration, 3D camera solving, stabilization, and advanced modules. It also has GPU accelerated tracking and object removal.
Mocha Pro offers stereo 360/VR support, and you can export data to other systems.
The program has been used in movies like ‘Blade Runner 2049,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘Prisoner of Azkaban,’ ‘Iron Man,’ and more.
Mocha offers multiple pricing options, as seen on its pricing page.
Pixar’s RenderMan is used in 3D animation and live action. It’s a versatile program with a state-of-the-art framework to carry out physically based rendering.
RenderMan offers unmatched flexibility in rendering 3D movie productions and ensuring high-end visual effects and animations with much versatility and scalability.
It has cutting-edge production tools to help speed up projects and workflows without compromising quality.
It enables limitless creativity through a toolset that renders photorealistic images that look like illustrations and cartoons.
It comes with comprehensive APIs to help users create complex collaborative environments that ensure flexibility. It also has a fully-featured camera that delivers synthetic images that simulate real-world photos.
Its MaterialX Lama helps to deliver outstanding visual effects.
The software renders faster and can resume interrupted renders and redefine animation approval.
Use it to render clouds, fire, dust, and many other effects. You can also develop micro details like scratches without sampling.
Hollywood movies edited by Pixar’s RenderMan include ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ ‘Titanic,’ ‘Terminator,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Dark Fate,’ ‘The Lion King’, and more.
Pricing for this tool is available on quote.
15. Foundry Modo
Modo is a creative 3D modeling, texturing, rendering, and animation tool from Foundry. It is a feature-packed program with innovative features like edge weighting and n-gons. It lets you develop ideas and unleash your creativity without exerting much effort.
Its modeling features include reenvisioned Mesh Fusion and topology features. mPath is its hybrid renderer that combines with iterative denoising technology to help you visualize all your designs.
Modo lets you develop your efficient workflow to simplify tasks. Other features include animation and rigging, support for OCIO, FBX, and USB, construction of procedural modeling systems, hybrid renderer, support for QT5 and Python 3, and more.
It allows you to see photorealistic versions of your products in any context, including how your designs perform.
Its rendering engine delivers stunning results in a short time. And you can use it with other renderers like Octane and V-Ray. It has passes and pass groups that enable you to switch between iterations of your scene elements to organize them.
It has been used in Hollywood films like ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Ant Bully,’ ‘Wall-E,’ and ‘Stealth.’
Pricing models include a Modo Maintenance plan at $462/yr for a single user license, a Modo Subscription plan for $689/yr, or $68/mo for a single user license for individual use.
The video editors listed here are the most powerful and widely used in the film industry. Depending on your needs, you can choose your preferred software to achieve desired outcomes.
These programs have been serving Hollywood for years. Their proven track record depicts them as the best in the market, which makes them the best choice for your video editing needs.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.