12:13 | 02.04.20 | Articles | exclusive 63394

US and Armenia-based platform EditMentor to teach creative video editing

US-based EditStock company together with Armenia-based Flux Technologies have created EditMentor, the first platform in the world that teaches video editing, focusing on the creative aspect of the processes and at the same time enables the users to edit videos online (non-linear editing method).

The need for a new tool

Amid the consistent advance of technologies, video content is a trend. However, high-quality video content is rare because in most cases the idea might be good but the execution, particularly in terms of creativity, is poor.

That is what the EditMentor took into account while creating the new product. They worked on it with their Hollywood-based partner Misha Tenenbaum, member of Motion Picture Editors Guild, who has over 5000 hours to his name in TV and film projects.

According to CEO and co-founder of Flux Technologies, CTO and co-founder of EditMentor GorVardanyan, Misha’s vast experience and knowledge have been invaluable for the EditMentor team.

The cooperation started around 5 years ago, when they worked with Misha’s EditStock startup.

“The goal was to enable students to discover new areas in video editing. EditStock was quite successful and we started thinking of how we could bring about more changes in the field. EditMentor is the result of our discussions,” said Gor Vardanyan.

The creative aspect of video editing

Before EditMentor, video editing lessons focused on teaching the tools rather than dealing with the creative aspect of editing. According to Vardanyan, teaching art is fraught with challenges, but any art has fundamental methods and skills. The EditMentor team researched how learning process was organized in the field and decided to take the cornerstones and use the chess teaching methodology.

On the new platform experienced specialists provide basic knowledge via an interactive system and then suggest quizzes and challenges, which students complete and receive feedback from the specialists.

So, the students have the opportunity to listen to lectures from top teachers, receive guidance and interactive feedback. Additionally, the functionality of online video editing tool allows the students to obtain practical knowledge without powerful computers and expensive software.

Gor Vardanyan has noted that in the beta version of the platform, the team managed to include the world’s top film schools such as Mount Saint Mary's University, Chapman University, Student Reporting Labs (SRL) and many of Hollywood’s best digital media schools.

On future plans

EditMentor will have 3 stages of development. In the first one, the team will work with the students in the mentioned schools and universities who have video editing courses such as film production, journalism, blogging, etc.

There are over 37,000 high schools in the U.S., which teach filmmaking, journalism, video editing. It is a huge market. At the same time, it is the age group that makes the most video materials. In this stage, EditMentor team has engaged the best specialists in the field who are creating courses on the platform.

The main goal of EditMentor is to teach the creative art of video editing. In the testing stage, the company will take into account the opinions of the specialists and make necessary changes.

According to Gor Vardanyan, his team has already had several meetings with the faculty at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles. A few days ago they presented the platform to a group of 20 students.

CEO and co-founder of EditStock and EditMentor Misha Tenenbaumhas said they received very positive feedback from the students. For them, video editing courses are a real challenge, as they have had to fulfill their tasks at the university before because they do not have powerful computers and licensed software at home. In the next two months, 15 schools will start using the platform. Afterwards, EditMentor team will start working with the field leaders and engage hundreds of schools within one year.

In the second stage, EditMentor will develop marketing strategy for vlogging and video journalism. In the end, the team will have a large educational platform where anyone can study video editing. In that stage, they also want to improve and finish the online video editing tool.

In the third stage, EditMentor plans to create a system that would provide tips while the student is editing video material via machine learning, like Spell checker in Microsoft Word. The system will independently analyze and decide what is done correctly during the editing process.

On competitors

EditMentor does not have competitors yet, but it will in the future, when it transforms from an educational tool into an online video editing platform. The field already has several key players. According to Vardanyan, EditMentor is negotiating with them, and they are interested in cooperation.

On plans for Armenian office

Misha Tenenbaum will visit Armenia in the coming months, and the EditMentor creators will try to organize a workshop, led by him, for the Armenian audience. They want to test EditMentor in Armenian institutions which are interested in teaching video editing, for instance, Tumo Center for Creative Technologies.

CTO Armen Mshetsyan has said he hopes it is not just American schools and universities that are interested in the project and Armenian schools will also want to try the platform.

“Armenia is already known as a country that teaches chess at school, and we could make the same for video content making. It would give Armenian students the opportunity to try a new, promising type of work,” he said.

About the team

The team was not large initially. The fundamental work was done with the leading web developer, Anushavan. In 2019, as they started developing the main product, they also enlarged the team. The creators recruited new web-developers, quality assurance and UI/UX experts. According to Gor Vardanyan, by that time they had the core of the team which just marked achievement after achievement thanks to good teamwork.

“We value our victories as a team and I am happy to see that these achievements come as a result of unlimited contribution from each one of us. When people love what they do and feel inspired by what they create, success follows,” said Sona Ter-Asatryan, Production Manager.

On uniqueness of the solution

According to Sona Ter-Asatryan, the solution is unique as it does not have an analogue.

“You might find online video editing tools, but EditMentor offers capacities and functions and others could not imagine as possible.

Our tool teaches specifics and secrets of video editing, required for getting a good result. In other words, the platform does not teach how the tools work or what each function is for but presents the editing process as a whole, helping create a high-quality video that people will like,” she said.
EditMentor team highlights that the platform teaches creative video editing, helps users to see which shots need to be removed, when the scene needs to change, and many other details – EditMentors teaches it all.

On technical specifics of the platform

Initially, the goal was to bring heavy, complex computer programs online. Even imagining that was hard. According to Web Developer Anushavan Karapetyan, they came across plenty of difficulties along the way but overcame them pretty successfully.

The team tried to create a product that could run on the weakest computer and the weakest internet connection. So, the user should be able to access the tool from anywhere. The platform can also be synchronized with other video editing tools, for instance, one part of the video can be edited on EditMentor and another on Adobe Premier Pro.

CTO Armen Mshetsyan notes that it is certain that the team managed to realize the idea, find solutions that did not exist before. “EditMentor started with a small team and over time it has grown so that now the team not only provides technical solutions but also generates ideas. You could say that the entire company contributed to EditMentor,” he underlined.

Narine Daneghyan