An idea to speed up the process and use less resources when editing HD video would be to use a low resolution version of the video as a guide. Akin to 3D software, this would be like rendering the animation first at a low resolution.
So with this you first create a low resolution version of the video. Do all the cuts and effects. Then you preview the result. If the result is good you render the video with the high resolution. With the actions as a script.