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Working with Video

Videos are a great way to communicate information. And while there are millions of movies out there, covering millions of topics, sometimes you need or want to make a video that is suited to your use. Below is all the information you need to make your perfect video.

Prepping I Shooting I Editing I Publishing

Before you get started

The Prep for shooting is actually the most time consuming part of making a film. The resources below cover the steps you should take before you begin shooting.

Getting Ready to Record Video covers what should be done in a more general terms.

Using a Storyboard goes over why a storyboard is important when it comes to filming, particularly for moving shots or shots with multiple people

Writing Scripts covers writing scripts, gives tips and examples of scripts

Staff/Positions - finding the right people to work in and on your video is imperative; everyone from editors to actors has an impact on your video.

Equipment - you can't record a video without equipment, and this page goes over equipment available and links to a page where you can see examples of our cameras' shots in various lighting to see which is best for your videos and locations.

Locations are an important part of any video, and some may require special permissions to film in, such as public lands that might need a permit from BLM. You are legally allowed to record your videos in public, as long as you are not interfering with any military or police business. Read more about your rights about photography in public places at ACLU. On private property you must secure permission of the owner and follow their rules.

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Shooting

This is the step where you get all your footage. If you've done the above steps, this should be the easiest part of the process, if not, get ready to have a lot of confusion and re-shoots. You'll want to do things multiple times anyway, to get a variety of choices in the editing phase, but having an idea of what you want for each take will make the process much smoother.

Video takes only a little time to shoot, but a lot of time to edit and compress. Pay attention to lighting, background noise and other issues, then shoot the video. Make sure to do multiple takes, it gives you more option when it comes time to edit. Keeping a log of shoots and clips you felt went well during the shooting process can help you organize your video for editing. A few minutes of planning will save hours, or even days, in editing later.

You also need to be aware of scheduling, and other factors that can affect your ability to film, such as lighting, weather, traffic, or events. Awareness of photographic lighting principles remains important, but  ambient lighting can serve most needs. Exceptions are longer videos that require natural lighting. For example, in one video a short conversation takes place, while the sun appears to plunge from full afternoon light to dusk in about three minutes.

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Editing

This is a labor intensive process. You will need to make sure you save as you go, and make sure you keep multiple copies of your project and keep the originals. Keeping copies of your work and the originals will help protect you in case of copyright infringement, and in case the worse happens and something doesn't get saved or it just doesn't work out and you can't undo it.

Below are the main video editing softwares used. Windows Movie Maker and iMovie are good for simples videos that don't require a large amount of effects or additions. Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro are the tools to use to for large video projects that need effects or to be exported in specific formats. These two are also better for projects that require combining clips or doing frame by frame editing. These are the most commonly used video editing softwares, all of which are available in FDL:

  • Windows Movie Maker - Microsoft's page of tutorials and how-to's for working with Movie Maker. Go here to see some written tutorials made by ETCI.
  • iMovie - Apple's page of tutorials and how-to's for working with iMovie. 
  • Final Cut Pro - Apple's tutorials and how-to's for working with Final Cut Pro
  • Adobe Premiere CS6 - Adobe's tutorials and how-to's for each.

If you need help with any of the programs above, you can come into FDL for assistance.

If you are make a simple, short film, products such as iMovie, or Movie Maker will serve most people's needs. These products all do a reasonable job of helping users import video, edit and organize clips on a timeline, add sound, and titles and credits and transitions. Best of all, they are all easy to learn and use. When it's time to export the format should be as H.264 or .mp4, these are the most compatible formats across multiple devices.  More advance users may want to invest in Adobe Premiere, or Final Cut Pro, which will provide advanced editing and exporting features.

Final Cut and Adobe Premiere both have adjacent software that can be used to add special effects and to directly edit the audio tracks from your video footage. They are better for frame by frame editing, or editing which requires you to match either audio tracks to effects.

You will begin your video editing project by importing video into the program you are using. Once you do this you will have your video on your computer so you can edit it, as well as an original copy on the storage card from the camera. You should save all the video you have shot on your storage card as a back-up until your project is complete, in case the worst happens and you need access to the originals. As for the footage you have just imported to your computer, you will need a good way to store it.

If you are working on your personal computer, and you have enough memory space (remember, a high-quality, ten-minute movie will take up around 8 gigabytes during the editing process), you can simply save your project on your hard drive. However, if you are working on a computer in a Linfield computer lab, or need to use multiple computers to edit your project, you will need an alternative method to save your project. Using a portable hard drive is one option, or a large flash drive depending on the size of the video, both of which are relatively inexpensive. 

SAVE AS YOU GO and consider making an additional backup copy of your work, in case the worst happens. Remember that video editing is very time consuming, and a hard drive crash or an error of some kind can mean the loss of hours and hours of labor. It would be wise, if possible, to periodically make back-up copies of your project as your are editing it. You can also use a cloud service to store your files and access them from multiple computers.

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Publishing

You have a number of options to publish your project: burning it to a CD/DVD; publishing to a video hosting site, like YouTube or Vimeo; uploading it to a web page. You can even just keep a digital copy to share with people as needed. The first step to publishing your video is to export if from the program you used to edit your video. We recommend you export your video as a .mp4 or H.264.  Once the video is done exporting (which can take several minutes to hours, depending on the length of the video), you can follow any of the below tutorials to publish your video:

Handbrake - rip and convert DVDs to MP4 movies.  You should only be doing this with non-copyrighted material.

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If you want or need any help with your video project at any stage, you can contact Lige Armstong at larmstro@linfield.edu, or stop into the Faculty Development Lab.