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Working with digital 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.

Prep 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 - 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 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.


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.  


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

Windows Movie Maker - this will take you to Microsoft's page of tutorials and how-to's for working with Movie Maker. You can click here to see some written tutorials made by ETCI.

iMovie - this will take you to apple's page of tutorials and how-to's for working with iMovie. 

Final Cut Pro - this will take you to apple's tutorials and how-to's for working iwth Final Cut Pro

Adobe Premiere CS6 and Adobe Premiere CC  - these will take you to Adobe's tutorials and how-to's for each.

Other resources

Copy free audio resources


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.