The ABCs of Video Editing

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The ABCs of Video Editing

My first real shock was having to watch footage of myself. I’m a non-techie and was never videotaped when I was growing up. I must have a little Amish blood in me because I really don’t like watching video of myself. In fact, it freaks me out a little bit. I mention this only because I know I am not alone in this “that can’t possibly be me on the screen” sensation. All I can say is, get over it or work around it the best you can.
The second thing that struck me is that I had no idea what a control freak and perfectionist I am. I was a little overwhelmed by what I saw as mistakes, errors and just plain bad grammar in my videos! Again, my advice is to pretend you are watching your best friend in the video and you’ll be less harsh yourself.
I’m writing this article assuming that you are pretty much on your own when it comes to creating a video. If you have help, that’s great and you should appreciate it. If you don’t have someone to lean on, don’t worry! It’s possible to create a brilliant video on your own.

  1. Select your video editing software/application. I’ve mentioned Windows Movie Maker for PC and iMovie for Mac. Movie Maker is a very basic program that will allow you to add credits, photos, video and audio. Apple’s iMovie does the same, but with many more advanced features. Both are of consumer or hobby quality. You can buy professional versions with features that make my head spin and help you grow in your skills.
  2. You will move or import all the elements into the program with a timeline usually appearing along the bottom. You must place all the elements into the program to move into the timeline. Just like any creative program, you can move, edit, rearrange, delete and take your time in creating the video. Nothing is final until you save the file.
  3. Be aware that videos are done in various ratios called aspect ratios. The standard TV format is 4×3 and appears as a square whereas the 16×9 is the increasingly popular widescreen TV format and used with high definition (HD) video. Why is that important? Because if you are going to post on a site that only allows for the 4×3, a 16×9 will not work. Videos are also saved in different formats or types of files like Windows Media, Flash, QuickTime, MPEG, and more. File formats also play a role in which sites you can upload to on the web.
  4. Besides titles, credits and body, a video can have transitions between the different parts to make it flow easier. You don’t have to use transitions, but you should at least test out a few like a wipe or a fade. A beginner’s mistake is to try to use too many transitions or too many different types of transitions. Suddenly the transitions have taken over the show! For instace, if you move from the opening title to the start of a craft demonstration and there is no transition, the switch from a text slide to someone talking is too abrupt. A simple fade in and out helps the viewer know a change is coming.

As with any skills, video editing is something that needs to be done over and over. Soon, it becomes second nature for you to sit down and put all the pieces and parts together into a solid, interesting presentation of your work! The possibilities are endless.

 Expert Advice

When creating a video, the atmosphere and stage are as important as what’s being demonstrated. Here are some video tips from the experts:

  1. Comcorder Info has a great list of 10 tips on how to a better video. It’s definitely worth reading.
  2. Six tips for making a business marketing video can be found on the blog of Inbound Internet Marketing.
  3. WebInkNow has 8 tips to make your YouTube video go viral! Just be funny, amazing, or remarkable (plus a few more tips).

 By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

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