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Beginner's Guide to Video Production

 

August 8th, 2017

By: Jeffrey Li

 

Planning and Execution


Creating digital content for marketing purposes can be daunting, especially if you’re trying to replicate the fancy videos you see elsewhere on the web. First you must think deeply about what the message and purpose of your video is and what you want to convey, who your audience is, and what you want them to do or feel after watching your video? Once you’ve considered the different aspects behind the video’s purpose can you begin filming using the resources and tools at your disposal.

If you find yourself confused or unsure of how to go about filming certain scenes or what goes into the process in general, the internet has all the answers, seriously! There are plenty of how-tos and DIY videos out there that help you create a clean and professional-looking video in no time.

  • Ideally you’re able to film scenes using a quality digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera but if resources are limited, you can get away with using your phone (but it’s not advised!).
  • Depending on the kind of scenes you want to capture, consider having a steady and stable shot throughout the process, it’s a turnoff for viewers when the screen is wobbling up and down. Equipment with gyro-stabilizers are highly recommended if you plan on moving around for your shot, otherwise a heavy tripod is best for fixed shots.
  • Try to control for sound by removing as many possible distractions as possible that are within your control, like keeping doors in the room closed during the shoot and side conversations to a minimum, these all contribute to a crisper sounding end product. If you find that your camera’s microphone isn’t capturing the sound properly, try setting up your phone as an external microphone or purchase an external mic to capture quality audio. If you go with this route of using an external mic, you’ll just have to align the audio track to the speaker’s mouth movement in post-production.

Post Production


Now that you have clips to work with, how do you edit them and piece them together to create a cohesive and compelling video? If at all possible, I highly recommend using professional video editing software such as Adobe’s Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro because of their seamless interfaces. Access to Adobe’s creative cloud products, specifically After Effects, in conjunction with Premiere Pro allow you create animations for branding and other purposes. Regardless of the program, most if not all have the capability to easily create video. If you’re unsure of how to edit videos, there are plenty of tutorial videos online on sites like Youtube for you to consult as a resource!

  • Once you’ve started dragging and dropping videos and created a sequence, you’ll want to add descriptions, titles, transitions, and the other little things that result in a clean, finished product.
  • Consider what kind of transition you want between clips, from a direct cut to the next clip like in TV shows or a dissolve transition in cinematic trailers.
  • Also consider adding adjustment layers across parts of or the whole video. Adjustment layers range from audio enhancement to color enhancement, I highly recommend playing around with the colors of your video to add a filtered effect which makes it look more professional.

The video editing software can also import images or stills that you can resize and adjust for your video, these can be used to incorporate branding like logos. If you’re using Adobe’s products, Photoshop and Illustrator are great tools that are already integrated with Premiere Pro. Another great tool is Canva. You can use Canva to easily create graphics and logos in addition to exporting them as high quality .png files.

  • Besides the templates already provided by Canva, you can create your own by resizing and reshaping different shapes in the tool like using two rectangles and rotating them to create an X; there’s a lot of freedom to unleash your creativity.

My last tip to you is separating and adjusting the audio from the video in post-production.

  • You can unlink video clips from their respective audio tracks and independently increase or decrease the volume of the track, usually by dragging a point in the middle of the track up or down.
  • And if you recorded using an external mic, you’ll have to manually sync the audio track with the video clip which takes many playbacks of the same track and moving your audio a little forward or backward.

That all may sound like a lot, but once you get started you’ll find that it’s a lot easier and straightforward than you think! You’ll need patience and an eye for detail throughout the process as you’ll encounter repetitive moments or feel like you’ve run against a wall. But it’s all worth it in the end when you are able to see the finished product and see it being showcased to the world!


About Jeffrey

I’m a senior majoring in economics with a concentration in global development studies at Grinnell College, a small liberal arts college in Iowa. I’m excited to be spending my 3rd summer in the tech industry interning at Edlio and being able to leverage technology to make a positive impact in the education space. At Grinnell, I’m entering my 2nd year as the photo editor of the newspaper and 8th year doing photojournalism work as well as playing on the soccer team. You can contact me at jeffrey.li@edlio.com or lijeffre@grinnell.edu