Tuesday, June 12, 2012

To Make A Video Balance Need vs Want

There is such an encouragement to spend money, especially in tech and video production. When I first got started in web video all I could afford was a $99 dollar camcorder. It was shaped like a bulky powder case, recorded in 640x480 .avi video and the only thing you could do was press and record.

It was enough. It was what I needed.

Currently people are recording video on:
  • Smartphones
  • Personal Media Players
  • Tablets
  • Still Cameras
  • Point and Share Camcorders
  • Dedicated Camcorders
  • Software Recording – Screencasting
So what do you really need to make a video? It depends on your and your audience.  It depends on the story you want to tell and the best tools for the job.

I think it is easy to loose sight of that when the new shiny comes slinking down the street. So let’s shift a little from consumption to production. Starting at the beginning of the process is generally a good idea. You don't necessarily need more money but there might be other things you want to stock up on.

What Do You Need?

A Plan

A plan or a good idea of what you want to create. This does not mean that you have to tell a linear story. There are really cool abstraction videos.  I remember a videoblogger who use to take old nooky movies and colorized, visual distort and slow the clip down so that it became a sensory clip of art. Dude had a plan but the results were randomly wonderful.


You need time. Yes, I know some of you can flick a button and upload directly to your video web host. The time I’m talking about is taking a moment to see what you want and making sure you record that to your video.

It might mean taking the time to stand still (if you can, for police actions you might have to be on the move). It might mean remembering to incorporate the 5-Shot method so that you have clips to work with should you chose to edit or trim later.


For those that want to edit videos you want to set up a workflow that helps you find the video and audio you want to incorporate in your video quickly. You don’t want clips scattered all over your computer. You need a file system. It really does save you time and frustration.

Editing Software

Windows Movie Maker or iMovie? Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier Elements? Final Cut 7 or Avid? Doesn’t really matter. It does matter that you can take the time to learn more than the visual cues of push this, pull that, click to make movie.  Know your software.

Understand Some of the Lingo

Bandwidth. Codec. Embed code. There are some concepts you should know but you don’t have to go deep unless you really want to. My point is that you are gonna have to learn news things. This is not bad. It is good for brain health.  You might not think so as you are cussing about why isn’t the blankety-blank not working.

It will.

You want to make a video. What do you need and what do you already have?

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