Monday, 10 February 2014

Creating A Video | The Incomplete Guide

Let me firstly lay down a precedence for this post - I am not a professional videographer, in fact far from it, but I recently had to delve into the world of video creation myself to create my Squared Online introductory video, introducing myself to my fellow classmates. I thought I would share with you the ups and downs of the process and the research I undertook to do the best I could with the tools available to me! 

Please remember - I am not a professional videographer and this article is called "The Incomplete Guide", but I do hope that those finding it difficult making a start, feel a little more inspired!

Some questions I first asked myself:
  1. Who was my audience?
    My audience would mainly be my Squared classmates and tutors. In the first instance, this is who I wanted to create the movie as the audience in mind. However, I could also publish this to my blog to show others that may be following my journey, outside of the course.
  2. What look did I want to go for? Modern, Nostalgic, Mystery etc.
    My course was digital. I love digital. So a modern, fresh theme was what I wanted to achieve, something catchy that helped to present my view of digital and the explain to others a little more about me, in a simple, direct way.
  3. What resolution did I want to produce? 360p / 720p HD/ 1080p HD?
    In fitting with my aim at a fresh and clean-cut look, I decided the only way I could achieve this was to use HD (high-definition) footage, shot in 1080p. I would then create my movie with HD in mind, remembering to output my final video in 1080p HD. This would allow those with the a higher broadband speed to watch it with the clearest sound quality and better definition to the pictures themselves. Further to this, bearing in mind the YouTube flexibilities, I also knew that those with a slower Internet connection could also stream the video in a slightly reduced quality, to allow the video to be shown.
  4. Did I want my video 'branded' by a third-party company?
    I wanted to try and steer clear of free services that would add their logo to the corner or through the video, with the aim of the user paying an upgrade fee to remove the branding. For it to remain clear, concise and modern, I felt I needed to use a tool/service that did not brand my final video.
  5. How much time did I have to play with?
    I had a few days to play with, so I knew I had a bit of time to play with my creation to get it right. Had I been restricted to a few hours, this may have affected the decision of programs to use.
  6. What tools did I already have for the job? What else would I need?
    I knew pre-installed on Windows 7 & 8 is Windows Movie Maker. I had this already, it was free and included on my PC already. Having used this only once, I decided this may not be enough. I researched numerous other programs, including AnimotoStupeflix and WeVideo. All of these services, I'm sure are great and fit a need, but all charge a fee to output at higher resolutions (anything above 360p) and some were restricted in length. So Windows Movie Maker it was! (no branding, free, 1080p output).
  7. Where was I going to upload the footage to?
    I knew I was going to upload to YouTube, so I researched the type of videos that work best on the site: > YouTube Help.
  8. What footage did I own, what footage did I need?
    I already knew I had a selection of videos that I had taken and wanted to include, but I also wanted to add other, more abstract videos. A great article that helped me find free, HD stock footage was published by Ashutosh KS on here.
After collating my personal videos, my stock videos, a storyboard of what messages I wanted to get across and a catchy background track I already had in mind, I took to Windows Movie Maker to start compiling the videos. I trimmed many videos down to 3 seconds, or increased the footage speed of longer shots to coincide with the music itself, interrupting the shots momentarily for key words or phrases to be shown. You will find the finished video posted just below. See what you think!

"This is Adam" - Adam Prettyjohns

Can you recommend any video editing software? Have you written a guide of your own video? Post your answers in the comment box below. Thanks!