Video Production

Sedona Video Editing

Video Editing

So, you want to create a video, but you have no clue how to get started. You’ve got a few computer skills and you’re confident you can pull it off.  You think “how hard can it be?” Well, it can be tough because learning any new skill takes some time, usually because we make so many mistakes when learning something new. I will try to minimize your mistake making with this video editing post.

The Script

The first thing you need to know about video editing is that it takes quite a bit time and can be quite laborious. The more organized you are before you even shoot the video for your project, the easier it will be to edit and save you a bunch of time (or money). You always want to shoot your footage with the edit in mind. This isn’t an easy thing to do if you are a beginner because it’s difficult to see the finished video in your minds eye since most of us don’t have any experience or practice seeing a finished product before you even start the process of creating it. We have to build a mental picture of what our video will look like.

The best way to create that mental picture is to create a script. I refer to a script over and over before I shoot a single frame of video and I’ve been doing this work for almost 15 years. I always have the script at the shoot no matter what kind of video it is…Commercial, info video, documentary, corporate video or a talking head video that some footage (B-roll) will be placed over the top of.

I like to start with a sheet of paper with 3 columns on it. In the first column I write what the shot will look like and match it with the 3rd column where the actual script resides. What goes in the 2nd column? I use the second column for graphics that are superimposed over the video if necessary.

Here’s a script from a recent commercial I shot. You can use this example for any kind of video. Click here for a blank Microsoft Word file I use as a template.

Sedona Video Editing Script

Script written by Megan Aronson

Once you have your script written do not part with it. Use it before the shoot to get familiar with what you will be shooting, to figure out what lighting you may need, or any kind of extra equipment like microphones and tripods that will be used during the shoot. Like I said before, I refer to a script many times during the shoot and during the video editing process.

The Shoot

When setting up the shots for your video the script is indispensable. It can tell you where to set up, what to shoot and whether or not the timing of a shot fits with a narration. Again, shoot for the edit. I overshoot everything so I have some choices during the editing process. Shooting some extra footage from different points of view with the camera is always good practice and can spice up an edit quite a bit.

Video Editing

Now comes the fun! Once you’ve shot and captured all the video and have it in a computer you are ready to edit. Most video editing programs are quite similar these days so I’m not going to be too specific about any particular program. Most editing programs have a timeline where you lay all your clips into in the order you have mapped out in your script. Basically you line up your clips over a narration track, whether it be from a narrator or a talking head.

sedona video edit

You then roughly put your clips where they need to go and move on down the timeline until you have followed your script and have all the shots you need inserted. At this point just use simple cuts because you want to make sure everything fits as your script dictates the timing of the shots.

Next you can add (or not add) the transitions between your clips. This can really add to the look and feel of the piece you are creating. Some transitions can smooth out some rough spots that a cut can create. Try a dissolve or a wipe in between your shots, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. Try making the transitions shorter or longer, it can make a huge difference on how the piece feels.

Most videos don’t need flashy transitions so don’t make the whole piece about the transitions between shots. That stuff can be pretty distracting and might take away from your message, then again it might make it more exciting and give the piece some energy. This is what editing is all about – finding out what serves the piece you are creating to make it more engaging, beautiful and/or to fit into a certain time frame. After the cuts and transitions have been added you can move on to the graphics which can be applied to the timeline before, after and during your video.

One thing I hope I’ve made clear is that video editing starts before you even pick up a camera or sit down at the computer to edit your video. Always being able to see what your finished product will look like will make your video much better in the long run.

Bruce Fraser is videographer, Sedona video editor and owner of SedonaVideos.com a production company that does Sedona video editing, videography and Video SEO.

 

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Sedona Wedding Video

Just finished another Sedona wedding video. Joe and Allison were from Chicago and wanted to play their wedding video at their reception back home one week later. I had to get on the edit quick to get it to them on time. Luckily they wanted an MP4 wedding video they could play on their computer out to a projector at the reception. That made it easier because there was no overnighting a DVD which gave me some extra time. It’s always nice to give a couple a MP4 video of their Sedona wedding because it is a much higher quality than a standard definition DVD.

I left early and punched in the address of the house I was supposed to meet them at into my cell phone. I ended up in the Village at the wrong address! Some how my phone took me to the wrong street but it had a similar name. Luckily I left early and made it to the right house only about 5 minutes late (I do not like being late!). We shot some video of the groom getting ready and some picture taking which is always fun and an opportunity to get some smiling faces of the family and friends.

We hiked up to the flat spot on Cathedral Rock Trail behind Cathedral Rock right at dusk. The trailhead was packed with people as it was a full moon that night. That spot is the most popular in Sedona for full moon ceremonies and the trail was clogged with people hiking to their particular ceremonies. I was a little worried about losing the light cause it was getting dark quick! The ceremony was very sweet and everyone enjoyed it. They took some more pics and I noticed my camera was shooting at +18db which means the light is fading fast and the footage will be a little grainy. We had to get to the champagne toast quick! By the time we hiked back we needed lights to see the trail. All in all it was a fun, sweet time.

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Sedona Wedding Videos

Well, I just finished shooting and editing my first Sedona wedding video. It was a sweet ceremony with Andrew Murphy officiating. The wedding was held at Red Rock Crossing. I used a static HD cam and shot both hand held and on a tripod with the EX-1. Shooting 720p was fantastic as I could slow the footage down easily in Final Cut Pro. All in all it was very pleasurable experience. Here’s the piece.

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Wandering Educators

 

Sedona Vortex App

Sedona Vortex App

Wandering Educators did a nice piece on the Sedona Vortex App today. Megan Aronson interviewed Mr. Sedona - Dennis Andres about Sedona’s Vortexes. If you want to learn more about a Sedona Vortex experience and need a Sedona Vortex Map  Check it out!

 

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The Sedona Vortex App

After month’s of planning and quite a bit of work I have finished my first app. Local adventurer Dennis Andres a.k.a. Mr Sedona, and I have partnered to create the Sedona Vortex App. Created for the iPhone and Android the Sedona Vortex App will be sold for $3.99

Needless to say the learning curve was steep. We went through several designs and layouts for the app, trying to make it as easy to navigate as possible. Basically the Sedona Vortex App has several functions.

We have other Sedona apps in the pipeline that are in the planning stages, with work to begin soon. Our basic concept is to have a “guide in your pocket.” As we move forward I hope to see this idea used more and more around the country for tourism apps. Some Sedona residents are pretty progressive with their ideas about tourism and promotion, much more so than some big cities, so we felt we had a tall order to fill.

I hope to create Sedona apps for local businesses in the coming months and years ahead. I’ve figured out a way to create apps without having to know all the programming to create a Sedona app and retain full ownership of the app as well with no fees. As Apple puts the clamp down on free apps (they are rejecting about 50% of free apps) I think developing for Android will be come more important for those of us who want to create apps for marketing purposes.

Here’s the intro video for the app.

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Video SEO – 10 tips for Video Search Engine Optimization

10 Ideas for Video SEO

You’ve created your viral video now what? Video Search Optimization is very important. The following are 10 tips to help you get started creating a successful viral video campaign.

1. Keep your video under 3 minutes – Research shows most people get bored after 2 – 3 minutes of watching a video. Break up your video in pieces (if you can) if it’s longer than 3 minutes. Longer is not necessarily better.

2. Create video sitemaps – All the videos on your site that you host yourself (not YouTube videos and the like)  need to have a video sitemap. The sitemap includes a description and keywords for each video that the search engines can read. For more info on video sitemaps go here. Look at the results I had with a Video Sitemap for the Verde Valley wineries. It was number 1 for awhile last year but now it usually posts #4 – #6. This is for the keyword “wineries” in Google Video Search. (If you type in “Sedona Wineries” the results are even better because I posted the video to multiple sites. More on that in a later post.)

3. Title of videos – Title your videos with relevant keywords (it’s the first thing the search engines see) and possibly some catchy phrase in the title. It might get you a little more attention.

4. Create “How to” Videos – Create unique, informative videos that are relevant to what you do and can help people figure something out. Goodwill goes a long way.

5. Video thumbnails - Find out how each video sharing website grabs your thumbnails. Experiment with getting the right image in your edit to display the thumbnail you think would be the most relevant or eye catching.

6. Tags – Tag videos with keyword phrases (long tail keywords) that communicate the relevant content in your videos. Always add the word “video” at the end of your title. Also make sure “video” is in the meta data and description.

7. Branding – Create a “watermark” or “bug” for your video that can help with brand awareness with a potential customer. This could be as simple as you web site address or your logo in a corner of the video.

8. Call to action – Always have a call to action “slate” at the end of your video. Something like “Please comment below.” “Please favorite my video” or “Please subscribe.” Also, have a link to your website and let this last call to action stay on screen for 20 or 30 seconds so video sharing site ads are delayed in popping up.

9. Allow others to embed your video – Share the embed code from your video sharing web site with others to use on their web sites. This creates back links to your videos which means more traffic.

10 Syndicate your videos – Submit a RSS or MRSS of your videos. Some examples are ClipBlast, Blinkx, Truveo. RSS is the future of content discovery.

I also want to encourage you to always experiment and tinker with your marketing efforts. There is so much more to do than these 10 tips. From my point of view online marketing is a process that never ends. I’ve learned quite a bit from just playing around with all these ideas. In the future I’ll post more things you can do to improve your video presence online.

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In Plain English – Augmented Reality

YouTube Preview ImageI love these videos! They teach you in the best possible way. Simple yet understandable. The Augmented Reality concept is important for understanding how our world is changing and how you can use the concept when thinking about designing web sites or apps.

Wondering what I’ve been doing?

Wow! This year is flying by and I have to say it’s been a good one! I started the year by venturing out on my own and I haven’t looked back. I’ve learned some new skills, ventured into all kinds of new territory. I really devoted myself to Adobe After Effects so I can add some more sizzle to the video production side of my business. I think it’s one of the hardest things I’ve learned this year (besides Tango!). I’ve always loved motion graphics so After Effects was the next place to go to take my productions to the next level. I also have honed my web skills a bit deeper by playing around with WordPress and seeing how that all goes together. I was cursing at it for the first couple of weeks but then it started to make sense and I was glad I chose to go that route to create my own web site. As you can see it’s pretty modest but what more do I really need? I hope to update this blog 2 or 3 times a week with informative info about video production, tips on understanding the web and it’s various tools, Video SEO, online marketing and Webmercials. I hope you tune in from time to time…

Bruce

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