Editing video footage

broadcastIf you have recorded video material from an event, you might want to edit this a little and pick out the most important parts that has been said. This can be done in several ways.

Using a smart phone or a tablet

If you recorded your material on a smart phone, you can use the software in the phone to edit material. On iPhone, there is an free application called iMovie that you can download. iMovie is not very advanced, and is easy to start with if you are not used with editing programs. You can do cuts, combine several clips, add text titles, effects, music and more. Apple has a complete guide to creating movies on the iPhone, take a look at their help section: http://help.apple.com/imovie/iphone/2.0/index.html#/

Apple also have a guide for iMovie if you prefer to edit on an iPad instead. The upside with editing on an iPad is that you get a bigger screen and a better interface. The guide for iPad editing can be found here: http://help.apple.com/imovie/ipad/2.0/index.html#/

If you are using an Android phone instead, there are several choices as well. The tech site The Next Web have an article of video editing apps for Android.

Editing on a computer

Transfer the material

If you rather want to edit on a computer, you have a lot of choices. First of all, you need to transfer your video material from the camera or the phone to your computer. If you have a camera using memory cards, first take a look on your computer and see if you have a card reader. Many Apple computers have an card reader for SD cards for example. If your computer do not have an integrated card reader, you can buy one and plug it in via the USB port.

If the camera you used do not record on a separate card, for example certain smart phones, you can transfer your material in other ways. You can plug in your phone into the computer and transfer the material directly. If you use an Android phone, the phone will show up as an hard drive on your computer, and you can easily drag and drop the material from the phone to the computer. If you have an iPhone, you can sync the videos on your phone with the computer via iTunes.

If you rather want to transfer the material via a cloud service, you can do this as well. The widespread file hosting service Dropbox have apps for almost all smart phone operating systems. Upload the file to Dropbox from the phone, and download it on your computer. Do remember that this can take quite some time if you have recorded a long video, and don’t have a great internet connection. If you do use your cellular internet connection for this, also note that your the amount of data can reach the data subscription that you pay for. You might have to pay extra to be able to keep on using your internet connection.

Editing programs

There are a lot of different editing programs that can be used. All Apple computers have a pre-installed program called iMovie. The program is really easy to use, but also a bit restricted. If you just want to do simple editing and combine clips, add texts and effect presets, you will do good with iMovie. Here you can find guides on how to work with iMovie for Mac: http://www.apple.com/support/mac-apps/imovie/

If you are running Windows, Microsoft have added the program Windows Movie Maker to the operating system. The program is free to use, and equates iMovie for Mac. Windows also supplies guides and help for working with Movie Maker: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-live/windows-essentials-help#v1h=tab1

If you have more requirements than these two free programs can meet, you can buy a professional editing program. The market leading ones are Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro X and Avid. Final Cut Cut Pro X is only available for Apple computers. Adobe Premiere is a part of Adobes cloud service Adobe Creative Cloud. If you sign up for the service, you will get access to all programs that Adobe supply. You can chose to subscribe to the service for one month or longer. Adobe do give all users a 30 day long free trial, so you can sign up for the service, download the program and try it before you decide to buy it. Premiere is considered to be semi-professional. It’s very easy to start with the basics, but it has lots of advanced functions and plugins that you can use if you want to do more than standard editing.

Final Cut Pro X also have a 30 day trial meaning you can try out the program before you buy it. The program is equal to Premiere, and very popular amongst Mac users. Apple supply a lot of different learning options for Final Cut Pro X, take a look on their web page to find all the guides: https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/resources/

Avid is the most advanced program of the three listed. The program is a standard in the broadcasting and film industry. If you are new to editing, it is not recommended that you start out with Avid, the learning curve is quite steep. You can read more about Avid here: https://www.avid.com/US/Solutions/byNeed/video-editing.html#overview

Tips and tricks – From start to end

Regardless of what editing program you chose, there are some tips and tricks that you should know of when editing video from an conference, talk or interview.

  1. Keep it simple. Many programs have effects like wipes between clips, funny colour modes and such. Be careful with using these effects, since they give a very unprofessional tone. Rather use straight cuts, and don’t be too afraid if you get jump cuts.
  2. Be careful with music. If the film is containing a person talking about something, you don’t want to draw attention from what is being said to the music.
  3. Get to the story. Don’t delay the start with a lot of images before the actual talk will happen. People watching the video will get bored soon and move on. Research show that you only have a few seconds to grab a viewers attention, so get to the topic fast.
  4. Keep it short. When it comes to the length of a video on the internet it’s really hard to say what is too long. Usually the context decides. If you film a whole seminar, one hour can be just fine, but if you do a short summary, try to keep it to 2-3 minutes.
  5. When you host your video on a video service like YouTube or Vimeo, put some effort in naming the clip. Try to tell what the clip is actually about, rather than starting with your name. “Taking a look on the new Apple Watch” is a better name than “Company X – John Doe takes a look on the new smart watch from Apple”. Only the first characters of a title will be seen in search engines, so make sure they tell the viewer what the clip is all about. Also make sure to describe the clip, use tags that are relevant and upload a nice thumbnail for the video.