Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

How do I edit video?

I’ve posted one or two attempts at video here before. And sitting on my hard drive are one or two raw takes that I’m not sure what to do with.

I’ve seen the tools, online and off. I have a vague idea of how to use them (in the sense of this tool cuts, this tool cleans up audio, this tool does that…)

What I don’t know is how to take that raw video (in this case, part of the end of a law conference involving pretzels, Gatorade and a bonfire) and make it tell the story.

I don’t know, when taping, when to swing towards the crowd or focus on the fire or on the host of the event.

Worse, I don’t know how to learn any of this, except by doing it over and over and over and…

There has been a lot of conversation lately about judging online video. It makes me nervous because it’s something I don’t know how to do, that I feel I should know how to do. The only thing that makes me feel better is that it appears that no one else really knows how to do it either.

So here is my self-teaching plan:

Step 1: Read the manual for my Canon A530.
Step 2: Watch all the online video I can stand.
Step 3: Walk around with my camera on all the time.
Step 4: Find something interesting in every take and play with it.
Step 5: Keep in mind the types of online video. Experiment with different styles to find out what tells which story best.

Tips, tricks, encouragement and criticism are all welcome.

  • You have the right idea. I wouldn’t just watch online video though. I’d also watch good documentary video, and listen to This American Life, for instance. They now have a TV show. I wonder what it’s going to be like, since I don’t subscribe to Showtime.

  • You have the right idea. I wouldn’t just watch online video though. I’d also watch good documentary video, and listen to This American Life, for instance. They now have a TV show. I wonder what it’s going to be like, since I don’t subscribe to Showtime.

  • Basic rules to learn in order to break them later:

    :::Shoot multiple angles and sizes — close up from one side, wide from another, mediums for everywhere, lots of details.

    :::Break up the main action with the details.

    :::Keep the audio of the main action running.

    :::Think of illustrating a scene, as if it were “moving pictures” and not “television.”

    :::Storytelling doesn’t have to hit the viewer over the head.

  • Basic rules to learn in order to break them later:

    :::Shoot multiple angles and sizes — close up from one side, wide from another, mediums for everywhere, lots of details.

    :::Break up the main action with the details.

    :::Keep the audio of the main action running.

    :::Think of illustrating a scene, as if it were “moving pictures” and not “television.”

    :::Storytelling doesn’t have to hit the viewer over the head.

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