View Full Version : Are you near professional at video editing?

04-25-2006, 06:07 AM
I am in the VERY early stages of planning a DVD video. This is a low-budget project, so I'm not looking to hire a professional camera person or videographer. I believe I will have access to good video equipment, but I don't have any skills in video editing. If you think you might want to be involved in the project, if you love pool and pool stories, and if you have serious skills in video editing, shoot me a PM. Please include in the PM some background data and convince me that you have strong video editing skills and experience.

04-25-2006, 06:36 AM
I don't know a thing about videos....

But have a suggestion if it is an instructional DVD. I like to watch a little of an instructional video, then practice the shots. Then that is it for the day. I will remove the instructional video and watch something else, then resume practice at where I left off the next day.

With a tape, it is easy since the tape stays where I stopped it.

With a DVD, this can be quite a chore to hunt for where I left off.

So if instructional DVD, I would suggest having lessons numbered. lesson 1, lesson 2, etc. Then a menu where you can go right to the next lesson you want to work on.

Also for later, it would be good to label the lessons in the menu. I may remember there was a good kick shot aiming system on a certain video, but wind up watching the whole thing again trying to find it.

So it would be nice if I could easily find what I am looking for if I need a "refresher" course later on. The more detailed the menu and the more labels on each lesson, the better.

04-25-2006, 06:44 AM
The project I am planning is not an instructional video, but I think your idea is an excellent one. Anyone planning an instructional video may well want to use your idea! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

04-25-2006, 08:43 AM

I've been doing this for a couple of years, primarily "home" projects such as pool documentaries and some "demo" videos for a couple of local bands my SO was singing with.

This is actually something you can do on your own, with a little bit of of practice and the right tools. After all, you know better than anyone what you are really looking for as a result.

First of all, you need a fast computer or you'll be frustrated at the length of time required to render video. Your six-year-old pentium-III is definitely a boat anchor for this application. I have a two-year-old P-4 running at 2.8 GHz, and my rendering runs approximately 2X real time. In other words, when I finish nonlinear editing on a 30-minute video, it will take about an hour to re-render and save it as an AVI file. I have a friend with an older machine (homebuilt T-Bird, which was state-of-the art 5 years ago), and he bitches constantly that his computer runs overnight to render a 90-minute movie). Hardware is cheap, compared to your time, so get a fast machine.

Second, start out with some simple editing software. Don't go out and buy a whiz-bang package until you know what you're doing (and therefore what you need). Wait until you understand exactly what limitations of the simpler package are actually holding you back.

Windows "Movie Maker", included free with your XP operating system, is where I recommend most folks start. It's simple (and limited), and is capable of producing good results. There's a book available in the computer section of most bookstores called "Windows Movie Maker, Zero to Hero". Buy it and read it cover-to-cover, and start making some video. It isn't that hard, and you will get better and better with each project. Once you find that you exploit most of the capabilities of Movie Maker and need something more, then you can consider actually buying software. But it's possible you may never need anything else, other than an authoring/burning package such as Nero.

But the bottom line is that, no matter how proficient you become with the tools, the most important thing is the quality of your available material. Although this seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom, I like to say "quantity in equals quality out". The more footage you have available for editing, the better chance you have of getting what you want in the finished product. I recently put together a 10-minute "demo" for a classic rock band, and this involved gleaning through about 5 hours of video from 3 separate gigs.

I keep the cameras rolling 100% of the time when my team is playing in 'Vegas, and usually come back with 10-15 hours of DV tape. Last year I gave DVDs to all of our players as souvenirs.


Scott Lee
04-25-2006, 08:59 AM
Marty...Thanks for that simplified explanation. I too, have wanted to mess with video editing, but lacked the knowledge (I've known for years how to edit video with 1/2", 3/4", or 1" tape), or the computer power. I have a new Dell laptop that has a 1.8g processor, so I guess it will also do something near what yours will. It also came with Windows XP, so I'll look at the Movie Maker part, and buy the book. Thanks...


04-25-2006, 09:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Scott Lee:</font><hr> Marty...Thanks for that simplified explanation. I too, have wanted to mess with video editing, but lacked the knowledge (I've known for years how to edit video with 1/2", 3/4", or 1" tape), or the computer power. I have a new Dell laptop that has a 1.8g processor, so I guess it will also do something near what yours will. It also came with Windows XP, so I'll look at the Movie Maker part, and buy the book. Thanks...

Scott <hr /></blockquote>


You'll be surprised how easy it is to get started. Give me a call if you get stuck.


04-25-2006, 03:19 PM

Thanks VERY much for your detailed and thoughtful response. Before I read your response, I wasn't really thinking of trying to do this myself (my partners in this venture are published authors, so their standards may be pretty high), but after reading your reply, I'm thinking of trying to learn enough to do it myself. After all, if I don't do too well with it, but we have plenty of raw video to work with, we can always hunt up a video editing guy at that point. Thanks again, Marty! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

04-25-2006, 04:42 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SpiderMan:</font><hr>. . .Windows "Movie Maker", included free with your XP operating system, is where I recommend most folks start.. . . .quote]I would second that, since Movie Maker (link) (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker/getstarted/autoediting.mspx) free and does a decent job.

I would also stay away from some of the newer Pinnacle stuff--my wife was running 9, and liked it, but **had** to upgrade, and 10 is a HUGE resource hog---a lot of bad press on forums too.


Most apps have drag and drop interfaces, and the basic tools you will find are "cut" and "join" (like physically working film). You will most likely create a "project", and then cut 'n paste what you want together, and then "render" the completed movie.

Compression codecs may confuse you, but you should be able to pick settings from profiles, like "DVD-quality", or "web", or something like that. Try a few.
Also, render out a small movie to test the settings, so you don't waste a lot of time, to find out that you're not satisfied with the settings.

Know that audio generally takes up a lot more space than video, so you should compress that as hard as you can stand it. More compression = less space.

Stay away from a lot of funky transitions. They look neat the first time you make a movie, but they get "old"--fast, and they look amateurish. When in doubt, stick to a hard cut, or a simple fade-to-black.

Similarly, go easy with the fonts on titles and such--an UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, use any 3-dimensional fonts. The are often blurry, and are a cheap cry for cool points.

I'm sure there's some sites with more and better tips. Remember: Google is your friend. . . .


04-25-2006, 05:24 PM
Heater, thanks for your tips! To you and Spiderman, I should say that my hesitation in doing the editing myself is based on the nature of the project I am planning. The end product, if the project works out, would be a commercial DVD. The video equipment we'll be using will be on loan because we could never afford this quality of equipment. The people involved are high-profile people in the world of pool. So, as I'm sure you can understand, I don't want to muck the project up with amateur video editing. Taking the tips you and Spiderman have offered, I may try my hand at the job, but I'll have to defer to a more experienced person if my efforts don't meet a very high standard. Thanks again for your advice!

04-26-2006, 05:02 PM
You're welcome, Bill.

You also might want to think about what you're going to shoot, and then watch stuff like it---since you said it's pool related, see if you can find something similar in another activity or sport. With a critical eye, you can pull out what you think is good, without going over the top, or having to use a lot of flashy graphics and stuff.

We watch tons of television and movies, but I doubt that most of us analyze the "mechanics" of what we are watching (I pretty much analyze everything. . . .).

I also saw a book several weeks ago, called $30 Film School (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592000673/002-6361299-8042427?v=glance&amp;n=283155) that you might find interesting. I saw it at a Borders, but the link goes to Amazon. I flipped through it fairly quickly, so I can't fully recommend it, but the Amazon site had a lot of good reviews, and you should be able to peruse it at a local bookstore.

BTW, I don't shoot film, still or motion, for a hobby or work. However, I used to work with computer media, including graphics, audio, and some video, and I've seen a fair range of productions. I also happen to watch a lot of badly done sci-fi movies, and have learned some of what not to do in film!

More tips:

If your material works well with it, error a little more on the side of taking medium-to-close-up shots, over medium-to-long shots. If you pay attention to this, while watching television tonight, you will see how this works better (IMO, "in general").

Pay a lot of attention to lighting--you'd be surprised how much a difference it makes. More light is usually better (again, IMO), unless your talent is squinting, you're getting ultra-hard shadows, and or too many reflections.

Oh--and since you mentioned working with "high profile" people, the've probably been in front of cameras before, and you can ask them a few questions about what they've seen of themselves on file before, and what their likes/dislikes were about how they were shot. (Allowing for the fact that they may not be filmographers themselves, but they might have learned a thing or two along the way!)