How to Create and Share Better Videos

Smartphones and tablets have made taking video footage easy. In addition to multiple photos, most people have several videos on their phone as well. How can you take those short clips and make something more presentable out of them? I am going to cover that in just a moment. First, a few tips on recording video and then I’ll discuss how to edit your videos into something more watchable and even “postable” to an online site such as YouTube or Facebook.

Video Tips:

-Hold your phone sideways (long ways), or in “landscape” mode. This will match the widescreen format of most screens and prevent those black bars on the side. This goes for taking photos as well.

-Zoom in on the subject. Most touch screen phones have a zoom slider at the bottom of the screen that people do not utilize. This will make your subject the center of attention in the video.

-Try to avoid filming directly into the sun. Sunlight directly into the lens wreaks havoc on the device’s lighting settings, usually resulting in a “washed out” effect. Trying moving to the other side of the scene if possible.

-Be aware of background noise. Move out of extremely windy areas if possible and be aware of busy roads, crowds, and loud TV’s in the background. Once backgound noise is in a video, it can be difficult to remove.

Once you have some video clips on your device, it is nice to edit them into one cohesive clip that can be easily shared with friends, family, and co-workers. An edited clip is great for sharing of Facebook, YouTube, and personal or professional blogs. For iPhone and iPad users, the easiest way to edit your movies is with Apple’s iMovie. The app is not expensive and has features that will give your video a professional look. If you are looking to make higher quality videos to show at family gatherings or professional events, then editing them on a desktop or laptop computer provides all the tools you need (and more) to create great videos.

On Apple products, I would again recommend iMovie. It is already installed on all Apple computers, and is very easy to use. Once you have imported your video clips, you can add transitions, effects, photos, music and voiceovers to your work to give it that professional sheen. Once you are satisfied, use the “share” menu to send you project directly to a social media site like YouTube or a video file you can save on your desktop. Other more professional options include Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier. I wouldn’t recommend starting out with one of these professional programs as they have a bit of a learning curve, and may be frustrating at first.

Windows users have Windows Movie Maker, which looks slightly different than most video editing programs, but will produce high quality finished products. Once you have added your video clips to the gallery you can edit, add transitions, effects, titles and music to your video. There a several options for video editing on Windows, ranging from free options (do a google search) with basic functions to professional packages like Adobe Premier.

I highly recommend that everyone give video creation a try. Once you dig into a program and finish your first project, you will want to create another. Parents, teachers and even business owners are quickly realizing the benefits of this medium. If you like social media, sharing videos on your sites will generate more traffic to your pages. If you own a business, the ability to demonstrate what your products and/or services can do is unsurpassed with video. Take all those videos off of your phone, get them into your computer, and start editing them into something more useful and enjoyable!

Brad Meyer
21st Century Learning Specialist
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy

What’s your favorite movie-making software?
Let us know in the comments below!

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