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Kyle Henri Andrei is a research assistant at Idealware and is a recent graduate of communications at Indiana State University. He authored a newly-published article comparing A Few Good Tools for Video Editing, as well as this blog post with tips on making video better.
Visit TechSoup's Digital Storytelling Challenge for more great resources on creating effective videos for your organization.
Want to make editing easier? Start out with better video footage. Shoot
thoughtfully, and use the best equipment you can. You don’t necessarily need a
lot of expensive gear, just a few basic items.
A good camera is easily the most expensive item
you’ll need, and the most essential, but you don’t have to break the bank on
professional-level equipment. Among the things to consider are the recording
medium (flash drives are becoming ubiquitous, but some cameras still use
digital video tape) and transfer method — can you remove the media and plug it
directly into your computer, or can you use a cable?
A tripod is the cheapest and easiest way to get better video. Holding a
camera usually results in shaky footage that can turn your fundraising video
into the Blair Witch Project. A tripod keeps the camera
stable, eliminating the shake. Again, you don’t need anything
professional-caliber, but don’t skimp, either. A heavy, expensive camera on a
flimsy tripod will only result in a broken camera.
Most consumer video cameras have built-in microphones, but they’re
limited — move more than a few feet from your subject and you won’t be able to
hear them at all. Shoot outside, and you’ll find that even the slightest breeze
can sound like a hurricane on video. An external microphone can drastically
improve audio quality. Some, like lavalier or lapel mics, are small enough to
clip onto clothing. Others are handheld.
Finally, photography — both still and video — is about capturing light.
Different light sources will change the way your video looks, so consider where
you’re shooting. A small, bright light like a reading or desk lamp can provide
extra light when you need it, and can be easily moved to fill in dark spaces.
You can also purchase a small light that attaches directly to your camera or
tripod. When shooting outside, the sun is your light source, so pay attention
to shade and glare.
For more on video production, visit TechSoup's Digital Storytelling Challenge and read recaps from a variety of events with experts on creating great video for nonprofits and libraries.