Making a movie part 1

I spent the day constructing an eight minute, 100 megabyte monster of a video. Bloated and torturous to watch, its construction taught me much and I look forward to learning more. Some thoughts:

Making a good video is as difficult as writing a good essay. It is a craft. Word processing software makes it easy to type out a novel, but there’s no guarantee that the book will be any good. Similarly, the tools used to produce video may make it easy, relatively, to produce a film, but will anyone want to watch it? On the positive side, for short projects, I think most people should be able to construct a video that gets their point across. We don’t all need to be Ken Burns.

Pare down ruthlessly. My eight minute production could probably be cut in half if I started over and planned better. I always think that with my writing I can cut out a third of my words, when I get a first draft finished. It’s the same with a movie. Cut, cut, cut. Did I mention planning? Interestingly, compared with my writing, I found producing video in an outline style far more logical than making up content as I went along. More on this later.

Edit judiciously. I found it easier to do another take than to save a bad take by editing. Do your lines over again. With practice you get smoother and smoother.

Don’t be intimidated by video software. Apple and every other company have over-promised the ease of creating video but it still can be done. I spent a day using iMovie on a Mac and I am very encouraged. The layout of the program looks like the controls of a 747, but all the resources of the web will help you figure out what you should do. I’ll have more thoughts soon, along with notes on my favorite part of video, so far, and that is incorporating music.

screenshot

Screen shot of iMovie

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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