How Do You Improve the Production of Your Videos?

I’m the guy that opens up a new toy and tosses the instructions out with the plastic shell and wire thingies. I learn new software through trial and error and search “help” as a last resort.

Some of you, however, are more methodological. Comment below, if you are so inclined, on good sources to learn video shooting and editing techniques. I’ve highlighted a few on WillVideoForFood but it’s worth revisiting.

I’ll do a post soon on the best sources to help you identify good gear, shoot with good lighting, capture sound that is audible, edit like a pro and compress for quality. It’s time to raise the bar on amateur content since we have new entrants that are near film quality.

22 Replies to “How Do You Improve the Production of Your Videos?”

  1. I’d love to learn good shooting and editing techniques, I’ve been playing with ideas for a long time some work some don’t. I like the audio overlap before you switch camera shot.

    Btw I’m sure this post counts as over egotism. It seems now that you need to be an expert in your field to get featured, so us youtube scum need all the help we can.

  2. Well, another thing that would help is that if the hosting sites would quit hiring (or accepting as free labor volunteers) retarded, subliterate puerile, just-out-of-high-school reviewers who can’t follow directions, have no class, no sense of history beyond 2006 or any knowledge of art, literature or even table manners.

  3. Well, that might’ve been a little harsh. What I meant to say is that the corporate shills hire these young drunkards who are too busy discovering their own peepees and smelling each others’ badonkadonks to explore outside of their own hyperlimited technorati culture and that’s why “Girl Poops Pants” gets a million views and featured and hailed as the harbinger and pentultimate of our culture while…..oh forget it.

    Hahahaha. I think I just stepped on my next video.

  4. I’m not a pro at this lighting thing but I have found that the better you light yourself and the room you are shooting the video the better the final outcome. Even in terms of the final youtube (online) quality. Some videos I’ve spent time lighting and it comes out great sometimes I just point and shoot and end result is really grainy. Just some thought on the matter at hand!

  5. Marquisdejolie – you sound pissed off?

    Some of us young drunkards have a LITTLE culture in us…. I mean, if you were to make a video that would bend to the genre of I’d pop it on πŸ™‚

    Must admit I have NO production skills at all. But Ive never really set out to make a video and plan it out etc. The most I do is cut stuff up in Quicktime Pro, add a watermark and a soundtrack, and then re-encode it.

    Ive got a bit of an idea of a future project… I was just walking around campus and noticed some failry secluded dense woodland area……

  6. Let it all out marquis!

    I need tips in ever aspect of VV making, and probably a mac too, but I hope the topic will give a shot in the arm to the message board. I ‘m not really savvy when it comes to working that thing so I hope someone will take the initiative so we can share, discuss and learn in greater detail. Anyone?

    I know the Nalts board that was set up is a little difficult to manage, anyone have vbulletin? It’s really more user friendly, I’m willing to help if someone wants to jump in and take control.

  7. Great lighting is the key to great colours and definition, indoors it is very hard for your average cam to pick up enough light for it’s electronic eye (CCD) to function as well as it should, if you do, do it near a window with cam facing in.

    Also if your footage is full of grain cos you shot in bad light when it comes to compressing it for the internet your file sizes will be much bigger as all the grain has to be compressed too and the end result wont be as good. Clean footage for clear encoding and lower file sizes

    The ultimate lighting conditions are outside on a cloudy day as the clouds act as a huge light diffuser preventing harsh over exposed hi-lights. Sometimes if you see a shoot, video or foto you will see a guy with a big white sheet of white or a white umbrella manually difusing the light.

    Lately a lot of people are trying blue/green screening for their videos, this is really hard to achieve as the lighting is usually uneven so your cam sees various shades of green/blue so its hard to keyout the blue or green you need, look at Youtubes ‘Morbeck’ for some bad examples. BUT>>> theres a perfect bluescreen for FREE the sky, if you can get bluesky behind you, your done as its already lit for you pretty universally. I used it on this (on the in-air shot)

    (TripleHelix) When you bring the sound in on another scene before you actually see it e.g. you hear the sound of a motorcycle in a house shot then cut to the bike this is called a J cut.

    IF you do any action stuff and wanna have things that blow up like I do or you wanna assissinate Nalts like I did hahahaha head on over to and fill your boots for FREE, thats right these guys let you download digital film stock of FIRE, BLOOD, EXPLOSIONS for FREE insane or what (this was my biggest video secret TILL NOW). Also they have links to some rather fantastic sites that have really ace tutorials on FX and a “respect to” links section and i am on it now werheey.

    If you want even higher quality but rather expensive bombs, booms and fire then get to I have some of their stuff now, its tremendous but expensive. For a freebie DVD that includes some footage and a couple of fantastic tutuorials as used on BBC programmes, request a demo DVD, AWESOME.

    For Nuclear bombs goto a lot cheaper and very high quality footage, I don’t have any of em tho, but if someone wants to treat me let me know.

    For general video techniques as easy or as complicated as you can handle goto and also here you can get stock footage too its very cheap like $49 I used their Action Movies essentials on loads of the Nalts Assination clip. They also have Film Magic Pro this makes your finished video have the look and colour of celluloid 35mm film.

    Hope you find the above useful, especially the free stuff.

    Am bursting to tell people i got a film picked for a film festival am buzzing. Yeeeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa.

    Best dudes πŸ™‚

  8. I’ve actually been producing video professionally for 15 years, although my most recent experience has been more as a producer and less hands-on editing/shooting/compressing.

    I have to say that the most impactful VVs are not in the shooting/editing/compression of what I see, but in the ideas, writing, characters and (dare I say) acting.

    BUT I also know that production value can improve the visual quality once YouTube’s compressor gets its hands on it. And regardless of the delivery method, many viewers opt to turn off the vids if you make some key mistakes…

    I’d be happy to contribute my professional knowledge to some kind of VV production tips list (shooting, lighting, editing, compression.) Since we’re in this virtual world, may I suggest putting it in a moderated wiki format. There are tons of free wikis out there.

  9. Lighting, lighting, lighting, almost all my video problems canbe traced back to bad lighting. In the sidebar, Nalts links to, where Izzy (Israel) has some really great video tutorials on shooting better looking video. Well worth a look.

    Davideo, the “sky as blue screen” thing is a great idea… but I have blue eyes so I have to use a green screen… dammit, how I wish the sky were green!

  10. *I hit enter too soon*

    have you ever read the way of the weasel by Scott Adams? I think this post qualifies for it.

  11. improve the production? hell,i just hit record,then upload.It takes enough time just doing that! Btw,marquisdejolie,these punks dont even bother drinking these days,they just pop the latest pill,then get behind the wheel and pretend like they’re in some “fast and furious” movie.Hey,theres a new idea for a video…….Some douchebag punk crashing into a telephone pole! lmao

  12. Shaky camera syndrome is my bugbear. My shit used to be. Until I made a Steadicam (I have a YouTube vid on it)/used the tripod more often/and just about killed off the Zoom lens. And bad sound is annoying too (blushing as I think of some of my own vid). Few months back I hired this asshole to film and record sound for a project I was doing. He said he had all the gear. He turned up to the shoot with a handheld minidv like mine – albiet a Leica and another camera to doubletrack the sound and then proceeded to film with atrocious background noise which just about killed the footage – pity too ’cause we were on a roll. Anyway….my contribution to this discussion is – if you want some good free downloadable music beds go to the Creative Commons site – they also have Samples you can use as well. To use it – listen to a track as “Stream” and then go back and Download the MP3 file – wait for the file to fully load and then click on the inverted triangle on the right.

  13. Here’s another source for finding great creative commons music: Adding music really enhances the quality of the finished project.

    Another way to get some great camera work and lighting techniques is to work with some film and video students at a local college. They will usually do it for cheap or free (maybe buy some beers and pizza), and you can learn while doing some videos.

  14. Hello! Help solve the problem.
    Very often try to enter the forum, but says that the password is not correct.
    Regrettably use of remembering. Give like to be?
    Thank you!

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