Beginner’s Guide on Making Video Like a Pro

Talking about a great video, I would say there are tons of video examples on Youtube that are produced by regular people, not professional team from NatGeo or BBC. These regular people get inspired from other amazing videos and learn tutorials to create their own versions, so basically everybody can make a video like a pro. What really matters is just how simple they can do it. I am one of those people who get inspired and learn from Youtube and I would like to share my experience in producing a video.

Today’s technology allow modern society to produce high definition footages using just a pocket camera. There are a range of pocket camera options to choose, but beyond all, I picked the one that competes quality of DSLR camera, which is Sony RX-100. This compact camera is totally perfect for traveling because it is not just small and light, but also has amazing features for both camera and video. One of my favourite features is automatic slow motion which is available on HFR menu. By using this feature, I do not have to transfer my file and edit it using software to make a slow motion footage. I can simply shoot a motion while the camera is processing the footage. Such an efficient way to produce a video!

In a video production, some people prefer to begin with a clear story board. It is good to brainstorm ideas on a piece of paper or simply list what footages that are going to be taken whilst traveling. Sometimes when I travel, the image I figured on my story board is way better in real life, so I took extra footage than planned. That is okay. More is always better than less. Story board helps to get the ideas on track, so it is like a visual goal checklist.

My biggest concern when I am taking video is the footage quality. I have to make sure that my camera setting is good enough for youtube, so I match the resolution as needed, not too high not too low. Natural lighting such as sunlight is the key for generating vivid footages. I always rely on sunlight and I avoid taking video indoor if the light is not sufficient, especially for taking slow motion footage. Whilst taking footage, I imagine the end result of the video to make sure that footages I take are varied enough. It will be boring if the whole video consists of just a few long footages, so I take more footages with different perspectives. If you are familiar with time lapse, why not making one. Most of great videos on Youtube consist of slow motion, time lapse, and anything related to speed play. GoPro Hero 4 allows me to do time lapse with its setting without draining my battery quickly.

Now let’s talk about editing. Before I knew Adobe Premiere Pro, I edited my video using iMovie, GoPro Studio, and Final Cut Pro with is close enough to Adobe Premiere Pro. I could say Adobe Premiere Pro seemed complicated to me when I began using it since there are so many editing tools and options, but then it did not seem as complex as it was after learning from Youtube tutorials. Compared to any softwares I used previously, I personally think Adobe Premiere Pro is not only the most efficient one so far, but also user friendly. It has a range options for my favourite features such as effects, speed setting and colour correction. One of things I like about Adobe Premiere Pro is that it allows me to apply one setting to multiple footages using adjustment layer. I occasionally tone my video using Lumetri and colour adjustment option to enrich the colour definition, create depth of an the footage, and add a mood. There are two moods of video that are popular these days. The first one, I called it as VSCO filter style which emphasises on colour desaturation and contrast, while the second one I named it NatGeo style. NatGeo style is more like video with rich saturated colours, definite contrast and of course it is likely about the combination of nature, animal and people. I am keen on these both moods, but when I think about making a nature-related video, I set the mood to NatGeo style. Since my travel video is taken in the wild, I prefer to make the video colour bold by adding more saturation and contrast in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Sometimes you are so picky and thinking about deleting an ugly long footage, don’t! As long as it is steady, clear, and has a great resolution, you better save it for later use instead of deleting. Just goof around with your footage using speed option on Adobe Premiere Pro. I normally chop my long footage into less than four seconds or speed up the the footage to make it look like a time lapse.

Should I go with video or music first? That is the question I had when I made a video for the first time. Take a look at Youtube: Chainsmoker’s Roses music video that tells story about their trip to understand why music comes first. It is necessary to keep the footage in line with the beat, so you need to decide which music will be used for your video background before editing the clip. I prefer to mute most parts of my video unless it has specific message to tell, then I add music directly as the background. Adding sound effect such as sound of walking, water splash, door opening, or any sound related to the clip will make the video more interesting.

Once you are done editing, ensure that you export the video in the right resolution for its purpose. Match the HD Youtube setting if you want to upload it on Youtube, and then use Handbrake application to compress your video. Although the file is compressed, I am impressed by how Handbrake keeps the quality of the compressed file as good as original one. Smaller file size save more time for uploading, so I recommend you to compress the video first before uploading it.

Last but not least, I would like to share you my video that was shortlisted on TVEinspiringchange’s Channel to give you an example of how I chop my clips and turned it into a brand new story. Here is the link:

Thanks for reading!