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What is white balance?

What is white balance?

Why should you set the white balance?

I am often asked if you need to do a white balance when you can correct colour so easily in Adobe Premiere. The short answer is yes you should do a white balance every time you switch location or the lighting changes (after you turn off the studio lights you have been using for an interview for example).

Different light sources – daylight, fluorescent and tungsten lights – all have different colours. Daylight is blue whereas tungsten omits a more orange warm hue.

You need to tell your camera what is white in the location you are filming in otherwise everything will be too blue or too orange. Often this is easy to see on the camera screen if it’s way out but our eyes can fool us sometimes and you don’t notice if it’s a bit warm or cool in colour.

So what’s the solution?

There will be presets you can select – sunny, shade, fluorescent and tungsten light etc – but one of the best methods is to set a custom white balance. Every camera will operate a bit differently in terms of setting a custom white balance but the principals are the same.

You point the camera at a white card and perform the custom white balance. You may have to Google exactly how to do this on your camera or get in touch.

Once the WB is set you will immediately see the picture look correct colour-wise and importantly skin tones are not too blue or orange.

And remember… Do not use AUTO white balance as the colours will constantly change from shot to shot so you will have to spend a lot of time colour correcting your footage to make shots match.

YouTube vs Vimeo – Which Platform is Best For You?

YouTube vs Vimeo – Which Platform is Best For You?

After you have learned how to film and edit your video you will then need to host them somewhere so you can share them with your audience.

YouTube is obviously the largest video hosting platform on the web, but it might not be the best choice for every business. HubSpot have looked out the pros and cons of using YouTube against the smaller, more niche platform Vimeo across a number of factors.

Read on to see the results, and decide for yourself.

Which editing software to use?

Which editing software to use?

I am often asked whether Adobe Premiere or Filmora by Wondershare is better.

The simple answer is for most people both will easily do the job. The majority of editors dealing with social media content will need to quickly hunt through interviews and overlay shots and pull together the best soundbites and illustrative shots to tell a short story.  Yes you may need to improve the audio and do some colour correction but most of the time will be spent trimming clips, adding overlay, graphics and music.

Adobe Premiere is a great tool that is highly regarded by the professional editing community and can be found through the corporate world. If you want to learn a tool that you can take from job to job then Premiere is the one for sure. The downside for most people is the cost but many people I meet do not have to worry about this as they are staff. The small business owner, NGO or entrepreneur may more cost-conscience and therefore at Video Skills we also teach Filmora.

Filmora works on PC and Mac, like Premiere, but there is a cheaper option per year rather than a monthly subscription. This makes it much more affordable.

The software can do all the tasks most people need but there are a few features that gives Premiere the edge. For me, these are the more advanced audio and colour correction tools. You can easily repair poor audio and you have the ability to really deep dive into audio editing with filters and effects.

The same is true with colour correction. In both programs you can correct problems with exposure and white balance but Premiere will allow you to do much more tweaking at a finer level.

Additionally, there are always new features being released with Premiere at a faster rate than Filmora… Adobe is a giant in comparison to Wondershare of course.

My current favourite is the new caption tool for subtitles. This has simplified this consuming task and in the near 2021 future they will also add voice to text translation. This will transform the task of making the subtitles because at some point this is a task that needs to be done by someone.

So in conclusion, both programs will do the job for most people but Premiere has the edge in many ways. So, if you had to learn just one program, ignoring the software costs, then I would always say Adobe Premiere.


Video Editing Shortcuts for Adobe Premiere

Video Editing Shortcuts for Adobe Premiere

There are lots of great video editing shortcuts for Adobe Premiere (or any other video editing program) when it comes to video editing and everyone has their favourite. Sometimes this depends on the type of video they want to create or how they were originally taught.

For me, I have worked in many industries editing video but working at a newspaper site taught me how to become very fast at quickly producing 60 or 90-second video content.

So in terms of shortcuts these are some of my most used –

  • J and L to help speed through the footage
  • Mark In and OUT around a section I want to remove in the timeline and hit ; or ‘ to LIFT or EXTRACT that section
  • Use the AUDIO TRACK MIXER to quickly lower any music track
  • Use the PEN TOOL to add keyframes and adjust the audio volume during the video
  • I use the SLIP tool to quickly adjust a clip whilst keeping the clip in the same place and with the same duration
  • I love the RATE STRETCH tool to make a clip longer to fill a gap without knowing how much to slow it down by
  • I will often quickly replace a music track or clip with another by RIGHT-CLICKING on the clip and selecting CLIP > REPLACE FOOTAGE from SOURCE MONITOR
  • Hitting F will load the orginal clip into the source monitor. I can then hunt around for a similar shot.

There are many great videos from Justin at Primal Video or Full Time Filmmaker but often the main speed boost will come from shooting for the edit.

Say what? This is where you spend time planning your shoot so you know what footage you will need to capture and how it will all tie together in the editing process. Map it all out beforehand and then you can quickly grab sections and pull it all together.

I will certainly use the keyboard for shortcuts and this is a must but remember the main bottle necks for the finishing of any video will be  –

  • Not having quite the right content from not planning what you exacytly want to achieve from the interview
  • Knowing how the interviews will tie together
  • Having not enough overlay to help keep the pace and engagment up during the video
  • Not having access to a good music library (such as Art List for example)
  • Having to cut the video down as not enough time was spent pre-planning the desired outcome

On the Video Skills course we cover shooting for the edit and planning your video shoots so you have a formula to use everytime. Using this along with a handful of video editing Adobe Premiere shortcuts will spend up your post-production by 10 times!


How to get faster at editing with Adobe Premiere?

How to get faster at editing with Adobe Premiere?

I am often asked how you can get faster at video editing. These tips will apply to any editing software but at Video Skills we teach students how to use Adobe Premiere and Filmora by Wondershare.

Both are great options but I would say Premiere has more advanced features and it is considered a pro-tool by the media industry. However, it is more expensive than Filmora, which will give you all the tools you need to create great video content.

Whenever you edit a video all you need to do is follow these simple steps –

  • Cut the footage down and select the best bits
  • Add these in an order to tell your story
  • Include extra footage, often called overlay, to hide any video cuts and make your video more engaging
  • Add music and graphics including name titles
  • Export the video

Sounds easy right? Well to make this video editing process faster you need to jump back to the start of the video project. When you want to make a video ask these questions –

  1. How long do we want the video to be?
  2. Who needs to be filmed?
  3. What extra shots need to be included?

When you have this information you can estimate the video length and determine whether it’s either going to be longer than you hoped for. If this is the case I would suggest interviewing fewer people or make a series of 90-second videos instead.

Map out on a side of A4 what footage you will be seeing, what you will be hearing (so you can write the question and what you want the answer to be), and how each interview or topic will segue to the next interview or topic.

During the Video Skills workshops, we run through this process as well as how to shoot the overlay footage that will help tell your story. Of course, video content is very popular but story-telling is paramount and should not be forgotten when making your next video.

So to get faster at video editing with Adobe Premiere or Filmora try to plan and shoot for the edit. When you do this you will find that it’s more a case of ‘cutting and pasting’ the footage as you will already have the plan on paper.

Of course, there are many shortcuts and editing tips that come with time but believe me the number one tip I could give would be to work out what you want to achieve before you even start shooting.

How long does it take to learn videography?

How long does it take to learn videography?

One day is all it will take you to learn the skills to make a short video for your website or social media channel.

Hard to believe? Well at Video Skills we take years of experience and have condensed it down into a simple formula that you can learn and repeat for these projects. You may wish to create a client testimonial, CEO update, explainer video, or short documentary.

These types of videos are incredibly popular as they can help new users discover your brand as a video will generate more engagement and leads compared to text.

68% of marketers say video has a better return on investment than Google Ads. Biteable

You will need to invest in a camera or you can use your phone. I would recommend a wireless lavalier mic, tripod, and one light to start with. In terms of video editing, Adobe Premiere or Wondershare are two great options.

During the workshops, you can use professional gear or buy the equipment beforehand by following the list of camera gear I use.

In one day you will learn how to use this equipment, shoot some footage and then edit it into a short 1-minute video with text and graphics. For most people, the whole process will take on average 3 to 4 hours once you go back to the office to shoot your own content.

In the course, we cover pre-production and how you can save yourself time by planning what you need before the shoot. Working with this formula will save you time and also make sure every video is a success.

Read the reviews from hundreds of people who have gone from zero experience to being confident to shoot and edit their own videos.

Yes, one day is all it takes to learn how to create your own video content.

Turn the whole thing upside down

Turn the whole thing upside down

Crop your way to video perfection with this handy guide from Veed to what your aspect ratios and pixel sizes should be used on each social media platform.

With VEED you can trim videos, draw on the videos, add text to videos, filter videos online and add stickers and images.

Social media aspect ratios

Tips to help executives be their best on camera

Tips to help executives be their best on camera

Presenting in front of the camera can be nerve-racking, even for senior staff, so follow these top tips to make sure you’re all prepared on the day.

On the Video Skills videography workshops, we teach you how to prepare yourself or staff on how to give their best in front of the camera.

There are several options available including using a teleprompter which can save time and stress on the day. This works by having the script visible to the person in front of the camera by using an iPad and a teleprompter kit. These usually cost around $300.

One of the great things is that you will be able to precisely script the words and this will allow you to gauge how long the video will be before you start editing. The person presenting will be able to relax (as much as possible!) and concentrate on the performance instead of having to be word perfect, which is virtually impossible.

The biggest tip with scriptwriting is to use a conversational style with no acronyms or numbers. It is best if the person speaking reads through the script beforehand and makes any adjustments needed to make it flow for them.

Once you are set you can adjust the speed of the teleprompter to help match their talking speed. Also, remember that they should not come across as just reading so the person would need to add some energy and feeling into the performance.

If the teleprompter is a certain distance away from the person, you will not see their eyes moving back and forth too much and another tip would be to narrow the width of the text to prevent the eyes travelling too far from side to side.

With or without a teleprompter the main aid will be preparation, as it’s hard to think on your feet in front of the camera. Hopefully, the person knows the content inside out but they need to keep it simple and I always say it should be delivered as if you are explaining it to a friend down the pub.

Optimise your videos for YouTube Search

Optimise your videos for YouTube Search

There are a lot of videos out there. Make sure viewers can find yours by following these tips –

  1. Rename your video file using a target keyword.
  2. Insert your keyword naturally in the video title.
  3. Optimize your video description.
  4. Tag your video with popular keywords that relate to your topic.
  5. Categorize your video.
  6. Upload a custom thumbnail image for your video’s result link.
  7. Use an SRT file to add subtitles & closed captions.
  8. Add Cards and End Screens to increase your YouTube channel’s viewership

Follow these and other great tips from HubSpot.

Help customers find your content

Help customers find your content

So you have made a great video. All done and dusted, right? Actually no. How will people find your content?

You can use the title, description and meta tags when you upload to YouTube for instance, but adding captions and transcripts can really help your SEO as the video content is now readable by Googlebot.

Read more on Wistia.