How to Organize Your 'Takes'
When your talent makes a mistake while recording, have them stop. Avoid pausing or stopping the video if you can help it, but instead go back to the last point where they took a break or a breath and then continue. It is also a good idea if they preface the second attempt by saying "take two," as this will help you identify the problem areas later when you're editing.
If your talent continually makes mistakes, stop the camera. Allow them time to relax and rehearse some more, and then start over. The time you spend trying to achieve a good 'take' will speed up your editing time ten-fold. In short, the better the original video, the less time you will waste in the editing process trying to cobble together bits and pieces to make a good video.
Before you leave the recording space, download and preview the video capture to make sure that it was successful.
Editing the Video
The next step is to pull the video into your editing program. If you're creating a screen-capture video with a program like Camtasia, then the program comes with built-in editing software. Other editors you can use include Adobe Photoshop Premiere Elements and Adobe After Effects. In most cases if you have a good capture then a simple, straightforward and relatively inexpensive video editor is all you need.
Figure 2: Programs like Camtasia make it easy for you to edit and encode your video projects.
Edit your video by splitting it where you have errors, and then delete the pieces you don't want. If you're doing a series of videos – as you might for the FAQ page on your website – then create a starter screen to use for all the videos so that they look like they're part of a series.
Once you've finished editing, always save the video project file. That way, you can come back and work on it later if you discover any problems with it. Then export the video in a way that's suited for its intended purpose. For example, video files for the Web will be smaller in size and more compressed than video files that you distribute on disk or play from a computer. In some cases you may encode your video multiple times for different purposes.
Once you have encoded the video files, you can upload them to your website. First you need to decide how to deliver your video on the Web. One option is to stream it so it starts to play almost immediately. The other option is for the user to download the file and play it from their computer.
You also need to determine if you want to make your video accessible to everyone, or to make it private. There are a range of video hosting services that you can use depending on what delivery method and level of protection you need to use.
For example, anyone can watch videos hosted on YouTube. At Vimeo, you can host HD videos that anyone can view, or you can password-protect videos for limited access. Givit.com lets you share videos with only the people you choose.
Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com
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