How to start making videos from Vimeo video school

by Heather Cowper on July 9, 2011

A couple of years ago I was a complete Video newbie. Then I started experimenting with my son’s video camera, taught myself to edit what I shot on my travels and uploaded the finished results to my Youtube Channel. 45 videos, one expensive Panasonic HD video camera and a shiny new MacBook Pro later and here I am, always hoping to make better videos to enhance my blog posts at my travel blog at Heather on her travels.

Vimeo Video School

Vimeo Video School

If you’re where I was a couple of years ago, not knowing your cutaway from your pan and wondering how to get away from the shaky shot syndrome, I’m figuring that you might find these free video resources useful. There are some excellent short videos over at Vimeo Video School and to get you started take a look at the Video 101 tutorials, some of  which I’ve featured below.

Shooting Basics

From the video below I picked up the following shooting tips;

  • Preparation – before you go out to shoot, don’t forget to charge up your battery and make sure you have plenty of memory card space. Oh, and while you’re at it, give your lense a good clean.
  • Plan your shots – try and plan your shots in your head rather than letting the camera wander aimlessly around and hold your shot still for at least 5 seconds.
  • Lighting – try and make sure the light is playing onto your subjects to light up their faces, rather than coming from behind to leave them in shadow. You could also use some white card (pizza anyone?) as a reflector to light up the subject’s face.
  • Stable shots – to make sure your shots aren’t shaky, stand steadily with legs slightly apart and rest one hand under the camera to stabilise further. Don’t breath too heavily, and for the best effect use a tripod
  • Camera techniques – experiment with techniques like pan (move the camera from side to side), zoom (change the picture from wide shot to close up) or tilt (move the camera up and down), but don’t get too carried away. When you have the camera trained on a subject keep it still and let them move within the frame.
  • Offset the subject – compose your shots by making the subjects a little to the left or right rather than dead in the centre of the frame.

Video 101: Shooting Basics from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.

Editing basics

From the video below I picked up the following editing tips;

  • To download the footage you’ve just shot insert your memory card  or USB cord into your computer which should register that it’s connected. It should open the folder where you can see all the different shots.
  • Organise your shots into a folder on your computer or external hard drive so that it will be easier to work with just the shots you need for that particular video
  • Save a copy – before you begin editing, that the precaution of making a copy of your footage onto an external hard drive.
  • Save frequently, as the editing programme may sometimes crash, especially if your computer is older or you are working with large HD file sizes.
  • Feel free to experiment – you can always undo actions and the original footage will still be there as you’re just editing a copy of the original.
  • To start editing, drag some shots into the timeline and from there you can cut out the bits you don’t need and add transitions to make one shot move smoothly into the next.
  • Add a title at the beginning of the video and some credits at the end if you wish
  • Add some music that has a creative commons licence of that you have permission to use and then you can fade it in or out and make it louder or softer.
  • Export your video – once you’re done, you can export the finished video as a whole, using the recommended Vimeo compression settings.

Video 101: Editing Basics from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.

If you want to take it to the next level there are also videos to help you get started with the free video editing software that probably came with your computer – check out the tutorials for Windows Movie Maker if you’re on PC or iMovie if you’re on Mac

There are loads more free videos at Vimeo Video School – enjoy

This article is published at My Blogging Journey, where you’ll find information on how to build a better travel blog.

You’ll also find lots of great travel stories, videos and podcasts at my travel blog at Heather on her travels .

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