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Archive for the ‘Video Product’ Category

Seven Ways to Know if Video is Right for your Business

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

handycam-1540095 (1)At Primeau Productions, we create professionally produced video content for businesses, individuals and the government, so far. We often see businesses that operate conservatively and survive without using professionally produced video. By produced we refer to the model from concept to completion.

Then there are the businesses that take risk. They believe in their business and know what they want. They just don’t know how to get it or market their business. It is not easy to see yourself as others outside your organization see you. These ‘risk takers’ succeed far greater than those that are afraid to break out of their safe sustainable routines and don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

Investing in professional professionally produced video by a professional video production company that has decades of experience is key. When you evaluate the cost of creating a welcome video, explainer video or sizzle reel for your business website, consider this: How much business do you need to generate in order to gain a return on that investment?

We speak to prospects for professional video marketing and production regularly. Some say that professional video is too expensive. Others shop around for less than professional production which is lower in cost but also low quality.

So, how do you know if a professionally produced video is right for your business?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you should call us to discuss producing professional video content for your website.

  1. Do any of your competitors have video on their website?

Since video adds a high perceived value to your overall marketing efforts, businesses that have video in their marketing mix usually are giants in                     their industry and market niche.

  • Are you losing business to your competition?

If your competition is using video in their marketing mix and you do not, chances are you are losing customers.

  • Could you use more business in general?

    If your business has decreased over the last few years, it is probably because of the technological changes in marketing on the Internet

  • Would you like your company to communicate to prospects 24|7?

Video does exactly that, it acts as a 24/7 automated sales machine.

  • Would video help explain the benefits of doing business with you?

Think of the ways you could use video to promote your business. Search engines like content that helps educate their users.

  • If you sell services, could the benefits of using your business be clearer to your prospects with a professionally produced video?

    This may come in the form of an explainer video.

  • If your video sells products, would video demonstrate your products better than pictures?

    If a picture is worth a thousand words than video is worth millions.

Businesses whose websites have professionally produced video enjoy an increase in traffic, inbound calls and higher conversion rates than websites without video. Video shows up in search results and is clicked on more often than just standard search results. Weigh the advantages of having professionally produced video on your website and determine if video is the right investment for your business.

Here are samples of three videos that were created and produced by Primeau Productions. Call 800-647-4281 to speak with a live person who will help answer your questions. Or email us at Primeau@PrimeauProductions.com.

The Video Experience: How (and Why) We’ll Remember How I Met Your Mother

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

5719455449_870698fec4An important factor that many video producers and marketers don’t take into account is the The Video Experience. What do I mean when I say that?

It’s actually quite simple. Think about a piece of video content, whether it’s a film, a television show, or a viral video. What do they all have in common?

They all made you feel something.

For example, think of the recent finale of the hit CBS show, How I Met Your Mother. This past week, after 9 years on the air, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas finally finished the story of Ted Mosby and his journey to find love in New York City.

Regardless of how you felt about the finale (I’m part of the minority of people who genuinely enjoyed it), the show’s success over the past 9 years is undeniable. Such a long run puts How I Met Your Mother at the top of the rankings, along with such shows such as All In The Family, Seinfeld and Friends, making it one of the most successful television shows of all time.

Now, this show didn’t last 9 years for no reason. There’s a reason that the big finale had an incredible 12.9 million viewers, and there’s a reason it’s still a trending topic of discussion on the Internet over a week later. The reason is this: the show made viewers feel like they were a part of a family. It made viewers feel like they were right there in McClaren’s Pub with their friends every Monday night.

Let’s think about this critically. What was it about this show that made viewers come back every Monday for 9 seasons? What makes any piece of video content this memorable?

First and foremost, the content needs to look professional. Your viewers will notice if something doesn’t feel right about the video, whether it’s poor lighting, soft focus or bad audio. People will notice this right off the bat, and your content will suffer. If you really want your video content to stand out, make sure it looks professional and natural. Make sure you’re utilizing the proper equipment and techniques so you can create a professional product that viewers will enjoy watching.

But all the professional equipment in the world is no substitute for the ingredient that’s most responsible for evoking emotion within the viewer:


Without a strong foundation of creativity, your video content will never be memorable. No viewer is going to be moved by content that is not fresh and innovative.

Creativity is essential to producing successful video content.

Not the creative type? That’s okay, not everyone is, but that doesn’t discount the importance of creativity. Find a creative partner, whether that be a professional creative at a production company, a friend or a family member – as long as you have a creative mind that is willing to work with you, you’ll be able to create video content that’s innovative, unique, and memorable.

These factors are what made How I Met Your Mother such a success over the years. The show runners, along with the phenomenal cast, created a welcoming environment that made us feel like we were part of the fun, while simultaneously presenting unique stories that made viewers laugh, cry, and remember all of the great moments in Ted Mosby’s legend (wait for it…) dary story of how he met the mother of his future children. After it’s all said and done, we’ll always remember How I Met Your Mother for it’s production value, it’s creative storytelling and most importantly, the experience the show took us through.

Whatever your video content happens to be, remember the idea of having an experience through video. Viewers won’t remember your content unless they feel something, and can ultimately take something away from it. This is what The Video Experience is all about.

MORE on The Video Experience coming soon.

photo credit: When did I Change via photopin (license)

How to Gain the Most From Your Next Video Marketing Campaign

Monday, August 5th, 2013

by: Donna Essex

5202413219_43279a9656Boost Business with Video

The world of corporate videos has evolved considerably since the days of simply sending out DVDs and VHS tapes to hopefully interested parties, and today the videos that you produce to boost your profile can be uploaded to a global audience within seconds. People are spending more and more of their online time watching video, which means that it’s not enough to simply rely on text and photos. However, if you don’t have the time, resources or know-how to produce a
corporate video in-house, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a corporate video production company.

The Power of Corporate Video Production 

The more engaging, entertaining and informative a corporate video is, the better. The more watchable it is, the greater the chances are of it being shared on social networking sites and linked to on reputable external websites, sending your brand soaring up the search engine rankings in the process. Websites that have video featured on them tend to be looked upon extremely favourably by the search engine giants, and by getting help from an outside source with corporate video production, you can ensure that your videos become as entertaining and useful as possible due to their experience in the trade.

Working with You

A video production company will generally work closely alongside you in detail to discuss your brand identity and values. This ensures that the resulting video is a close portrayal of the image that you wish to portray and that it speaks with your target audience in mind. Web users don’t need to be in front of their laptops anymore to enjoy your video content, and can easily engage with your clips whilst they are out and about, making it easier to engage with them no matter where they are in the world. Involving your staff in corporate video production can also help with employee engagement, allowing them to feel part of something useful, prosperous and exciting – and if they feature in it, this can help you to show off the ‘human’ side of your brand to potential customers and clients.

Find a Video Production Company

Mobile video has reshaped the way that we use the internet, and faster mobile download speeds are starting to make it possible for us to enjoy moving pictures without the stress of dealing with buffering and other technical problems. YouTube is the world’s second leading search engine after Google, so it makes sense to note just how effective video marketing can be. Any company that is failing to make use of video marketing may be risking being left behind by its competitors, so if your company is yet to take advantage of this exceptional marketing tool, it might be a wise idea to invest in video today. Video is also searchable, and is starting to appear more and more prominently in organic search results. A unique and memorable video can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to generating conversions and strengthening engagement.

photo credit: IMG_8072 via photopin (license)

Death of a Video Format

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Ed Primeau and Brandon Keilman

5455622177_71917bf3a7I was standing in line at the Secretary of State last week to renew a license plate and saw a video playing on a flat screen in the lobby. The quality was brilliant; very high quality, rich and robust in every area of sight and sound. The source was produced using high definition video tape and digitally edited and formatted onto Blu-Ray DVD.

For a few years now, I have been preaching about the importance of Internet marketing with digital video distribution (which is still very important) while discounting DVD as a worth while marketing tool. The Internet aspect to video still holds true, except we now have to re-look at DVD from a fresh perspective.

There is an ongoing debate over DVD format that is worth understanding so you can apply this medium to your business.

In a knock-out, fall-out battle, Blu-Ray DVD is the official champion and High Definition DVD has gone by the wayside, in a similar fashion to consumer grade laser disk and beta. In this article, we hope to clear some of the confusion and explain the impact to you personally as well as on your business.

Let us clarify an important point before we move on. High Definition digital video is a format video cameras record and High Definition DVD is a format of delivery or medium to deliver the video on. High Definition video recording is still the best way to video record. It is High Definition DVD that no longer exists and what this article is about.

Here is how the war was lost:

The Toshiba Company was the main developer and backer (with the support of Microsoft) of what could have been the next ”big thing” in video delivery, High Definition DVD. While Microsoft favored the ”High Definition DVD” format, Sony favored the Blu-Ray DVD format.

Blu-Ray was and is supported by many different companies including Sony as the next ”big thing” in video formatting. High Definition was the choice of Microsoft and Toshiba until recently.

So, now that the war is over, I guess the demise of the HD DVD video format should not come as a surprise when the two formats are compared and closely examined. First, the quality of both in terms of picture and sound are a huge step up from a regular DVD in resolution. However, when further investigating Blu-Ray, the storage capacity is four times greater than that of High Definition DVD. In our opinion, this is perhaps the largest deal breaker for High Definition DVD.

The Blu-ray storage advantage means less need for multiple DVD disk box sets. Companies such as Fox who are always looking for a way to minimize cost and increase profit love the storage advantage Blu-Ray offers.

To the consumer it means we can go out and buy a Season of our favorite show in a much smaller package, instead of a big clunky box full of DVDs. As for the sound and picture quality, there is a noticeable difference between Blu-Ray and High Definition DVD. Even on the best of televisions the HD DVD still remains a bit grainy where as the Blu-ray has very crisp rich looking images.

Another influence in the decision to kill HD DVD was the backing of the Sony Corporation. Sony is the leading edge developer and implementer of Blu-Ray players into devices their consumers use on a daily basis. Their PlayStation 3 models are considered one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market. Price-wise, not only do you get a Blu-Ray player; you get a video game console and audiovisual storage unit all rolled into one.

Microsoft put their money behind the HD DVD format by offering an external player for their Xbox line of products. However, upon hearing the news that Toshiba was canceling its HD DVD line, Microsoft discontinued their HD DVD external player; they’ve yet to release an external Blu-Ray player. Maybe this will be a perk of the highly anticipated Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the adult film industry also had a great influence over these decisions. Whether we chose to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, the adult film industry still has a large influence over the Blu-Ray decision. Even with its apparent loss of revenue to online video, the industry still has some sway in regards to the format its line of adult videos will be on.

Since 2007, and early 2008, the adult film industry put its backing behind the Blu-Ray DVD format. This, combined with the other reasons mentioned above, seems to be the straw that broke the camels back for HD DVD.

What does this mean for you and your business of DVD products? We are entering a time that future video products should be recorded on High Definition video tape and released on Blu-Ray DVD.

So, now that you know Blu-ray DVD is the future of DVD video delivery, what type of product can you develop on Blu-ray DVD? Consider that Blu-Ray will deliver graphics and still images that look more brilliant and video images of much higher quality because they are recorded on High Definition video. In addition, the length of programming time is greater on Blu-Ray than standard DVD.

We highly recommend Duplicating your Blu-Ray inventory in low quantities as just-in-time delivery:because it will not be long before the next ”greatest advancement” in digital video comes out to further confuse us and, once again, change everybody’s thinking, including ours.

photo credit: Day 48: Recursive Technology via photopin (license)

Package and Position Your Product for Higher Sales

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

169099963_97a758887e_nPackages come in all shapes and sizes. Various factors will determine which package option is best for you. Quantity, perceived-value, and the nature of your program all factor into your decision. Since some of the high-end packages require a minimum run of 2,500 pieces, you need to carefully explore all of your options. A good production company can steer you in the right direction for the appropriate package option to suit your needs.

Design a package that lives up to your name.

No matter how good your production is, remember, people do judge a book by its cover. Don’t shortchange your great product with a poor package design.

Conceptualize what you want the outside of your product to look like. Draw it out as best you can and list all the titles, by-lines and credits. Be sure to put your bio on the outside, if it’s appropriate. Then find a great graphic designer to bring it all together. Take a look at other products that are similar to yours, and pick the ones you like to help you design your own.

Don’t scrimp on design.

Spend the time and the money to create beautiful cover art and packaging. It should look professional and eye-catching. Show the graphic artist packaging you find stunning to give them an idea of what you want. What colors suit the mood you wish to create with your product? Make a mock-up by cutting out images from a magazine and rubber-cementing them to a piece of paper to help communicate your ideas to a graphic designer (preferably someone who was highly recommended to you). Let the designer hear or view your finished or rough-mixed production and let them interpret the cover design.

Always decide on the type of package case (CD album, video box, etc.) before designing the cover art, to give the artist a sense of space and dimension. Be careful not to crowd the cover design with a lot of text, which creates confusion and anxiety. The cover should jump out at you. Choose color combinations carefully. Consider what’s in style currently. Or you may choose to stay neutral to increase the longevity of the product.

Make it easy to reference.
I call it reference-ability. Each CD or CD track should cover one subject or category. Make each CD a subject or category of mini-subjects that pertain to the main category so people can easily access the information they want — this is a great benefit and makes the program/series user-friendly.

CDs hold up to eighty minutes of recorded information, while single-sided DVDs hold up to two hours of video. Stay tuned for the latest update on playback technology. It looks like it will be Internet downloading.

Package it for greatest marketability and profit.
What if you had three hours of message or program to sell? Would you put it on two or three CDs? Or, would it have a higher perceived-value if it were on or six CDs? Which scenario would earn you more income? Which scenario would have the higher perceived-value? Which would be more user-friendly?

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: ART INSIDE via photopin (license)

Copywritten Music Use in Your Media Production

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

16214390035_8de2df933c_nRule number one: never use a song you bought at the local record store (do they still call them “record” stores?). Rule number two: never, ever use a song you bought anywhere without written permission. Get the point? This is illegal and could end up costing you big bucks!

I learned this the hard way. I let a client talk me into using Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” and Bob Seger’s “Horizontal Bop” in a promotional video used to sell an event. This client would play the video during a seminar to get the attendees to sign up for this “next level” class. Unfortunately, a competitor was in the audience and “blew the whistle.” They called the copyright police and, within a couple of days, both the client and I were served a “cease and desist” order. The court document demanded $10,000 plus a percentage of every unit sold! Luckily, we had just finished the video; none of the recordings had been sold or delivered, so not much damage was done. We promised not to use the video with the songs, got a slap on the wrist and learned our lesson.

Now, what was rule number one again? Good — don’t forget it! If there is a published song you would like to use in your production, you have to obtain a music license or permission from the holder of the copyright. Sound complicated? Most of the time it is — not to mention expensive. Just tracking down the right person to apply to is enough to give up, let alone the sticker shock once the request is made.

Here are a few examples of artists and the costs for licensing their music. One disclaimer: these occurred over a long stretch of time, so the prices are neither current nor correct for purchase today. I list them as examples of the various fees involved for the different calibers of songs. “Crazy,” written by Willie Nelson, sung by Loretta Lynn: $25,000 limited use for one year. “Jump, Jive and Wail,” by Brian Setzer: $5,000 for the life of the product. “Storms in Africa,” by Enya: $20,000 for usage and $ .25 per unit reproduction fee, regardless. “Surfing USA,” by the Beach Boys: $10,000 for a 7-week television usage.

So, exactly how do you copyright a recording? I am not going to go into detail about it here, since that could be a book in itself. In fact, there are many good books available on copyrighting. For more information on how to file a copyright, contact the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

Interested in learning more about professional media services like audio/video? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon or you can purchase an e-book version from SmashWords.

photo credit: Fender Squier 5-string P-bass via photopin (license)

How To: Make Your Video Production Look Professional

Friday, July 13th, 2012

SAMSON TXM20 1000w POWERED MIXER-SLIDERSAdd a professional touch to your video to attract potential customers, increase value, and establish your professional image. You can use professional voice-over and quality music to add a special touch.

Professional voice-over

One way to add a nice touch on any video is to have professional voice talent reading your script. A professional voice talent can add some serious impact to your message. You can find voice talent all over. Talent agencies are a good place to start. Also radio stations, since many of the pro voices are on radio. Television stations have voice talent who often work on and off camera, like the person who tells you to “stay tuned for the eleven o’clock news.” Even a professional speaker could do a voice-over.


The production company can also add music. Good music is to audio programs what interior design is to a cozy room. Music sets the mood or the stage for the performance or message. There are music libraries available for purchase in many forms. Some are buyout, others are pay-as-you-go.

Music styles range from light industrial to jazz to heavy rock and pop. In addition, the music library sends the production company new CDs from time to time at no additional cost but rather as a service to add value and incentive for the production company to keep their library available to their customers. The production company, in turn, charges a non-broadcast charge for the use of that music, with a small profit margin. This is a pay-as-you-go service.

The production company also files the license report with the library so everything is legitimate. It sounds a little complicated, but bottom line, the music is usually the first thing you hear, and can make or break a product, so pay the licensing fee as you go and get good music.

The library I use at Primeau Productions is Omni Music, simply because they are the best. Check them out at www.omnimusic.com.

Rights-free production libraries: Buy Out!

Another option is to buy a music library outright. There are a few good-sounding buy-out production music libraries. You could search the Internet to find these libraries along with some samples of their musical offerings. The downside is that there are a lot of buy-out music production libraries to begin with so look long and hard. There are a lot of musicians who have decided that it is easier to make a living creating production music than it is to make a hit record. Many are in the production music business and do not want the hassles of paperwork and licensing forms. That’s why a majority sells their production music outright.

If you are a musician with published music, you might consider licensing your music as production music. You can sell it to anyone who uses production music, like TV stations, production companies, ad agencies, video editing facilities and recording studios. Corporate America could also be a prospect for use of your music. Be sure your music has been copyrighted before you let anyone hear it! 

Original Music

Perhaps you know an aspiring musician who will license a song for your product or even create an original piece just for you. Check your sphere of influence first. More than likely you will know someone who knows someone who has a friend or acquaintance who writes music or is in a band. Maybe they’re good, maybe not. Practice your diplomacy skills by asking for a sample of their work before you give them the go-ahead to work with you. A word of advice: be sure that the original piece doesn’t sound too familiar. This may be because they borrowed a melody line or two from another published piece of music. Have the artist assume all responsibility with regard to copyright and simply license the song from them instead of buying it. And it wouldn’t hurt to offer the musician credit on the cover of your product.

The Future of Internet Video and Video Production

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

www.com1The year is 1996: Primeau Productions purchases its first computer. A custom built PC with one GB of storage space. Our consultant advised us that this would be plenty of storage space to build our database with. This is when I was introduced to the Internet.

You might say I was a late bloomer, and resisted electronic communication. My former assistant would print out my emails that I received and I would hand write the response on the back of the page. She, in turn, would reply to them via email using my notes. Our chief engineer at the time introduced me to the World Wide Web. One night after work, a time I chose because I did not want to “take away” from my business day working with audio and video (which was the company’s bread and butter), I finally agreed to him showing me around the Internet. He showed me virtual tours, music videos and the basics of how to use a web browser.  Little did I realize that over the next ten years, Internet video would transform and reinvent our business.

Today Internet video statistics are staggering. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and over three billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube. A study in December of 2011 shows that 182 million US Internet users watched online video content for an average of 23.2 hours per viewer. Even with such data in existence, not every website features video.

More people watch video on the Internet than through cable and satellite television combined. We have arrived at the video revolution, the tipping point in the evolution of video.

How do I know?

1. Professional video has a low cost to produce compared to ten years ago. The average marketing video in 1996 cost $25,000.00 to produce. That same video, with higher quality graphics and 3D effects, costs less than $10,000.00.

2. Online shoppers have come to expect video with product descriptions. In fact, according to Forrester Research in April of 2010, one online retailer provided the information that consumers who watched a product video were 85% more likely to buy the product as opposed to those who did not watch. Another online retailer in April of 2011 released a study that found shoppers were 144% more likely to add an item to their shopping cart that they had watched a product video.

3. Internet users have come to expect video on websites. In a recent poll, conducted by Primeau Productions, websites that feature video enjoyed a 30% increase in average visit duration. People spend more time on your website when you include video.

4. The high speed connectivity of the Internet has made it easy for millions of web users to view Internet video programming worldwide, 24/7.

5. Video storage has become affordable and convenient. With the implementation of high definition video, interfacing a computer to your home television system is common today, yet was unheard of ten years ago. There are people today who have all of their favorite tv shows and movies downloaded to a computer hard drive. They can watch their favorite programming without the Internet, but they would not have access to purchasing these programs without use of the Internet.

The Internet has made all types of movies, TV shows and series available for purchase and downloadable from several website communities such as iTunes and Amazon.

6. The Internet has become host to dozens of on demand video companies, like Netflix and Hulu. Xbox and PlayStation with their wireless Internet interface have made it easy for video aficionados to have access to such media as YouTube and ESPN right from the family’s entertainment center, 24/7.

So what happens now that we have hit the tipping point? It has become apparent that the world of video will never settle down and be status quo. I believe the next progression in the evolution of video will include the following:

  • More and more people will share their favorite videos with friends and family. Viral videos will surpass the value and popularity of reality TV shows. I feel this is because they tend to be shorter; viewers can watch “more” video in less time. Plus, they are easy to share. A viral video viewer can easily share the video with their friends and family.
  • I believe people who create video to share advice will get more business for their niche than the companies that do not create video. Primeau Productions has already experienced an increase in analytics from its Internet video marketing clients who have implemented professionally produced video to their websites.

For example, one of our clients, Blue Caribbean in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico enjoyed a 50% increase in business twelve months after implementing video into their website. In fact, we taught the owners how to record professional high-definition video using a Sanyo Xacti camera, saving them thousands of dollars in video recording fees. They recorded the video, sent us the SD card and we edited their videos in our Rochester Hills studio.

  • Businesses that do not use video on their websites will eventually become obsolete, as Internet buyers are becoming trained to look for video when they visit a website. Businesses that do not have video to demonstrate their goods and services will eventually be passed over due to a lack of interest by the Internet shopper.
  • More people will generate their own video networks and channels and continuously create and produce video programming that will be created for a specific audience or niche. These micro-networks will double in numbers each year over the next ten years for both population and viewer-ship.
  • More independent film-makers will create more independent movies using high-definition video. Feature films, documentaries and short movies will grow in number and popularity because of the easy access to equipment and editing systems.
  • More people will study creativity. Money will be made in video by the professional video production companies who are more creative and already have a creative process in place. Creativity separates the novices from the experts and video production will become more and more important.
  • More and more people will record, download and watch more video from the Internet. More businesses will use viral video to market and promote their products and services because a viral video is virtually free.  No media purchasing time is required, like with television commercials, once the video has been created. The potential number of viewers over time is astonishing. Your market, which is comprised of your friends, fans and followers, has the potential of helping your video get millions of views through the use of social media.
  • Video will continue to reduce our international borders. Even video that is created in another language is shared globally, because those videos are visually creative and inspiring even with the language barrier.
  • Storage will be affordable and available at extremely low cost. Video users will not only digitally store their video library on hard drives, they will also begin to use cloud storage so their video library is backed up, as well as accessible, anywhere in the world, 24/7.

So now is the time to begin developing your Internet video presence. There is no better way to sell goods and services, create interest, communicate a message or process, make someone smile, entertain or even educate then through video. Design your video marketing strategy by jotting down ideas and discover your creative process. Purchase a high definition video camera and learn how to capture content at a moment’s notice.  Identify a professional video production company that can help guide your video production process and produce, publish and promote your intellectual property across all available platforms on the Internet.

Today, in 2012, we own eight computers with over 10,000 GBs of hard drive space; a far cry from the original 1 GB of space in 1996.

A Guide to Video Editing: Know the Basics Before You Start

Friday, June 29th, 2012

2088522072_d4f982d952_nIn the old days, video editing consisted of taking the footage you liked and copying it onto another tape called the assembly or edit tape. Then, graphics, titling, music and voiceover would be added and blended in with the select footage. This process is called tape-to-tape editing. The problem with tape-to-tape editing is quality and the time it takes to revise. It’s just like when you make a copy of something on a copy machine, then make a copy from the copy, then make another copy of the last copy… three generations later, it’s looking pretty bad. Today video editing is done using computers. The quality is far better than tape-to-tape editing because there is no generation loss.

But, before you begin the editing process, you need to prepare for the edit session by doing a paper edit. This is a technique of pre-editing, where copies of the original masters are transferred onto VHS tape or DVD with time code numbers visible at the bottom of the screen. The performer, producer or director watches all the footage and makes editing notes using the time codes as reference numbers (which are also on the master tapes). These notes will help speed up the actual edit.

If the producer finds a clip to be used in the final edit, they note the “in point” by the SMPTE time code number that is displayed at the bottom of the screen at the very moment where the clip is to begin. The SMPTE time code number will look something like this: 01:21:15:04. The 01 = the hours, the 21 = the minutes, the 15 = the seconds and the 04 represents the frames.

You can pause the tape at the in or out point so you can be more accurate when writing down the number. A paper edit might look like this: 01:21:11 (begin out with) “it wasn’t really the time of year, but maybe it was” (back into program at 01:21:22); 01:34:07 (begin out with) “she was stunning” (back into the program at 01:34:11 after breath); Pick up with “She really made them look bad” … you get the idea. It’s a way of scripting all the changes you want before spending money on an hourly basis in the studio trying to figure it out. It ‘s well worth the money to get window dubs of your raw footage to do a paper edit.

Do not be concerned with the frames — they move so quickly that you will never be able to read the numbers accurately. Video plays at the rate of 30 frames per second. This is why the frame numbers move so quickly. When 30 frames go by, one second is added to the seconds column; when 60 seconds go by, a minute is added, and so on. Video and audio reference lines or scenes are also noted. These notes will help immensely when in the studio edit. Loading it into a computer digitizes the selected footage. The clips are then assembled onto a timeline until they are in the right order. Computer graphics (titling [producer term]) are then added as necessary. Another advantage of computer editing is that the clips can be moved around easily to view your clip order or section options. This is not possible in tape-to-tape editing.

It’s a good idea to check references and view samples of previous work when deciding on a studio to edit with. Video edit studios come in all shapes and price ranges. The average cost per hour for an AVID Premier Pro or Final Cut Pro system is $150. As the quality goes up, so does the price, up to as much as $400 per hour with all the bells and whistles. I once knew of a professional speaker that spent $100,000 on a video brochure! He went to the top of the line broadcast production facility to produce his video. This was absolute overkill, especially without a producer. Remember, when looking for an editor, check out their previous work. See how quick they are, for a good editor is worth their hourly rate.

photo credit: Alan on the Dials via photopin (license)

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