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Basic concepts in video

If you already know all about video, you might not need to review this very basic information on digital video. However, if you are just getting your feet wet, the information will help you with basic terms and concepts in video. This is just a start, so we encourage you to continue seeking further information on video beyond what we can cover here.

Video Clip

  • A video clip is a continuous shot showing an uninterrupted sequence of images without cuts or additions. Usually video clips are short clips that are part of a longer recording.
  • Their normal length is from 5 to 90 seconds long.
  • Clients usually use a combination of several different clips to make one audiovisual creation.

Video Workflow

If you want to work in video, you should first decide upon an effective workflow. The three processes in digital video are:

  1. Recording: shooting the footage (video material)
  2. Editing: process of cutting & assembling footage
  3. Publishing: saving the edited clip

You must decide how much time to spend in each step, and what tools you will use in your work.

  1. Did you see yourself filming and filming all day long?
    If you are able to carefully prepare and carry out every step of the filming process so that your material only needs a small cut here or there to be agency-ready, congratulations! You can spend practically all of your time filming. Some cameras even allow you to make the editing cuts with the LCD screen of the camera.
  2. Do you believe in a good balance between filming and editing?
    Most people find that they do need to make cuts at the beginning and end of their clips. This might be because there was shaking or camera movement, the camera wasn’t adjusted perfectly or because you ended up filming way too much. If this is your case, you will need to edit your video clips. You don’t have to be a video editing expert to make minimal adjustments because there are many good programs which facilitate this work. We recommend QuickTime Professional, which allows you to easily edit the clips by “cutting & pasting” the best frames, without losing your original quality.
  3. Do you enjoy filming, but absolutely love editing?
    If so, you probably spend far more hours in front of your Mac or PC than behind your camera. And you probably work with more sophisticated programs such as Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, After Effects or Vegas (and the list goes on, but these are among the best known).

While you can achieve a high visual impact with certain filters and special effects, you should always remember that stock video clips are clips of material that clients will usually be editing for their own purposes. If the adjustments create additional noise or extreme contrast, you might be limiting the chances that a client will be able to fit your clip into their own project.

We are all for artistic experimentation, but you should always evaluate whether you are giving a clip the “artistic touch” or causing a serious loss of quality that could reduce its commercial value/possibilities.

If you have any doubts, or need further information, please contact
Eva Cascales.

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