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What can I do to practice video editing and production ?

I am a senior in high school

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Subject: Career question for you

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Chris Ross’s Answer

Make a movie.
It's easy to do.
Take your phone. Turn the video camera on.
Film yourself going to your fridge. Open the fridge. Show what's inside.
Then, without cutting the phone camera (leave the video on record), put the phone inside the fridge, looking outwards.
Close the fridge door, wait a second, open it, look inside. Reach in and grab something (not the phone camera) and shut the door again.
Then get the phone out, cut the camera.
Now shoot whatever it was you took out of the fridge as you put it onto a kitchen spot, like the table, whatever, from your point of view, i.e. of your hands, the thing, etc.
Now put the camera out on its own and film yourself bringing the thing, putting it onto the spot.
Lastly, film yourself looking seriously down at the thing.
Done.

Now if you don't have a copy of Blackmagic's Resolve, get it from that website blackmagic design and get the tutorials too. The non-studio version is free.
Learn how to install and use the basics by following the tutorials that are plentiful both from blackmagic and also youtube
Ingest the shots you have taken from the above fridge sequence, and learn how to edit by making those shots into a narrative short film
Add voice over with thoughts, noises, commentary, and/or music if you want.

There.
Done.

Now do it again, with something else. Or add more to this one, see how it goes.

HTH!
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Abhijeet’s Answer

Like most things in life, I don't think this question has one "correct" answer. Cause it would depend on what you want to do and what your primary interests are. Typically, I look at the video life cycle in 5 stages
Planning
per-production
production
post-production
distribution

I would suggest take one of the free online courses and see what each stage really means. Which part of the lifecycle interests you or do you want to do it end-to-end? One can even create amazing "explainer videos" without ever using the camera using tools like vyond.com. I know folks who are experts in Adobe After-effects and the work they can do adds class to any live video. So look at all parts, tools used, and other such stuff and try to see where your interests will lie.

Second, you could create videos for a variety of different needs - like create your own movies / documentaries, create reality / web series, create educational videos, create corporate videos, etc., etc. I know they may all seem similar and you would say - what difference does it make - I want to create videos. But in the long term specialization in one or two will get you the best traction / momentum.

Finally, there is no learning like learning on the job. Don't worry about making money - see if you can volunteer with a non-profit to make videos for them (like an animal shelter or habitat for humanity or any cause that you / your parents favor). Ask a family friend who owns / runs a business to see if you can create videos for them (start with a free offer and say if they like the first 3 they need to start paying you). Take up a live project with another video producer and become their apprentice. See if you can get internship in a company as a video producer. Try to get some real life experience in the aspect that interests you the most.

Hope this helps. All the best!!!
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! ISAIAH
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Barry’s Answer

Hi, Isaiah!

You likely have all you need to get started - your phone! You can shoot amazingly well with just your phone. In fact, there are a few apps you can download to enhance not just the quality of your shooting, but the familiarity with the tools needed to tweak things like color, aperture, shutter speed, etc.

If you don’t have the money for a subscription, try the MAVIS app. It is free. If you are willing to pay $20 or so per month, FILMIC PRO is a really good app. With both of them, you can also change the frame rate and the resolution rate. FILMIC allows you to shoot different varieties of super slo mo, where the simple camera app built-in on your phone has just 1 SSM rate.

Experiment with different vantage points from which to shoot, and different scene compositions. As the John Ford character says at the end of the movie, The Fabelmans, says, if the horizon is near the top or bottom of the screen, it’s interesting. If the horizon is in the middle, it’s boring!

Wishing you the best,

Barry Abrams
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Ken’s Answer

Hello Isaiah.
Does your school have a media production class? Can you borrow cameras and use editing software and hardware?
Start off by shooting, anything. Just get used to composing, and exploring how lighting affects the shot. Start off with a still camera.
It will take a while. You have to walk before you run. Keep at it. Do you like movies? Find a scene that you think is well lit and composed, then borrow some lights from school and try your best to recreate the scene. Again, this will take time. Don't get frustrated. Practice makes perfect.
Then move into shooting with a video camera. Use the same disciplines you learned shooting stills and apply them to your videography.
Now assemble a team. Find friends who like making videos, and assign roles. Someone to light the scene, someone to operate the camera, someone to record audio, someone who likes to edit.. Work with friends who are good creative writers. Work with the theatre department to find your actors. Try to tell a short story in 5 minutes. It can be an original story, or pick a 5 minute scene from a movie, and shoot that. Storyboard the scenes so you know what to shoot. Your confidence will build with each project. Don't try to do everything. Work with a team. That's how most films and commercials, even documentaries are produced. Good luck.
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