Video Creation with a DV Camera
By the WITRC staff in Winther Hall 1006, UW-Whitewater
This is a brief primer to help you successfully create a short (15 minute) video.
There are 3 elements you need to consider in your video production before you start. They are:
- capturing or shooting your original material,
- editing your video,
- exporting your video to an easily viewable format.
The following is our recommendation for obtaining good results. It may not be the fastest and it may not provide you with the best quality, but it is a good middle road for getting your project completed. You will learn about the technology involved, but your focus will stay on your content. Finally, if you end up becoming a teacher, you'll have a bit of experience with a technology currently being used in schools.
- Capturing or Shooting Your Original Material
- Secure a video camera with a firewire (IEEE 1394b) output and enough blank tape. (You can also use an older camera with a/v outputs, or a camera with USB outputs, but there may be an extra step involved.) Make sure the batteries are charged and you are familiar with the camera before the shoot (try it out). When testing the camera for video and sound, try to zoom and pan slowly. Avoid jerky movements.
- Plan your shoot. Who will be there, what time, and what will they bring? When shooting, people seem to have two approaches. Some shoot lots of footage in the hope of not missing anything. However they will spend more time reviewing/deciding what they will ultimately use. Others try to capture only what they want, but may miss spontaneous events.
- Before you leave the 'location', review what you shot to be sure you have what you need, and to become more familiar with your footage.
- Editing your Video
- Review your raw video footage before coming to the lab. When you have picked the segments you think you want, you are ready to import them into the computer. It is best (because of large file sizes and limited computer abilities) to NOT import all your video, just what you think you will use.
- When arranging a time to edit, assume editing will take longer than you think. Reserve the 'production room' in WH1006 so it is assured to be open for you. If it is your first time, let us know you will need help. We will help you get equipment connected and correctly create your project folder. Assume 2-3 hours for creating a short video.
- The process goes something like this: You connect the camera to the computer through the connector and import footage you think you will use. If you import one hour, it may take one hour. Then you pick the 'clips' you want to use in your final video, arrange them in an order, and cut out pieces you don't want (i.e. dead time in the middle of a clip). To create a 15 minute final piece with 1.5 hours of raw tape usually takes 2-3 hours. If you want to add titles/credits, music or voice over, it may take longer.
- When working with video, your files can get very large. One minute of video can easily be 200mb. As you work, the computer will render (work on your video) in the background. It is important to work methodically (not impatiently click all around the screen), as you can freeze the computer and lose part of your project.
- Exporting Your Video to an Easily Viewable Format: When your program is finished, how do you want your ‘audience’ to view it? Your choices include:
- digital file (does not require equipment beyond a computer to play, easier to create),
- DVD (high quality, easy playback, easy search, we use DVD-R media).
Most students prefer to burn to DVD for their project. Be sure to bring enough blank media so each group member may have a copy.
- Summary: Start early, plan ahead, ask for help before you are in crisis, and enjoy the process.