Making a simple event video

Making a video and sharing it seems like a daunting task. Is it the technology, the planning involved, or the time required that intimidates people? Maybe it’s all of them or at least a little of each. But I’ve been following a simple process with a small Flip camera that has created some decent videos to share within a small group or even a community. With a small portable video recorder I take short clips, then I aggregate the clips with open source software, and then I publish and share the clips. Simple processes like this are responsible for the growth in video sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

Most of my videos so far have captured two high school sports events: football and cross country. My style is as follows:

  1. Capture short clips

I use short clips because I’m trying to show highlights and keep the final video compilation under 10 minutes. Within any live event there is quite a bit of down-time and video viewers don’t want to see or commit that amount of time to viewing. This also makes the clip easier for me since I don’t have to worry much with changing angles and a shaky video. This also means that I might plan a little ahead of where I will stand, but I really can’t plan the shot. I just have to film the even as it happens.

So for football I will capture a play and stop. I don’t capture every play. My goal is film representative plays of the event and then try to capture key plays that involve scoring.  Each clip is usually around 10 seconds.

For cross country I’m focused on a team of runners. So I’ll look for the team a few minutes before the race and then film them at different points of the race. Each clip for a cross country race is even shorter, maybe 4-5 seconds. I’m stationary as the runners pass me.

One of thing to note is that if I record a clip and I know it’s bad, I delete it immediately. This saves editing time later.

  1. Append the clips together

The next step is to use video editing software to append the clips together. I use OpenShot for Linux, but there are many other software choices such as Windows Movie Maker or Mac Final Cut.  I know professional video makers will use more feature rich software, but these packages offer the basics needed by any amateur.

Since I’m just aggregating all the clips into one, I’m not really doing heavy advanced editing. I will take each clip and append them one-after-another on the time-line to create the video. Once those are in place I can export the video to the format that I will use for sharing.  The export process is lengthy as it’s CPU intensive. Go do something else while your computer works on rendering a single file from multiple clips.

  1. Share the video

Now with the video file completed, I can share it others. I have a YouTube channel where I post my videos and then I can share the YouTube link via email, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.

Here’s an example cross country video.

Here’s an example football video.