I am always amazed at how long video editing takes. I feel I should be used to it by now, but, like Joss Whedon’s deviousness regarding the death of beloved characters, it surprises me every time.

Generally, the longer the event, the more person-hours required to cull through the footage and splice it down to a usable format.

No wonder it’s many months after a film “wraps” before we see the final product. James Cameron’s movie, Titanic, was 40 minutes longer than it actually took the ship to sink. Think how long the film editing must have taken!

Despite length considerations, I’m finding that speaking events, like Sister Teresita’s inspiring words, are actually easier to edit (for the most part) than less “linear” events like the great Easter Egg Hunt from last week.

And, regardless of how long the process takes, all the work is worth it when you have a video you love. (Watch the videos now!)

The Process

Sounds so ominous, doesn’t it?

“Linear” Event Process

  1. Get there before the speech begins. Set up one video camera on podium.
  2. Start that camera when introduction begins.
  3. Film audience reactions during speech with second camera while listening for highlights / important points from speaker.
  4. Take all footage off cameras and on to computer.
  5. Listen to speech again, noting the time codes for important points.
  6. Put speech into video editing program.
  7. Edit together highlights from podium camera. Check for good moments to add in audience reactions.
  8. Add in audience reactions.
  9. Save. Export. Upload to YouTube. Share on Facebook and Trinity website. TA-DA!

“Non-Linear” Event Process

  1. Find out about the event. (Sometimes harder than you would think!)
  2. In advance, contemplate any shots you might want, including anything to help structure the video.
  3. Show up and start filming during set-up any moments that might strengthen the video of the event.
  4. During event, take video of absolutely everything you can manage to get. You never know when that “perfect” clip will turn out to be terrible and that 10 seconds extra will have the perfect gem in it.
  5. Take all the footage off of the camera and on to the computer.
  6. Watch everything you have, with your ‘narrative’ for the event in mind. But be open to changing your direction depending on the footage you gathered.
  7. Watch through everything again, noting the time codes for sections you think you will use.
  8. Cull through any photographs or related documents from the event. I find this is even more critical in non-linear events, because you may have gaps to fill where the video didn’t do it justice or you may have places where the video transition would be too abrupt without something else to help smooth the rough edges.
  9. After looking through everything, I usually end up with a piece of paper that makes sense to no one else and looks something like this:

    The column on the right side of the page are image numbers of possible pictures to use in the video. The scrawlings on the left and bottom are video numbers with time codes plus general descriptions of sections.
  10. Then I put everything into the video editing program and ease it together.


  11. Often with non-linear events, there isn’t a through narrative like a speech. It’s more rowdy crowd shots and laughter, which is great fun, but do not always make for interesting viewing. So in comes the music. I figure out how long the music needs to be and what style would best fit the personality of the event.
  12. Then I hunt through royalty-free music sites, making sure to always check on the license requirements. “Free” does not usually mean just take the song and run! Often there are license considerations like a link back to the website or specifically naming and/or notifying the musician(s) whenever the piece is used.
  13. On the rare occasion when I cannot find a piece that works, I will use the music loops provided in GarageBand on Mac laptop to create the music for the background. Thank the stars for GarageBand loops!
  14. Once I have the music on my computer, I will edit it as necessary in Audacity (free audio editing software) and then import it into the video editing program.
  15. I will often tweak the transitions, lengthening or shortening clips, to match the musical phrasing. Rarely do I make major changes at this point, but slight adjustments can make the video flow more seamlessly.
  16. Finally, save, export, upload to YouTube, and share on Facebook and the Trinity website. TA-DA!

All the Work is Worth It

Still, as I said before, regardless of how long the process takes, all the work is worth it when you have a video (or videos) you love.

Easter Egg Hunt -- Wednesday, April 4, 2012: “Non-Linear”

Music from Easter Egg video is from TemplatesWise.com: José Paradis’s “Late Night in Vegas”

Sr. Teresita Weind -- Tuesday, April 3, 2012: “Linear”