Thursday, February 28, 2013

Effects in Video Production

In dealing with new and aspiring young video producers I find there is a desire to be competent in the hardware and software needed to produce the project. They want to know everything about the hardware used in the video production. They become fascinated with the editing software and all of the features found within. They go to great lengths to use as much effects in their videos because it looks "cool". It is here they experience their failure.

Software like Adobe's Premiere Pro and Apple's Final Cut Pro offer a rich tool-set of features. Among these features are loads of special effects such as transitions, movements, A/V effects, etc. The desire is to try each of the effects out and see what they can do. It is not bad to understand the tools you have in your arsenal, however it does not mean that you need to use all or any of them. There are times that you need to do something to add "interest" to the video, but that is all. I once had a video professor tell me to make sure I found every effects the software had to offer. Once I had memorized every effect available, then I was to forget they existed. I believe this was the best advice I had received in editing video.

We have to remember the most important objective is how to best communicate to our audience. We can understand every feature in the hardware and software we own, but that does not mean that we have to use it in our projects. The goal is to communicate. Our objective is to place the viewer in the center of the action. Most of the post-editing effects in your toolbox will distract from the message you are trying to send. A simple spin transition or page peel can frustrate your audience and should be used only in situations that demand it.

My advice to people getting into video production is to understand your equipment and use it to place your audience at the center of the action. Like my professor said, memorize every effect available and forget they exist.

Go and tell the story!

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