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I Can Make My Video Myself, Right?


The second reason why going it alone is a bad idea.

I once had a client tell me that his niece could shoot a video on her iPhone after I gave him a quote for some video work.  And he was right. Your phone can produce better images than a lot of digital video cameras 10 years ago. But unless you plan on delivering a perfect 2-minute performance, you’re going to have to edit it. And that means two things: you’re going to need the right software, and you’re going to need a good computer.

Editing high-definition video is one of the most demanding things you can ask your computer to do. Don’t believe me? Start working on it and listen as your cooling fan ramps up to full throttle after only a few minutes. That’s the sound of your processor going into overdrive. You’re going to need more than a Chromebook if you want to edit your video.

When it comes to software, you can use the editing program that comes with your OS of choice (iMovie for Mac and Photos for Windows). They will be free, but fairly limited in the features they offer such as color grading or audio processing. For more of those tools, you can buy a third-party software application. The most popular, and my personal choice, is Adobe Premiere Pro. As of the date of this writing, a one-year subscription will cost you $240 for Premiere. But then you have to learn how to use it.

If you’re still reading, then you might be technologically inclined enough to do what it takes to learn how to edit on your computer. However, we haven’t even started talking about the psychology of good editing. You may be able to read a book about the principles in an afternoon, but it will take years to perfect. Like good audio, good editing is deceivingly complicated because when it’s done well, it looks easy.

Good editors are worth their weight in gold. Not only do they have to be well-versed in digital video formats, color theory, and music selection, but they have to be able to tell a story as well. And that’s because editing is essentially a re-write of the script. A good script is an important part of the process, but it’s ultimately just a plan. The plan needs to be executed during your production day, and you don’t always pull off all of your plans. In the edit, you only get to use the parts of the plan that actually worked. In other words, you only get to use the footage that turned out well. And an editor needs to be resourceful enough to still pull off a good video even if all your plans weren’t executed perfectly.

Editing is the second reason why going it alone is a bad idea. No one will care how much money you saved on your video by shooting it on your iPhone, if you can’t deliver a quality video. Remember, the bar is set pretty high these days when it comes to the production quality of a professionally produced video for your business.

Your video is a great way to make a first impression. But you know what they say about a bad first impression.