The System- Part I - How To Produce Videos Faster, Better and More Efficiently

Posted April 27, 2018
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Here's how most people produce videos today:

They go and shoot a big pile of stuff. They shoot a LOT of material, because they are afraid they are going to 'miss' something. In fact, most people are told to 'shoot a lot to give the editor choices'. 

Today. the person who shoots the stuff IS the editor, so this is inherently insane to begin with.  All you are doing is creating more unnecessary work for yourself.  

Then, after we have shot a BIG PILE of stuff, we come back to the office or the studio and spend hours screening and logging it.

THEN, we write a script and THEN we edit the video to the written script.

This method of working is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

It is pointless and wasteful.

In the end, your viewers will end up seeing about 1% of all the material that you gathered and screened and processed.  

No wonder people think that producing video is complicated, time consuming and expensive.

It isn't.

There are a lot of problems in this old way or working, but the biggest one is that we have separated the shooting and the writing and the editing into three separate jobs.  They are not. They are, in fact, all part of one job - making a video.

They got separated because it used to be that three different people did three things - shot, wrote and edited.  But now it is all done by one person, so let's jam together the thinking and the process.

How do we do this?

Well, for starters, we can begin to combine editing and shooting as one thing.



So here is what I want you to do.

The next time you are shooting as documentary or even a video, I want you to take your laptop or your iPad into the field with you, along with your camera (or phone, hopefully).  

Now, as soon as you shoot a sequence, drop it into the timeline.

No logging!  

No script writing!

Just drop it into the timeline and move on to shooting the next sequence.

Pretty soon you are going to have a bunch of sequences on your time.


Now, grab a cup of coffee or a sandwich and start to mess around with your timeline.

Move the shots and sequences on the timeline and start to storyboard out your final piece.

You'll probably get about 60% of it or so.

Do not be afraid. You can't break the timeline.  Be bold.

Now, look at what you have got and imagine the rest of the film or video.

Visualize it.

See what you are missing.

Finish your sandwich.

Now, shoot for the completing. Fillin the blanks.


Back to the timeline.

Drop in the new sequences.

Time for an interview?


Grab your subject. Seat them in front of your laptop.

Put a mic on them.

Show them the sequences you want them to talk about.

Then ask them to comment on what they are watching.

Record their answers.

Now you have your interview and soundbites.

Get the concept?

And guess what?

You are pretty much done.

No log notes

No paper

No wasted shots.

No problem.


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