11/03/13 683 W - + 8 - 7 How To Make Your Own Movies

Here's how to record, edit, and broadcast your own video clips using your smart phone. Why do such a thing, you ask? Because moving pictures tell thousands of words, and particularly if they're narrated. Need to communicate something, but in a method more robust than words or words plus a couple pictures? Try making a video. Really, it's easy. Have to demonstrate something to someone? Don't relish the prospect of writing a short "manual?" Try making a video. Just tape thing as you speak. 

The steps in general:

  1. Create one or more narrated video clips, using your smart phone.
  2. Transfer the video file(s) to your computer.
  3. Edit the video file using software on your computer.
  4. Upload the video to a network or YouTube or such.

Notes: Step 2 and Step 3 can perhaps be bypassed. Your smart phone video record may have some editing capabilities. Or you may have a video editing app installed on your smart phone. And/or, you can perhaps upload your clip to a network or YouTube straight from your phone. Since this is a Legeros-based set of instructions, here's how he does it.

Step 1 - Record the clip(s)

Have your phone in hand? Switch the camera to video mode. Aim the thing. Press record. 

Okay, you'll probably want some preparation. Walk through your narration ahead of time. Maybe jot some notes, or write a script. And you'll probably want a second person to hold the phone, if you're demonstrating something with your hands. Or if you're part of the demonstration!

Step 2 - Transfer the clip(s)

Connect the phone to your computer. Use whatever you use to transfer the movie file(s) from the phone, to the computer.

My method involves dragging and dropping the files, from the Windows Explorer view of my phone, to the destination folder on my desktop.

Step 3 - Edit the clip(s)

We'll probably want to edit our clip, even if just to tighten the timing. Maybe trim a few seconds at the start, before the "action" had started happening. Or maybe we'll combine two clips into a single movie. Or multiple clips, for a longer segment.

One simple and free tool is Windows Movie Maker, which is available for Windows 7, which is Mr. Blogger's computer platform. Once downloaded, start playing with the thing. Import your first video file. Look at your options, including "split" to divide the thing into two pieces. There's a title option, where you can a "slide" with text. There's timing for the "slide," where you can control the number of seconds it's displayed.

Once you've finished you're edits, save the project file. Then, export the clip as a new video file, which you'll use for the final step.

Step 4 - Upload the clip(s)

Final step is sharing this clip with others. Mine are uploaded to YouTube, which is a widely popular video delivery service. Accounts are free. Each video can be private, public-but-unlisted, or public (and found by people searching on YouTube). Uploading takes time, however. Many minutes or even hours, depending upon the length.

There are other options, from other video delivery web sites (such as Vimieo) to private or personal networks. If your fire department has an internal computer network (or intranet), and you're producing videos for personnel, you could upload them there. That keeps them out of the public domain, or at least off of someone's servers other than your own.

Obviously, you can also share videos the old-fashioned way, by send the files as attachments in e-mail messages (size permitting). Or copying them to flash drives, or burning on to CDs or DVDs, for physical transfer.


Here's an unedited clip, e.g. just raw footage of a single shot:

Here's the same clip, but with footage deleted from the beginning and end:

Here's that clip, combined with a second clip. Think of this as a very short movie, consisting of two shots.

Easy peasy, no?

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