# Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I always edit my interviews prior to posting them. The first step is to get the recorded video onto my computer. I record to Mini DV tapes and the easiest way to get this content from the tape to my computer is to insert the tape into my video camera, attach the camera to my PC via firewire, and import the video.  Windows 7 ships with a utility to import videos directly into my PC as an AVI file. When I connect the camera and turn it on in 'Play' mode, my PC prompts me to import the video.

Adobe Premiere Elements basics

After I import the video, I use Adobe Premiere Elements to edit the show. Here are a few of the basic skills you will need in order to edit a show like mine in Premiere Elements.

I start by creating a new project. To do this, select File | New | Project from the top menu and enter a name and folder location for the project. A blank editor appears with three main sections:

  • The Timeline at the bottom of the screen controls the content in your video and allows you to add or manipulate that content. You can add content at any point in the timeline, even overlapping multiple videos or slides, so they are superimposed on one another. You can modify a point in the video by selecting that point in the Timeline.
  • The top right area of the screen includes a tabbed interface so you can organize, edit or share your video. Functions in this area are organized under different tabs.
  • The top left area of the screen allows you to preview and edit the video. VCR buttons below this allow you to play, fast-forward and rewind the video, beginning at the point selected in the Timeline.

Premiere Elements has a number of ways to add content to a project. The two I use most often are adding an existing video or photo; and adding a slide. A slide can stand on its own, such as in the opening or closing credits, or it can be overlaid with the video, so it acts as a caption.

To add existing media to a project, select the "Organize" tab in the top-right section of the editor; then select Get Media | PC Files and Folders and navigate to the video or picture to import. An icon representing the imported media appears. Drag this icon to the desired area in the timeline.

To add a new slide, select Title | New Title | Default Still from the top menu. A slide appears at the currently selected position in the timeline. You can edit the text of the slide by clicking it with your mouse and deleting, replacing or adding to the existing text. With the text selected, tools appear under the “Edit” section in the top right of the screen, allowing you to select the font and alignment of the text. You can change the length of time a slide is displayed by dragging the right edge in the timeline.

To remove sections of the video, you need to first split a clip at the beginning and end of the area you want to remove. To split a clip, click the point at which you wish to apply the split and select Timeline | Split Clip from the top menu. To delete a section of video, select the section between the splits you added (the selection will highlight purple) and press the Delete key. To delete the beginning or end of a video, you only need to insert a single split and select / delete the video section before or after that split.

Editing "Technology and Friends"

Each show consists of the 5 sections in the following order

  1. Introduction
  2. Interview
  3. Ending Credits
  4. “Technology” and “Friends” quote
  5. Title page

Introduction

The Introduction plays at the very beginning of each episode and is broken into a Title Sequence, followed by a slide listing the episode number and a slide listing the speaker and topic.

Title Sequence

The title sequence is the same for every show. Last year, I created a short video and I use this same video for each show, so I import it from my computer. This video displays a montage of photos of past guests as the show title – “Technology and Friends” - appears on screen. This is  followed by some photos of me surrounded by the words “Hosted by David Giard”. I add this media to the beginning of the timeline.

Episode Number slide

The Episode Number slide displays immediately after the Title Sequence, I insert a slide listing the episode number. The text on the slide is centered vertically and horizontally.  This slide lasts for 5 seconds.

Guest/Topic slide

Immediately after the Episode Number slide, I insert a slide listing the guest and the topic ([Guest] on [Topic]). For example, when Jim Holmes was on the show to talk about CodeMash, this slide said “Jim Holmes on CodeMash”. The name, the word “on” and the topic each appears on a separate line. Longer topics may be split into multiple lines. The text on this slide is center-aligned and is centered vertically and horizontally on the slide. 

Interview

The interview is the most difficult thing to edit. I sometimes need to watch an interview 3-4 times to decide what to cut.

I always need to cut out the beginning where I am walking into the camera frame and setting up; and the ending where I walk out of the frame to turn off the camera. If I had someone to operate the camera, the recording would not have these sections.

Some interviews include time that doesn’t add any information and I cut out these parts as well. Examples include: Me clarifying a question that I asked poorly the first time; a guest misspeaking, then correcting himself; a joke or anecdote that falls flat; and redundant information. I want the interview to be concise and entertaining. Often a video can be improved by removing the less interesting parts.

If a guest mentions a specific URL, I add an overlay slide to display that URL. This reinforces the information and provides the proper spelling to the user. URL text is displayed in the bottom third of the screen and the text does not wrap. It is acceptable to eliminate "http://" from the URL as this is implied and tends to clutter the slide.

Ending Credits

At the end of each show, I display a series of slides, one after another. Each slide lasts 5 seconds. The text of each slide is

Guest on Topic

where Guest is the full name of the guest and Topic is the main topic we discussed

Recorded Mmmm DD YYYY, Location

where Mmmm DD YYYY is the date the interview was recorded and Location is the city in which it was recorded, such as “January 20 2010, Sandusky, OH”

XXX performed by YYY

where XXX is the name of the song selected to play during the Introduction and Ending Credits and YYY is the name of the artist who performed that song. (More on this later)

See more at TechnologyAndFriends.com and DavidGiard.com

The text on this slide is the same each episode.

Copyright David Giard, YYYY

where YYYY is the current year.

"Technology" and "Friends" quote

During each interview, I ask my guest to speak a sentence using the words “Technology” and “Friends”. During the editing process, I clip this section of the video and move it to the end, immediately following the final credits.

Title page

The very last thing that I drag to the end of the timeline is a graphic image – TechnologyAndFriends.gif. This is a logo I created for the show. It displays for 5 seconds and serves as a final reinforcement of the show name.

Music

After nearly four decades collecting, I have accumulated a substantial library of music. Technology and Friends does not have a theme song: Instead, I choose a different song for each episode. I try to choose a song in which the title, lyrics or artist relate in some way to the subject or guest of the current show. Sometimes, I’ll pick a song or artist that I know the guest enjoys. If I cannot find an appropriate song, I select an upbeat instrumental. I drag the song to the very beginning of the timeline on a separate track from the Introduction. This causes the music to play at the same time as the introduction and opening credits. I clip the audio track and end the music at the same time the introduction ends and the interview begins.  Then I drag the remaining music track to the end, so that it plays during the closing credits and ends when the guest speaks the “Technology” and “Friends” quotation.


In my next article, I'll describe how I share the video on the web and on TV.