Video Editing on a Cloud!?!

Strassner Editing Systems

Image via Wikipedia

I came across this article this morning. This is really exciting news. And, I admit, I haven’t finished researching this yet (something about actually getting work done and meeting deadlines). But just the potential has me really excited. The idea that you wouldn’t be tied down to one machine or hard drive(s) to finish a product, that you would really be able to do production on-the-fly, is a mind blowing concept for me.

A million years ago when I first got into production the world consisted of tape-to-tape editing, and if you were lucky a switcher of some sort to make it look a little fancier. When I left college the buzz was on non-linear editing and the potential to get a system soon(ish). Then I worked in a real-life television station, in a small market, that got a system (mostly because the guy who headed commercial development and was probably the best in the market insisted on getting one – and was willing to help foot some of the cost). Of course being low person on the totem pole I was only allowed to watch it in use and stare at if fondly while I did my tape-to-tape editing on 3/4 (yep, three-quarter) tape. Not only was I tied to machines, I was in a tiny room with no sunlight and human contact. Eventually I got into corporate video and met my first non-linear editing system. I even got one at my desk. My own system right there where I worked!

The take away there is that it was at my desk. Where I worked. If I had to travel (which I did frequently) there was no checking out and capturing footage at night at the hotel. No rough cuts to show anyone so they knew how things were going. It all had to wait until I could get back to my desk and edit. Even now when laptops are able to do a good job handling editing you still need extra drives for the footage.

Just the idea of being able to edit using a cloud. That could access the video and allow you to edit without being tied down to any one computer. To be able to work where you need to, when you need to, without having to drag heavy drives with – this is the future. I’m anxious to see where all of it goes, and if it really works of course.

This is just one more reason why living in the future is so cool!

What the Heck is Corporate Video Anyway?

High end linear editing suite, 1999.

Image via Wikipedia

When I started college as a Radio/Television production major I thought I would work in television or movies. I never thought I would end up corporate video. Like many of my classmates I entered the wonderful world of small market television after college eventually becoming weekend director at a top 100 market. After a couple of years I figured out that not only am I good at video production, I love it. I also figured out that I hate news production. After some work in marketing and public relations I discovered a home in corporate video production.

The much less sexy cousin of television, corporate video covers a range of uses and purposes. While it might not be as glamorous, it’s filled with variety and options that television just doesn’t have. One day you could be working on a training video and the next be working a flashy marketing piece. And chances are that unless you work in news your whole life, at some point you too will work in corporate television.

Most production companies will at some point be involved in corporate video. Whether they like to admit it or not. Doing commercials is a lot of fun, but unless you’re a big firm there usually aren’t enough of them coming through the door to pay the rent. Trust me, this was not the career path I would have predicted, but you know it’s not that bad. The hours are a lot better than TV that’s for sure!

The best part is that I get to do such a variety of videos, I don’t get bored. Some have been a little less exciting than others, but in the end I’ve learned something. The challenge is to make each and every production fresh and interesting, because that’s what you’re clients deserve.

More and more companies are moving toward video to reach their customer base. They’re going look for people with vision, creativity, and high quality standards to help them do it. I think that many of these business will be looking to form long-term partnerships with small production companies rather than forming internal teams. If you only want one or two videos a quarter, the overhead for putting a team together and outfitting it with the right equipment is not cost productive. Hiring a local production company to handle videos from concept to completion is likely a better investment. One or two videos a quarter may not seem like much at the start, but if marketed well and producing good work that one company turns in to three or four, and it could just keep growing from there.

To answer the question, corporate is a growing lucrative market for those interested in a career in video. It’s fairly stable and there’s a lot of room for growth. My only words of advice are, be good at what you do. Do you’re job right and the possibilities is limitless.

5 Reasons to Consult a Professional


While I’m all for people grabbing a camera and whatever video editing software they can get their hands on and going for their best video productions, there’s something to be said for professionally produced videos. Professionals have learned the hard way – and are usually quick to share what they’ve learned. The fact of the matter is that there’s a lot of good reasons why you don’t need a professional to shoot and edit your video. But before you grab that camera of fire-up your laptop, here are 5 reasons to do a little research and consult some video professionals.

This photograph shows a man operating a steadicam

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Biting off more than you can chew: You’ve dreamed big. Too big. You’ve come up with an idea for an outdoor shoot at night, with a slow trip around a local landmark. Great! You don’t have lights, a steady cam or dolly? Time to consult a professional. There are ways to do the shoots on the cheap yourself, but it just may come out looking… well…cheap. A local production company may be willing to give you some ideas, as well as price out the cost for them to do it. In the end you might just find it’s better to pay to have the people with the right equipment do it, than to spend the time and money yourself creating a shot you can’t use.
  2. It’s got to look good: you’ve spent months, maybe even years  badgering, pushing convincing your organization for months, maybe years, that video is the answer to a number of problems. You’ve even told them that you can do it yourself with your own camera and software – a real cost savings! Now that you’ve got the green light you’re not sure what to do next. Consult with professionals, on-line if not in person, before you start to shoot. This blog and this one are just two of the professionals you can find on-line willing to share their experience. Look around your area and see if there are any video networking groups that you can join, chances are that you’ll find at least one professional to answer your questions. Talking to a pro before you start to shoot can save production nightmares down the road.
  3. OOPS!: You’re feeling great about the video you shot, until you get back and start to edit. Maybe the color is wrong, or the focus, or the lighting, or the audio or…well let’s just say there’s a lot that can go wrong that you don’t catch while you’re in the field. Hit the internet my friend. I recommend visiting places like Creative Cow, where you can get tips from the pros. If you’ve networked with local production folks you might just find someone who will be willing to sit down with you and show you how to fix the problem. Or you discover that you don’t have the capabilities to fix the problem. Maybe you’ve even tried to re-shoot without any improvement. It’s time to call in a professional. It might cost you some money (and pride) but if you need the shot, and it has to be right, then call on someone who knows what to do.
  4. Just not professional enough: So your nephew – or your boss’s niece – is in film school and is looking for something to cut their teeth on. The price is right (free) so why not? They could the next Coppola or Scorsese, but they’re not there yet. If you need a video done in your place of work with the least amount of disruption possible, and needs to be delivered on time to a very difficult client, this budding director may not be the best choice. Talk to some local production companies, you may even be able to arrange for the legend-in-training to do an internship with the professionals (and a lower cost for you by helping to provide crew). Remember, one video might be great for a class project, and not so great for the boardroom.
  5. You just don’t know how: There’s no shame in not knowing everything. Maybe you’re the best darned widget person in the country, but just because you know all about those widgets doesn’t mean that you know all about video. And who says you should? Going to someone who lives and breathes video production has its advantages. Yes, it’s going to cost you, but you’ll have someone who (hopefully) knows what they’re doing to walk you through the process. In the end you’ll have learned something and gotten the kind of product you’re looking for with far fewer headaches.

Even if you don’t hire a professional production company to work on your video, you can learn a lot from the pros. It’s some of the “trade secrets” that can turn your project from just another video to your organization’s show piece.

One last thought. Remember, you get what you pay for. Uncle Bob maybe great at shooting and editing the kid’s birthday parties, but do you want the first wedding he shoots to be yours? He’d be more than happy to do it for free, but chances are the finished product will look like someone’s uncle did it for free.

Why Video?


The written word can change the course of history. The spoken word cab move mountains. A picture is worth a thousand words. Video trumps them all. Video allows you too see, hear and immersed into a world that you normally couldn’t, or wouldn’t, be part of.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that video has exploded on the internet. No matter how small the world has gotten, we’re still separated by miles and time. Video bridges that gap. Suddenly you’re exactly where you wanted to be. With cameras and software becoming affordable to the average person more people than ever are becoming producers, directors and editors.

Camera Sony HDR-FX1 HDV Handycam Camcorder

Video equipment is becoming more affordable

Right now you’re sitting there thinking video is a great way to keep in touch with family, and to record special events of the kids or grand kids. But, you’ve probably got serious doubts that it can help you with what you do. I’m willing to bet you’re wrong about that.

Whether you building a widget, selling a widget, or creating a course on the history of widgets, you can use video. If you’re building the widget you can use video to document your process. If you’re selling widgets, videos are a great way to show why your product is superior to the competition – saving you time and money by showing your client what you have to offer the way no cold call can. Maybe you can’t take each and every potential client through your workspace, but you can give them a video tour that supports what you’ve told them.

In my mind, educational settings are some of the best places to use video. Whether in a classroom or on-line, video allows learners to see things that they just can’t in a classroom. Video makes an impact, and sometimes that’s the goal (who doesn’t have something seared into their brains from a health or drivers ed class courtesy of a video or film?).

The question for most people in business today shouldn’t be whether or not to do video, but the best way to use video to improve your business. How can you best use video to do what you aren’t doing today?

My suggestion – consult a professional. I’m not talking about cousin-in-law “Bob” who makes “movies” in his basement. I’m talking about someone with references and experience in corporate video production. I’ll discuss corporate video more in-depth in a up-coming post, in the meantime look for someone who works with business and understands your needs. Interview people and ask for quotes. The right production team will involve you, value your input, not push you to do things you don’t want and do everything in their power to keep you from going down the wrong path.

Don’t be afraid of the cost – you may just find out you save money in the end. Don’t be afraid of the time – you may be surprised how much time you save. A well produced, high quality video, will impact your work in ways you can’t imagine.

Use video because it can do, be and say the things you can’t.

The OTHER Side of Me


I realized that I’ve neglected a very important part of what I do and who I am. It’s time to rectify that.

I’ve gone by a lot of different titles….video specialist, videographer, multimedia specialist, media specialist, editor, director…the list goes on. In a nutshell, I’m good at video production. It’s my sweet spot. I’ve done marketing and communications work but I always find myself back in some aspect of video production.

I consider myself a generalist. There are those who focus on editing, or lighting, or sound. I’ve never been that lucky. Most of my work has been on small teams or small projects where you have to wear many hats. I’ve worked in small market television and corporate video. I’ve even shot weddings as side gigs on the weekends. And I can honestly tell you that a bad day editing is in many ways better than a good day doing almost anything else.

So why do I bring this up? Because I intend for this blog to cover my video life as well. I’m hoping you’ll find that there is a bridge between what most people think of as video and the world of marketing, messaging and outreach.

And now and then I may throw in an amusing story about some of the crazy things I’ve seen, done, and experienced during my video adventures. You’ll have to stay tuned for that.