Allan Didier

Intro CS Video Production Projects

Beginner Video Production Projects

Video production takes a long time and works best if you do a little planning ahead of time. Before you begin, you first need to decide what video are you going to make. Some common beginner video projects can be

  • A music video for a favorite song.
  • A video for a school assignment. Instead of doing a PowerPoint or paper, you might consider creating a short movie for a class project.
  • A commemorative movie.
    • Highlights from a sports team’s year
    • Commemorating a student’s senior year
    • Seniors, if you want to bring your mother to tears, create a short movie about your school years.
  • Tutorial movies. Become a YouTuber. Demonstrate your tips and tricks on how to do something such as
    • play a video game.
    • draw a paper and pencil character
    • make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich 

Project 1: Finiding Material

Before you can begin creating a movie, you need to find or create your material. What materials will you need to make your movie? Do you need to download videos or still images? Do you need to track down family photos? Do you need to ask your coach for sports videos? What about music or sound effects? Do you need to take in-game videos of your playing prowess? What movies, still images, and audio will you need to complete your project? You list will change as you make your project, but you need to start somewhere. 

How much material will you need? This really depends. For every minute of a final movie you might need: 

  • At least 10 minutes of video footage. Yes, 10 times as much as you will need. You will find most of the raw footage is often not useful. This can be in one video file or multiple files.
  • 20 still images. 3-5 seconds is about all you want to hang on a still image in a movie. 
  • At least 1 minute of a song. This shouldn’t be difficult if you have a short movie. If your final movie will be 10 minutes, though, you might need 2-4 songs as background songs to make sure music is constantly playing in the background. You don’t want to keep repeating the same song over and over.

Your first project is to begin compiling the material you will need for your project. You will also need to figure out how to get the material onto the computer you will be using and to get it into a format that your software can read. YouTube is a great source of materials, but getting stuff from YouTube into your software may be challenge. Recording videos on your phone is a start, buy you also need to move the videos from your phone to your computer. Some video editing software requires music and video to be in specific file types. You may have to convert your files to a format your software can use.

Your first project is really to get ready to do some video editing. 

Project 2: Rough Cut Video

Once you have some material to work from, you need to make a rough-cut video. Learn how the software works. Figure out how you bring your video clips in and roughly cut them to fit what you need. Arrange the video clips and still images in the rough order that you want them. Add background music is you want it. You might even doing some voice-over dubbing as well. 

Project 3: Telling Your Story

Once you learn how to do the video editing and you have a rough-cut video made, you need to focus on the story that you are going to tell with this movie. Some basic formats for movies can be:

  • Chronological. Tell a story over time. It can be from present to past, past to present, or jump around through time.
  • Ordered. Tutorial videos often have a specific order to them. Do step one, then step 2, and so on.
  • Themed. Music videos often follow the song, but the video evokes a certain theme, mood, or tells the story in the song.

Project 4: Polishing Your Movie

Once you have moved past your rough-cut movie and really put things in proper order to tell your story, you begin putting the finishing touches on your movie. To polish up your movie, you can do these things.

  • Put transitions between video clips to smooth out odd-cut clips.
  • Adjust audio volumes so that all audio is at roughly the same volume throughout the movie. Also make sure the background music does not drown out any narration.
  • Add titles where needed.
  • Bookend the movie.
    • Work on the beginning of the movie to make sure the story you are trying to tell is clear from the start.
    • Add credits, etc. at the end of the movie.