January 20, 2010

You Don’t Have to be a Hollywood Director to Make a Great Video

director-boardVideo on the web is growing at an astonishing pace and becoming more popular than ever.   YouTube is now the fourth most visited site with one BILLION views per day and 41 million views per hour!  One recent statistic even revealed that it would take you 9,000 years to watch every single video that's available on YouTube today!  (Who has that kind of time!?!)

So how do you make YOUR video stand out among the billions of videos on YouTube?  Simple.  Just add some Hollywood sizzle!

As video use has grown, video editing has also become easier and more accessible.  The fact is, even with the most basic editing - such as adding a title or music to your video - you can look better than 95% of the content out there.

Video editing - also called post-production - is anything you do to enhance or improve your raw video footage.  Editing includes things like graphics, titles, transitions, music and effects.   Fortunately, you don't need to be a Hollywood producer to edit your video.  Simple and affordable editing programs are available to make the job easier than ever.

Here are a few of the more popular editing programs available:

For the PC:

Windows Movie Maker (Free with  Windows)

Free is good and simple is better.  Windows Movie Maker makes it relatively easy and intuitive to add background music, graphics and a handful of special effects.  If you're new to video, it's a great place to start.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9 ($100)

Sony's Vegas software is another popular choice.  Their "Platinum" version has a low, entry-level price tag, but you'll have to pony up if you decide to make the jump to Sony Vegas Pro 9. ($600)

Adobe Premiere Elements 7 ($100)

If you're ready for a step up from Windows Movie Maker, Adobe's Premiere Elements is a good choice.  The software has reasonable price tag and is not overly confusing to anyone with some basic computer experience.

For the Mac:

iMovie '09 (Free with new Macs)

The latest version of Apple's iMovie is user-friendly and simpler than ever.   As a professional editor who uses Final Cut Pro, I used to thumb my nose at iMovie.  However, I find myself using iMovie for smaller editing jobs more and more.  It's drag and drop simplicity also makes iMovie a great choice for video newbies.

Final Cut Pro ($1,299)

Final Cut Pro is the top of the line editing system, but it requires a bigger investment and a much steeper learning curve.  When people ask me how I add all kinds of bells and whistles to my videos, the answer is Final Cut.

Final Cut Express ($199)

Final Cut Express is Final Cut Pro's little sibling, but it still packs a punch for the very reasonable price tag.  If you're willing to take on the learning curve, it's a great alternative.

If you'd rather not bother with editing at all, you can send your raw footage to a pro (like me!) and get your video professionally edited with all the bells and whistles that will make it stand out online.   You might even want to check out our turn-key video sizzle packages at www.Good2GoVideo.com!

Whatever direction you take, you'll find that video editing has become something even the video novice can tackle with confidence.

loubortone-91Lou Bortone is a long-time marketing and branding consultant who helps entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet, with services such as online video production, video branding, coaching and creative support.  Lou is a former television executive who worked for E! Entertainment Television and later served as the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Advertising for Fox Family Worldwide, a division of Fox in Los Angeles.  Lou is an author and ghostwriter of six business books, a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach and a Book Yourself Solid Certified Coach. Visit Lou's website at http://www.OnlineVideoBranding.com and you can see many of Lou's videos at http://www.LouBortone.tv.

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