- I goofed
- Video Editing can be a long process, better to focus on keeping it simple, especially when you’re new to it.
- The Video is still being worked on and refactored. It’ll have to be released during the week instead of today.
I wanted to create a brief (take notes on the word brief) retrospective of an old video game I made and thought it would be a good opportunity to try out my camera setup and microphone.
However, it’s currently Monday and I’m only about ½ way through the editing process and looking at the video, it needs a rework.
I did not know what I was doing. Not just in terms of editing, but what the purpose of the video even was.
Anyway, I write weekly, so I figured a short post about why another post isn’t out yet would be a good break from my own nonsense.
What went wrong?
Keep It Simple Stupid
I totally missed the oldest rule in the book. I feel this rule applies across life.
I first heard this when practising for software architecture interviews. You start with something small and then build on top of it.
The video was meant to be 5-10 minutes long, but even before reaching the editing table I had recorded two extremely long talking segments that contained information about Entity Component Systems, Video Game Design, Open Source Tools and worst of all, bad puns.
I’d also recorded multiple 20 minute long gameplay segments, resurrected a blog from 2016 then converted it into a book, and had a 'script' that didn't have a conclusion.
When it finally came to the cutting room floor I had to spend hours, dare I say a day, just digging through footage trying to understand what it could even be used for. Which leads me onto the next point…
What’s The Point?
This is a classic blunder. Not defining the point of the thing you’re creating. Especially not doing it before you start. Be it a video, blog, art or whatever, without a point anything you produce will be a bit aimless.
I wanted to ‘create a retrospective’, but I didn’t define what exactly that was to me.
When it came to gathering footage or thinking about what to talk about I was grabbing anything and everything.
There wasn't a defined scope. There wasn't a point. So, I needed everything.
What I really needed was focus. A spend a lot of the footage talking, but hardly any of it answering. I had no way of getting to the point.
This lack of point also bled into the editing process, as I was unsure what to use or remove. I became a hoarder. I didn't know what was needed.
Didn't Finish The Script, Didn't Stick to it Anyway.
I was a bit shocked when I saw the first take took 40 minutes, when the 'script' was 2 pages. Sure it didn't have a conclusion, but that wasn't Carte Blanche for a Lord of The Rings Extended Cut style epilogue.
Now, unscripted content can be great and some really good moments can be captured off-script. But, in informative content I doubt most people like watching someone ramble.
A good script can make an effective guideline.
Most podcasts try to keep their guests, and the show, on point and have specific time limits before they move onto the next subject.
If you know what you’re going to be saying, you can always add a tiny bit more, or confidently go off-script, as you know where and what the next point is going to be. It helps to reinforce focus.
Underpromise, Deliver and then Overdeliver
You need to do anything in your power to get that MVP down as quickly as you can. Not for anyone else, but for you.
If you have something that is ‘complete’ anything beyond that feels like you’re doing bonus work. It feels good. Building on top of something, instead of getting something built.
If you’ve given yourself a deadline, having confidence in the fact that you have something complete is a lot less stressful than having nothing.
I wanted to get all the edits and music working and slowly build the ‘perfect’ video, but there’s a reason there are things known as rough cuts.
Once I started working towards my 'rough cut', it made the process so much easier for me.
It meant I could see and start to shape the whole structure of what I wanted the video to be and could see the flaws in that structure a lot earlier than if I tried to create the final video up front.
Hence why I'm reworking the video.
There’s More, but I Gotta Keep This Short
As this post is a result of my own lack of proper planning, I think I want to stick to the advice, and keep this simple.
I’ve definitely been further humbled by the video editing process.
Anyway, the full video is on its way. But, it was good practice for any future videos I try to make.
Ah, it’s so easy to want to do and include everything, but one must always account for time and their own ability - then quadruple it.