When creating videos, you always need to think of what you want to say, and who your audience is.
- Who is your audience?
- Does your audience have specific requirements (vision, hearing, bandwidth access)?
- What do they get out of watching this to the end?
- Does the video need to be short or long?
- What do you NEED to communicate?
- What 'voice' do you need to use to make a connection (formal, informal, friendly, professional)?
- How 'tight' can you make the content without losing your message?
- What will your audience watch this on (PC or on a mobile)?
- Are there consequences if they 'opt out' of watching until the end?
Stay organised in your Adobe Creative Cloud
Organisation can be achieved a million different ways depending on how you think.
Are you the kind of person who:
- Keeps everything on your desktop/in a downloads folder in a single 'bucket'
- Has a consistent file naming convention that you always use
- Does not have a file naming system
- Arranges files by project
- Organises files by date
- Keeps reusable resources in a central location, and separates other things up
- Seems to end up with duplicates of files all the time because you change systems.
Are you a combination of all of the above?
Different strokes for different folks - everyone usually ends up with a system that works for them. If you are new to creating videos and don't know what your style is yet (or have never really thought too much about it), it helps to remember that videos are usually made up from a range of different assets, so being able to find everything you need easily will save you a lot of time.
Taking some time now to organise your files into a logical order that makes sense for you can save you a lot of time later - especially if you:
- Back up your work regularly (do you know where your towel is?)
- Need to switch devices (separate home and work computers)
- May need to re-create a project at a later date/in different software
- Need to keep track of what you used to show copyright/IP compliance
- Have favourite 'assets' (images, clips) and want to keep them easy to find (without making 30 copies of the same file).
Don't get bogged down in your choices - you will usually return to your first choice anyway
Beware of the dangers in getting picky with unnecessary details. You risk getting stuck on something unimportant, and getting nowhere with your project - go with your gut, pick something and move on.
Remember - with the right file structure and video creating platform, you can always return to play with things AFTER your first draft is complete. You can be your own worst critic, and sometimes:
Authentic (with small, natural and organic 'mistakes') is better than overly polished (antiseptic/unrelatable to your audience).
Building a consistent structure across your videos will help you establish your voice.
I recommend the following assets be created/organised for all your videos (regardless of your style):
- An opening title image (clean, with a clear description that perhaps can double as a 'thumbnail')
- A closing title image (include important details, like a logo, copyright notice, disclaimer or even credits)
- A simple bio image that shows you (real picture or avatar is good - it creates a human connection if you are not appearing in the video as a 'friendly face'
- A video run-sheet (may not include a word-for-word script, depending on your speaking confidence)
- Background music (even if you don't end up using it)
- An overarching colour palette for your video (it will tie everything together nicely).
Once you create your library of assets for your first video, you may find yourself returning to the same files over and over. It can become a 'toolbox' for what you need - and you can always adapt the assets from a previous video, using them as a template for your next video!
Organise your audio, visuals, video and icons to keep them at your fingertips when creating the video - the 'clean' voice over can come later.
Relax, smile and record your voice over (if you want one)
(Slow, steady and self-forgiving wins the race - and sometimes scripts are a hindrance, not a help). You may be fine with the idea of making videos, but terrified by the idea or recording your voice and putting it to a project. Look, it isn't for everyone. Don't let your project stall because you are afraid to listen back to your own voice talking.
I am comfortable in using my different 'voices'. I have a work voice, a home voice, a family voice, a friends voice, a silly voice, a reading to children voice... and I am conscious enough of how my voice changes in different situations to switch between them. My voice changes depending on my audience... and we all do it!
Next time you listen to someone speak, pay attention to how their cadence, tone and vocabulary changes based on who they are talking to and what they are talking ABOUT. It is usually totally unconscious, but by becoming aware of it, you can use it to improve your public speaking skills. What better way to develop these than in private, where you can edit out or record over undesirable clips of yourself talking. It doesn't have to be scary, and it can lend your project an organic, genuine and very human connection for your audience. Asking someone you know to do a voice over for you is also an option if your own voice is not something you want to listen to.
If you choose 'not to voice'...
If the prospect of recording your voice for a video fills you with dread, don't sweat it. They are lots of videos out there that use text or captions only to illustrate their points. I would encourage the careful selection of on-screen text or closed captions over the use of recorded, robotic screen-readers. This is a personal preference of mine. If I start watching a video and a robotic voice starts reading it for me, I feel myself disengaging from the content. That being said, screenreaders are getting better all the time, and if you are willing to invest in an app that does reads for you, that is great!
Just be mindful that a script and a pre-recorded computer voice will lose some of the organic nuance that comes with recording something live... plus, you have the added bonus of being able to smile as you talk!
Have you ever started playing a video, only to rip your headphones off because it is WAY TOO LOUD?
Me too! This problem ranges from being incredibly inconvenient to causing actual physical pain. This is an easy mistake to make, especially if you keep the volume low on your speakers/headphones while you work. Keep your headphones turned up as high as you can when you check your work - if it is way too loud for you to comfortably listen to, then it will likely be too loud for your audience!
PSA: Monitor your volume while you work on your project, and especially BEFORE you publish it for your audience!
Volume control in Adobe Spark Video
Spark is meant to be streamlined and accessible. Sometimes that translates to limiting your options and features.
If you are a Spark Video devotee, or are just starting out and love the pre-built layouts, options for text and templates, AND want to have more control over the volume of audio assets in your project, a great option for you is to:
- Build your video in Spark,
- Download your file, and
- Open your project in Adobe Premiere Rush to tinker with your audio levels.
Volume control in Adobe Premiere Rush
The sound manipulation options in Rush are light-years beyond what is available in Spark Video. It represents your audio visually, and gives you a fabulous range of tools to use. You can edit the whole project, or divide your work up into bite-sized chunks and modify sections individually. The interface is fairly simple to use as well.
For example - you are creating a project in Adobe Spark Video. You notice that the video you filmed is much quieter than the voice over you have added to the rest of the video. You want to preserve the audio you have recorded, but also get the sound for the different clips nice and consistent.