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The Secret World of Video Making

Is it old news that visual content is better for information processing and increasing engagement? Yes. But seems like only recently many started realizing the benefits of investing in a different visual rather than images – videos. Let’s just look at the content that companies are now producing. In the past, the most they did was create a corporate video introducing their business. Today they’re not afraid of breaking the bank to get the best video. And this creates many opportunities for up and coming creators to build a full-time career out of it.

But what does it take to create amazing videos? With so many of them around, we know surprisingly little about their production. So we asked our video designer here at Tesonet, Linvidas Juškevičius, to explain the whole process.


What stereotypes do you encounter as a video maker about your job?
I think most of the video makers have been asked at least once whether they just film and edit wedding videos. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a tough job as well. But that’s not what we all do. Video content is everywhere today. Facebook, Youtube, Twitch, Netflix – all these and many other platforms are growing and increasing the number of video content. And, naturally, the opportunities for creators to grow as professionals.

 

What are the skills you need to succeed in this industry?
I guess the first thing you should think about is the area you want to specialize in. In video design, we have 2D animation, 3D animation, editing, motion design and etc. With narrowing it down to a specific area, you also narrow down the skills and tools you need to master to excel in it. Of course, there are also some basics every designer has to learn. Mastering tools like Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator, Photoshop is a must for a video designer.

However, I think what really separates a great video designer from just a good one, is the understanding of graphic design and illustration. Not many creators know these things. They possess the technical skills needed to edit the video but don’t necessarily have what it takes to create a visually appealing one. And this is unfortunate because it’s not so difficult to learn these things. You don’t need to have a university degree for that – there are many online courses to get all the knowledge you need. You just need to start doing it. Think of a mini project for yourself, define what you need to execute it and then follow loads of tutorials online.

 

How do you create videos that “wow” viewers?

Every professional has his own understanding of how to do that. As for me, I try not to think of a project as something that I’m doing just for a client. Of course, I need to exceed the expectations and create a great product. But when I create videos, I also think whether I would like them myself. If I would just focus on what the others want, I could easily lose my authenticity and creativity. It’s important to make sure that I’m proud of what I’m creating. And that’s not just me saying that. Many video creators say the same thing – if you create something you like yourself, you’ll be able to surprise the others.

This is especially important in the times when things like trends aren’t so relevant anymore. Back in the day, you had a few trends that every creator followed. Now, with so many video makers out there, the key thing is to find and develop the unique style that would distinguish you. And this uniqueness will  “wow” the viewers.

 

Many video makers emphasize the importance of having the right music. Why is it so and how do you choose it?

There’s no doubt that music plays a huge part in a video. And it doesn’t matter what kind of video it is. In many cases, 70% of that charm you find in the clip is created by music. With the right soundtrack, you can turn even the homemade shots into something great. Because music, just like the visual, also tells the story, sets the mood and the emotion for the whole video.

It’s hard to exactly tell how to choose it. I usually pick the music myself. Usually, when I get the assignment, the first thing I do is discuss what kind of soundtrack we’re going to use. This helps to determine the flow and the pace of the video. If you’re not sure of your own taste, try to work the other way around and discuss what the client really doesn’t like. That’s how you eliminate some of your choices and understand better what the other part wants. Later, I develop an idea of how everything should look like and what music should be playing. And then I just go online and look for something that suits the whole vision of the video.

 

So, what does the overall process look like?

As I mentioned before, I start envisioning the whole video the second I get the assignment. I look for inspiration online and confirm the ideas with the person who assigned the task. Once we agree on the concept, I get to the good stuff. I start by getting all the materials I might need (pictures, icons, logos, textures, etc.) and then create a list of scenes that I will create separately.

I arrange the project in a way that I could easily change it in the future if I need to. When I just started my career, I didn’t do that, so I would end up wasting so much time constantly fixing projects. Now I learned to do things differently. When I do a part of the project, I give it to review to see if I’m on the right track. Then, with all the scenes done, I start editing. I find the right music, cut it to fit the pace and length of the video and then adapt animations to the music. I also look at the sound waves to see when the frame should change, when the text or some kind of effect should appear, and etc.

And finally, with all that done, you just do some of the final changes. For example, video adaptation to different screens, colour adjustment, animation correction, and so on. These are the nitty gritty details, but that’s how we, designers, end up with many “final” versions: final_1, final_2,…, final_10, final_final_1, omg_final_1 and etc.