Thursday, August 8, 2013

Creating A Video for Your Kickstarter Campaign: Editing Your Video


There are very few people who are skilled at every element of the creative process. If you have been gifted with the right brain/left brain skill set, you'll most likely be able to figure out the design, writing, filming, editing, marketing, etc all on your own. Don't be disheartened if you can't do everything. By allowing others to shine, and do what they do best, you'll only look better in the end. Don't be afraid to ask for help! Kickstarter is all about collaboration.

Depending on the camera you used to film with, there will be a number of options available to you for editing. I've used Windows Movie Maker in the past for many quick and easy videos I've put together. I've used iMovie as well with much more success. I've also used Final Cut. Editing takes hours and hours of work, and regardless of the program you use, you'll need to learn how to use the editing program effectively. Spend some time watching tutorials on Youtube because there are many!

Some Notes on the Final Edit

I've seen it all when it comes to Kickstarter videos! You have the non-technologically savvy person who turns on the camera from behind, then walks around in frame to sit down and talk to the camera. I assume this person didn't know how to edit out this material, or maybe they were going for a "behind-the-scenes" appeal? I've seen overly shaky, hand held camera footage that gave me motion sickness. There's no doubt you've seen these less-than-perfect videos as well.

Don't be lazy. If the shot didn't work out, do it again... or be creative in how you make it work. Day number 3 of our video shoot wasn't planned, and we spent the time re-shooting material that wasn't up to parr.

More than anything, be creative and have fun. Don't be afraid to try new techniques, but remember, less is more. We sat with our footage for hours and hours before we decided to try a bleach bypass in final cut. While we lost some of the vibrancy of the illustrations in some shots, what we gained was a vintage feel that worked well with the theme of our book. You'll be surprised what comes about when you take risks.

For more information about our Kickstarter Campaign, The Cultured Chef, check out

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Creating A Video for Your Kickstarter Campaign: The Video Shoot

The Video Shoot

The most important thing about shooting your video is you need to be cool, calm and collected. You don't want to appear stressed out because viewers will pick up on this, but they won't know whether it is due to nervousness or personality. I find it best if you can find someone to help with the actual camera work, that way you can focus on getting your message across. You can still maintain control of the shoot if you like, there is just someone else handling the mechanics of the shoot.

In terms of shooting the video, almost anything these days will do the trick. I've seen successful videos made with iPhones, Flip Video, and iPads. If you have access to higher quality recording devices all the better... most often the quality of your video will be a deciding factor as to whether someone will make a pledge or not.

Be creative in your search to create the best look and feel of your video. Perhaps an up and coming film maker would help you out for a nominal cost. Is there a local university with a video program? Ask around and you might be surprised by what you get. Sometimes letting go and allowing others to do what they do best will be what makes your project outstanding.

I find less is more in terms of scenery. You don't want too much going on in frame because it will detract from what is important. Obviously working shots will include various elements of your trade, but you'll want to try to keep clutter to a minimum.

Don't try to do it all in one day. The shoot for my video project included 3 days of filming, 1 day of recording audio in the studio, and 2 days of editing. If you are filming in multiple locations, you'll want to allow time to coordinate extras, transportation, wardrobe, etc. You'll also want to be relaxed during the process. If that means working for 3 hours one day, and several more hours the next day, all the better.

Look for continuity. I can't tell you how distracting it is sometimes to be watching a video, then all of the sudden the setting changes without explanation. I've seen items on the desk move around from take to take without explanation. You'll also want to pay attention to wardrobe and hairstyle. We had several amazing shots we wanted to use, but we weren't able to because my creative partner let her hair down between takes and the footage was inconsistent. Be very attuned to the smallest details on filming day because you will appreciate the extra care you took when it comes time to do the editing.

Next Step: Editing Your Video

For more information about our Kickstarter Campaign, The Cultured Chef, check out

Monday, August 5, 2013

Creating A Video for Your Kickstarter Campaign: Shooting Location


Viewers are far more likely to respond when they can see you in your natural element. Shots of you working in your studio or office will help develop your story visually. Scenes depicting how your project will impact people prove to be successful as well. If you are an author try shooting some b-roll of you reading your book to an audience. If you are an artist, try getting some footage of you at one of your exhibitions. If you've created a video game, try including scenes of someone actively playing your game.

When it comes to video you'll want to consider two of the most important elements which are audio and lighting. If a video has terrible lighting, as a viewer I will usually tune out because it can be very off-putting. The same goes for audio. You don't want to be in a space with a strong echo, or too much ambient noise (unless it adds to the appeal of your project somehow).

If your studio is not conducive to recording your video, try finding access to a controlled studio where you can recreate the look and feel of your studio. Perhaps a friend or colleague will allow you to use their studio. The most important thing is you want to appear natural and comfortable in your environment.

Next Step: The Day of the Video Shoot

For more information about our Kickstarter Campaign, The Cultured Chef, check out

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Creating A Video for Your Kickstarter Campaign: Research

I watched hours and hours of Kickstarter videos before beginning my project. I was able to determine aspects of each video that I liked and didn't like. I respond well to videos that highlight an individual's personality. I like videos that show positive interaction and a strong rapport between team members. And I am less inclined to watch a video of someone sitting at their desk talking straight to the camera, especially if there wasn't any supportive b-roll and accompanying imagery.

You've all seen the boring videos I'm talking about. Don't let yours be one of them!

Look beyond Kickstarter for video samples as well. Perhaps there are some interesting commercials that have been created in your field. Perhaps there are some videos created by local educational institutions that are interesting and relevant to your project. Check out what advertising agencies are creating. Little by little you'll collect notes that will help you piece together a video that will best represent your project.

Some of my Favorite Kickstarter Videos

Lucy and the Anvil

Mainly Marks: A Letterpress Project


Creating A Script

There are several options for formatting your copy. You can opt for voice-over and that will free you to be more creative with b-roll and imagery, or you can mix interview with accompanying b-roll to tell your story. 

If you opt for voice-over, you will need a polished script. If you opt for interview, you'll need to have well-rehearsed questions and answers prepared ahead of time so when it comes time to do the actual filming you won't sound like a complete idiot.

Next Step: Shooting Location

For more information about our Kickstarter Campaign, The Cultured Chef, check out