Podcasts have traditionally been associated with audio only. But with visual media gaining momentum, video podcast editing is on the rise. Aware of this trend, producers are now exploiting the power of video with a view to enhancing their shows and reaching an untapped audience.
There are many forms of visual entertainment competing with each other, so it’s important to make sure your video podcast stands out. That’s where video podcast editing comes in handy.
You may think editing a video podcast sounds like a hard job. The good news is you don’t have to be a professional editor to create engaging content. Below we listed a set of important basics of video podcast editing, what you should watch out for, etc.
Let’s get started!
Choose a video editing software that works for your podcast
The right video editing software is fundamental if you want your podcast content to come across as professional and flawless. You can of course upload an unedited video and hope for the best, but why do that if software provides you with great tools to make your video catch the eye?
Depending on the qualities you need, your finances, and level of experience, there is a range of video editing software products you can choose from. You may even find your computer already has editing software built in, but this will depend on the type of PC you’re using.
Before you decide on which product to use, go ahead and test your options. Most of them will offer free trials so you can play around and choose the software you’re most comfortable with. Once you’ve made the choice and got confident with the tools, you’ll be able to focus on the creative aspects of editing, rather than technical.
Here are a few options for you.
And if you ever feel lost and confused, look out for additional online learning resources to push that episode to the finish line. Online tutorials can help you gain comfort when using the software and potentially prepare you for obstacles that can arise in the future.
Match you audio with your video
One of the most common issues with new video podcasts is the audio not matching the speed of the video. When audio and video files come from different sources, chances are they’ll be out of sync.
To prevent this from having an impact on the experience of your audience, it’s essential that you sync these files before you start the editing process. You may find that the software of your choice has an auto-sync feature built in already, but if that’s not the case, you can align your files manually.
Here’s a tip to sync your video and audio: find a passage mouth click and try to visually align it with the sound. Alternatively, you can clap at the start of your recording. The sound will create a spike in your audio file, making it easier to spot the moment when you began to record.
It is advisable that you check the sync in the whole episode, rather than just the beginning. Audio and video files can be tricky and it’s not impossible the sync slips later in the recording. Better safe than sorry.
Keep your audience engaged
You can get away with keeping your podcast plain and simple, but that would unfortunately mean lowering your expectations in terms of viewers’ engagement. With the two simple techniques explained below you won’t need to make that sacrifice. You’ll make a relatively small effort and the impact on your podcast will be non-negligible.
While recording an episode, it is recommended that you shoot the scenes from different camera angles. This will give you a range of options to choose from when you assemble the final cut. Consider things like close-ups or taking a wide shot of you and your interlocutors. Your options will depend on how many cameras you’re using.
Some post-production tips: catch noticeable facial expressions, track the speaker while they’re talking, and make your audience feel like they participate in the conversation. Use your intuition and best judgment to add rhythm to the video.
Feel free to compare your recording with other video podcasts you appreciate, and get inspired.
To create a smooth flow in the viewing experience, transitions will be of great use. Connecting one scene or shot to another, they make the passage more natural and less blunt. For instance, if you want to pinpoint the start of a new segment in an episode, you could use graphics or titles. Another common practice used by creators is a basic cut where the first shot is instantly replaced by the next one.
Transitions can be particularly useful in case of ‘dead air’, when the topic in an episode is changing. By using this simple effect, you remove the pause from the recording and let the audience know about the switch between the subjects.
Add context by embedding media into your video
Imagine you’re talking to your viewers and making a reference to other media, such as videos, articles and websites. The great thing about video podcasting is that apart from verbally conveying information, you can also show it to your audience (make sure you’re authorised to use these media).
One technique to embed such sources in your video is a so-called “picture in picture” or “overlay”. This means the image or video you’re referring to is displayed at the top of your recording. Not only does it give context for your podcast, but it can also help cover parts of irrelevant audio.
Colour grade your footage to make it look better
Colour grading is the process of editing colours in a video to make the latter feel more vibrant and stylistically appealing. Also referred to as colour correcting, this editing technique is used to adjust saturation, contrast, balance, etc.
It is particularly important if the footage is assembled from different sources. When the guests you’re talking with are based in different locations, their lightning and colour temperature may not align with your recording.
The basic rules for colour grading are:
- Boosting saturation to make colours stand out more;
- Reducing shadows and creating contrast to balance out the natural light;
- Increasing highlights for good exposure;
- Correcting the white balance.
The thing with colour grading is it’s a task based on creativity rather than scientific knowledge. For this reason the principles above apply only to an extent. Everything else is your intuition and sense of aesthetics. However, if you don’t quite trust your design skills, choose a software that will automatically do colour correcting for you.
Make your thumbnail catchy
Want to attract attention and clicks? Create an image summarising the content of your podcast and use it as a thumbnail. It’s an additional task, not directly related to video editing. But it sure does have an impact on your podcast’s reach and viewers’ engagement. For this reason it is worth going the extra mile with thumbnails and making sure they work.
One way to create an effective thumbnail is to use an image of the host and pair it with a picture evoking the subject discussed in the episode. You can also use elements, such as titles and logos. Try different styles and monitor how your audience engages with various approaches to your thumbnail. At some point you should decide on one consistent model look to create brand image and recognition.
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