In-Camera Editing and Video Production:
What You Need to Know!

In-camera editing and video production

If you're producing a video and are going to do in-camera editing (or no editing at all)... be sure you have a very good grasp of video production and camera techniques before you start! Here is why!

I received an interesting question from a reader the other day...

"Is there a time when you wouldn't  edit a piece of video footage?"

That's a great question...!

In general ... There are several ways that you can handle the production of the material for a video depending on the complexity of the project and/or the time-frame you need to complete the project in.

So... If you want to produce a video without having to download the material to your computer and edit it in a video editing software program then... Here are my thoughts on a couple of ways you can go...

No Video Editing at All? 
Sometimes It's Okay Not to Edit...

Interview – no video editing

It is sometimes okay not  to edit a particular piece of video footage. You only edit video footage to better tell a story or to get your point across more clearly to your audience.

If the footage does this without any editing then great!

For example... if you are shooting someone giving a speech or, if you're doing a single camera interview... you may set up your camera and just start shooting... Let the video camera run and complete your shooting when the speech or interview ends.

Your audience can then watch it as if they were there... Simple!

No video editing is needed if you don't have to identify different shots, camera angles etc. and then cut and join them together to tell a story or to get a viewpoint across to the audience.

If the footage does this without editing then great!  I personally have found however, that there are very few times when at least a little video editing can't greatly improve the footage (and the viewing experience for your audience).

In-Camera Editing…
Video Editing on the Fly!

In-camera video editing

You can edit footage into stories as you shoot by using a technique called In-Camera Editing.

In-Camera Editing

"In-camera editing is the technique in filmmaking and video production of shooting shots in the exact sequence that they will be seen on the movie theater screen, television program or video. This means planning in advance what shots will tell the desired story and then shooting only those shots in that order." (Wikipedia)

It's sometimes very challenging and you need to be a pretty good camera operator but, it can be done.

The trick is...

You must be able to pre-visualize and plan how the material will come together as you shoot, have good intuition, anticipation and awareness of what is an important moment. And, of course, be able to handle your video camera expertly and have the camera ready and rolling when that moment occurs!

In-camera editing is easiest when you're shooting static subjects but, it can be done on dynamic subjects as well... It's just a lot harder to do!

I know a lot of professional wedding videographers that are so very good at in-camera editing that they can practically hand the married couple their wedding video right out of the video camera...!!! 

But, as I said, it does take a lot of experience, preparation and intuition to do a good job of it!

Try to plan your video shoot well if you are going to use this technique. As I said above... The key is being able to pre-visualize how the event you are shooting will unfold and making sure that you are in the right spots at the right time, with your camera at the ready, to get all the shots you need.

If you have time to do some pre-production work... Video production aids like simple storyboards and scripts are helpful if you have a project that you're going to shoot while using the in-camera editing technique.

Using these video production tools will help you to layout the exact locations, sequence of shots and camera angles you need to be aware of so that you can always be in the right place at the right time and ready for the shot.

VideoEditingSage Video Production Tip

Video Production Tip...

* One of the Golden Rules of video production is... It always helps to know what you want to do beforehand ... so that you always shoot great material that you can then be turned into a great video!

I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into some of the different ways you can approach shooting material for your video production!

Have fun...!  Dan (Editor)

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