Video Marketing for Lawyers: How to Become a Video Editor

It’s simple really. Start with the most expensive and unintuitive software program on the market (Final Cut Pro) and then spend hundreds of hours figuring out what all those little buttons and dials are for.

Video editing can be as simple as pressing the ‘upload to YouTube’ button from your smart phone. On the other hand, you can spend years learning how to use Final Cut Pro to get really good at it. Internet millionaire marketer Frank Kern’s dumbest mistake was to create his own videos. He bought the most expensive equipment, the latest video editing software and then realized he had no idea how to edit anything. He bought all these books to teach him how to do it, and he failed miserably.

There are multiple components to creating great quality video. First you have to get the video off the camera and onto the computer. You have to shape it into a concise piece of content that will compel a viewer to pick up the phone and call you. Sounds easy doesn’t it? I will tell you from experience, it’s not.

Don’t let the marketing gurus tell you otherwise.

Here’s what you need to learn if you want to become a really good video editor. You will learn that it takes a tremendous amount of time to “log and transfer” your videos from your camera to your computer. That means the computer must transcode the video from its native format into one that is understandable by your editing software. There are only a few video cameras on the market where you can actually click and drag the camera’s video footage directly into your editing software. Those are high-end cameras costing many thousands of dollars. The “log and transfer” process takes a huge amount of time and takes up tons of memory on your hard drive. If you spent an hour shooting video, it may take 2 to 3 hours to get all that content onto your computer. Sometimes longer.

Once you have transferred all the footage onto your computer, you must now go through each and every scene to determine which ones you want to keep and which ones you want to trash. You may have 15 minutes worth of content you will need to whittle down into two minutes. The problem with most attorneys is that they love to talk, myself included.

Once you have edited the scenes that you believe are relevant for your topic, the creative side of you must come out. You must create some sort of introductory graphic that shows who you are and what you do; you must create an exit graphic too. You have to obtain royalty-free music that you can use for your intro and exits. You have to insert transitions between each of the scenes. You must color correct each scene and make sure the audio works well. If not, you have to tweak your audio settings.

In most video editing programs whenever you make changes you must then “render” those changes and allow your program to process those changes in order to see it on the screen. This means additional time spent staring at the computer screen, akin to watching paint dry on the wall. You are still not done with the editing process. Once you have reached this point, you must now put your video into processing mode and once again have the entire video rendered. Then you must export it to the correct format so you can upload it to the video sharing sites. When you export it to an.flv flash file, an.mp4 quicktime file, if you have a 2 to 3 minute video, your computer will typically take anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half to process that video. If you have an older computer and have not upgraded your hardware, the editing process will take even longer.

Once that phase has been completed, you still are not done. Why not? You will now have a huge video file in the correct format but no video sharing site will accept it. It’s way too big. You must now compress the video file into the correct settings and maintain your high definition, high-quality video all at the same time. Only when you have shrunken and compressed this video file using the correct high-definition settings are you now ready to upload the video online.

So, you want to become a video editor? That’s great. For each two-minute video clip that you create, expect to spend at least 2 to 3 hours per clip to edit. Do you really have time to do all this? You think your family and your kids will appreciate you sitting at your computer for so many hours instead of telling a bedtime story or going out into the yard and having a catch? The choice, as always, is up to you.

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