Monday, 13 March 2017

Video editing for business - Part 1

Chris Hales


My interest in video editing started when I was 19 and was working with carnivores at Port Lympne Zoo in Kent.  I was fairly new to the job, but was doing some interesting things with enrichment, and this caught the eye of the marketing department (at the time this was just one person).  Pippa lent me DV video camera, an old tape Sony camcorder, and I have never looked back since.
I quickly learnt that I could do more than record long scenes, you know, the type that you would show your family over Christmas and put grandma to sleep after an hour of shaky cam footage.  I realised that I could rewind the video, set up at a different angle, and then continue, effectively doing the editing within the camera itself.

It wasn't until I persuaded the zoo to purchase some early video editing software that I started to get a little more creative.  I picked up Video Studio Pro x 2 as not only did it allow me to start editing on my computer, but it also allowed me to export DV tapes onto DVD, this was a game changer for me at the time.  Being a low paid keeper (yes, wages have improved a LOT since then) I saw a chance to make some extra pennies from the ability to export to DVD's, and so I started filming all the enrichment ideas that I could.  I would then sell the DVD's in the gift shop at the zoo, which over the summer months would bring in roughly £70 a month, and for a young man that was a huge amount.

Of course all of these videos were just me tinkering around, and the only way to get them out to the world was in the form of DVD's.  but in 2005 everything changed for the home video market when YouTube was born.  I started creating content for the parks YouTube channel, in fact this is the very first video they every uploaded of one of our first Team Building workshops



It was also around this time that the first home HDD HD camcorders were being made widely available.  So with the beginning of YouTube, and these amazing new HD cameras, the world of video changed forever.

In 2009 I somehow managed to persuade the zoo to purchase a brand new Sony HDD HD camera so that I could create more up to date content for the park and their marketing.  The camera at the time cost just over £1000, and I treated it like a new born child.  But what it allowed me to do was far beyond the old DV camera I had been using for years.  Although HD video was still a new concept (even now people still purchase DVD's even when the far superior Blu-rays have been around since 2006!) I always realised the importance of future-proofing the content.  Film in HD, and in years to come people will thank you for it.

One of my first videos to go onto the Port Lympne YouTube channel was the clip below, although unfortunately it was not uploaded in HD. This is when my own YouTube channel started, allowing me a lot more freedom on the content I created.  The Snow Tiger video is still today is one of my favourites.



Peoples tastes change, and getting peoples attention is a difficult task, even more so now than when I first started... but that's for the next part.

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