Part of my concept of open source is that whatever our field or experience, we all have unique knowledge and expertise that can benefit others – and there’s already a huge amount of useful knowledge floating around waiting to be used. So on this page I’m starting to bring together a whole lot of existing videos, tutorials and links that I have found useful, and added a little bit of my own knowledge and experience. You’ll find more resources on GitLab.
Hopefully it can help people who are starting out in video learn new techniques, understand concepts, and find more resources, and if you have suggestions to share with me, please get in touch.
General Best Practices:
Here’s an extremely useful site of classic filmmaking best practices (ideal for beginners).
Penn State Media Commons: Video Production Tips
Shooting an interview:
Here’s a beautifully put-together lesson from the Vimeo Video School – where you can find more tips on this subject and many more. Covering many of these same concepts, I’ve written up my own interview process as a checklist (CC-BY to run through, to ensure you get what you need from each interview, and that you and your interviewee are happy with the outcome.
Xiph.org are the creators of the free/libre open source codecs like FLAC and Theora. What’s a codec, you ask? well they can help you with that question:
A Digital Media Primer For Geeks (Xiph.org)
I get most of my libre-licensed music (CC-BY and CC-BY-SA) from the Free Music Archive. Two particular favourites are Broke For Free (mostly CC-BY) and Jahzzar (CC-BY-SA). See also the soundtrack to the POC21 documentary or my collection on Bandcamp. Whenever I can, I like to pay the artists whose tracks I use.
Check out FreeSound for a huge number of community-created audio pieces, for background audio, special effects, and foley. There’s a great deal under CC0 (Public Domain or Attribution licenses.
I wrote a guide for Recording a Voiceover which covers technical settings, arrangement of the room and other issues.
Here’s a clear and straightforward guide to editing with Kdenlive, the best free software NLE for documentary-style/creative editing. F/LOSS Manuals’ Guide to Open Source Video Editing with Kdenlive, writtern by Mick Fuzz and Anna Morris.
Want to know which Free/Libre video editing software is right for you? Here’s a subjective and opinionated flowchart to help you decide.
Want to do all sorts of complicated video magic with a few commands? check out my FFMPEG guide: Useful commands to convert AV media
One thing that comes in very handy on complicated post production projects is a well-structured file system.
Is this ‘Alice dialogue take 3 final 02.flac’ that I’ve found in my project folder something important? is it the original recording or an edited version? where did my animation sequences go, and where are their source files?
I managed to solve many of my organisational problems when I worked out just the right folder structure for me – see above. You’ll probably want something slightly different – but try to use the same structure for every project.
A simple way to do this is have an empty folder structure like the above in your main editing folder, then copy, paste and rename it before you start filling it with your project’s content.
+More Resources to come!