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 (CC0/Public Domain) 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.
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.
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, and began using it on every project and learned how to write a bash script which can do it for me. Feel free to use it an adapt it for your own purposes, it will run on Mac and Linux, and there are instructions for non-technical users showing how to customize and use it.
This was useful for me to learn how to write bash scripts, and as a first step towards automating a lot more of my workflow – I use it in combination with other commands to backup, rename and convert files when setting up a project. But to be honest there are much, much easier ways of achieving the same result – if all you want is a good folder structure you don’t need a script at all – just make the folder structure you like, and then copy-paste-rename it when you start a new project. Done.
+More Resources to come!