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My first Final Cut video! Comments, suggestions?

422 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2013 9:53 PM by somanna RSS
LynnZee Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 10, 2013 2:39 PM

I run a small internet business and am trying to save money by creating short videos by myself, instead of hiring a production company. I have a degree in Broadcast Communications, but college was 30 years ago and I haven't done much video in the past 10 years. Before learning how to use Final Cut Pro X, I had NEVER done any computer-based video editing (never even used iMovie previously). So this was all pretty new to me. I read the Diana Weynand book to learn how to use the product.


Here is a link to my first video. I would appreciate constructive comments and suggestions, because I plan to make a bunch of videos like this to demonstrate how to use the products we sell on our website.


One thing I noticed is that the music was a little louder than I'd expected after I uploaded it to YouTube. Next time I will be sure to make the music (if I use music) softer. Also, I will try to make future videos a little shorter (around 2 minutes, instead of 3:30, which this one is).


No flames, please. Remember I'm still a beginner at this. I'm just trying to do the best I can without the videos appearing cheesy or amateurish. I appreciate any suggestions or constructive comments you can give me, so I can improve in the future.


Thank you,


  • Alchroma Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 11, 2013 1:28 AM (in response to LynnZee)

    Nice job.

    I thought the opening talking head shot could have done with a more pleasing background. The photo didn't do much for me.

    The music as you mentioned shoud not overpower the dialogue.

    I think the white bulleted titles couod have done with some drop shaow ot highlight to make it kick a bit.

    Take a bow.



  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)
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    Feb 11, 2013 2:38 PM (in response to LynnZee)

    I thought it was a nice job as well. The editing choices complemented the message for the most part rather than distracting from the message.


    A key tool for you would be the YouTube analytics. They have an Audience Retention feature that shows you the percentage of viewers who drop off at any given second of your movie. There will always be dropoff because some viewers will discover that they do not need your product (e.g. do no have a retainer). But if you see there are certain sections of your video that induce a large drop in viewers, you can look to improve those sections.

  • somanna Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
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    Feb 11, 2013 4:23 PM (in response to LynnZee)

    The lighting in the video has been good throughout. The video however has more of static scenes where there is no change in the screen. Such scenes cause the viewers attention to wander and you lose the plot. If at all you feel any scene's presence in your project of importance, try using the ken burn or other effects to see that there is some movement on the screen throughout.


    At places, you need to break the monotony of the video by throwing in new scenes whenever and wherever possible: eg. when you mention of using hot water, you could show the video of the water being heated and then also take the shot of water being poured into the containers.


    Some 'unimportant' parts of the video could be deleted altogether...that part which mentions that one need not be worried if the tablet breaks up as it would yet be able to do a good cleaning job.


    The content of the voiceover could be improved:


    In the beginning, instead of mentioning 'your contact information given at the end of the video' you could have stated the uses to which your products are used for [this information you have given at the ending of the video].


    The availability of your product could have been presented together at one place, preferably at the end of the had mentioned of a 3 month 'pack' at the beginning of the video and of a year's pack at the end of the video. If you club these two quantities of availability together, the viewer will have a better idea of the availability of your products and come to an 'instant' decision to buy one of the two he needs. Soon after mentioning this availability you should mention your contact information as to how to procure them.


    I guess that the pace of the video should be 'upped up' a bit...this is primarily done by stepping up the pace at which you narrate the 'greatness of your wares'. By stepping up the pace of your narration, the length of your video becomes shorter and thus promotes better audience retention.


    The diction has been good for the most part but at some parts I, an Indian, could not understand what you were speaking. If your online business is restricted primarily to public in your own country [?] this matter would not be of importance since they would easily 'catch on' to what you are speaking. But, if you live in a multiracial nation, then you need to spend more time in hearing and rehearing your narration before finalising it.


    I feel that the content of your voiceover should be a matter of great importance to your videos. If you spend hours and hours of preparation upon drafting and redrafting your narration, seeing to it that it is short and informative, then you will find yourself automatically getting ideas of how well to plan for your video.


    Wish you the very best in all of your future videos and a greater blessing upon your business.


    Hope this is of help.



  • somanna Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
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    Feb 11, 2013 7:14 PM (in response to LynnZee)

    This is an add-on to the above post.


    One particular part of your video, that related to your containers, could be better highlighted.


    When you were dealing with the containers, you could have improved the viewers understanding of these products by zooming in to the containers under better lighting your video the containers are shown at a distance and there is insufficient light reaching into the containers. If you can zoom in especially into the insides of the sonic container and show in detail the movements of the frothy waves...the attention of the viewers can be fixed and you can expect to get more orders for those sonic containers on which you probably stand to reap a greater profit than the non sonic containers!

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,460 points)
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    Feb 12, 2013 12:40 AM (in response to LynnZee)

    As a consumer I thought it was an excellent video showing how to deal with your products and I only wish all commercials were as informative.


    Most TV ads are very short with few stretching to 30 seconds.


    This is for two reasons.


    The advertiser is terrified that the viewer's short attention span will wane but more importantly, it helps them highlight just the positive aspects of their product, not giving you the time to think about any downside.


    In  short, most ads are bordering on a complete pack of lies whose main aim is to con the customer into parting with cash without giving the matter any thought  .  .  .  .  .  .  their sole purpose is to manipulate the buying habits of consumers in their favour.


    Ideally, I think there is room for you to produce  2 videos.


    A short, punchy, sub 30 second one to summarise your products and grab the customer's attention, together with a clear link to this one for those who think the product is suitable for them.


    I dare say that if I viewed the video several times I might spot areas where it could be improved, but I don't think most customers and lay people pay that much attention to whether something could be a tad lighter, larger or a different shade  .  .  .  .  .  it would be a different matter if you were putting it into a film competition.


    I went to a Final Cut workshop a few years ago where the Apple lecturers were showing how they had produced a successful car ad.


    They demonstrated how easy it was to colour-correct by showing an early version of the ad where they considered that one of the car's turn indicators was not quite the shade they wanted. (The clip showed a long-shot of the car and the indicators were pretty small!)


    After a bit of manipulation, they asked us to admire the final perfect version  .  .  .  .  most, if not all of us couldn't see the slightest difference!


    Think about your non-film-making friends and family. I find that 99% of the general public couldn't care a d.a.m.n about ultimate quality. When I occasionally point out a flaw in a video they wonder what on earth I am talking about, and I'm sure that must be the experience of pretty well every film-maker.


    The only people who are really paranoid about "quality" are the video makers themselves.


    So getting back to your video, it was informative  and clear, which is generally all that a customer wants.


    Of course there is no harm in tweaking it here and there, and condensing it where possible.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
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    Feb 12, 2013 12:57 AM (in response to Ian R. Brown)

    Ian R. Brown wrote:

    …  The only people who are really paranoid about "quality" are the video makers themselves.  …

    … those, who add artificial imperfection such as light-leaks, film-grain, blurr, 'free hand cam', cross-processing etc to their products!

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
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    Feb 12, 2013 1:23 AM (in response to LynnZee)

    LynnZee wrote:

    …  I'm still a beginner at this. I'm just trying to do the best I can without the videos appearing cheesy or amateurish.…

    Hi Lynn,

    background: a hundred years ago, I was for 15y in the ad industry, but being a hobbyist in film making myself! soooo .... :


    There are some weird methods, to judge an ad-product, such as watching a print-ad 180° turned to judge layout. or, watching a movie without audio - what I did right now.


    It's announced as an instructional video, no 'bamm in your face buy that!!".- No fancy effects needed (what I mentioned in my reply to Ian's post). More an 'educational' approach …


    Without the audio, what instructions do I get? …

    a friendly looking talking-head on her living rooms sofa. (who's that? In German, we use as a tech-phrase 'baptizing' for a lower 3rd with a protagonists name).

    a corner in the bath room.

    a box. a blue box. apply water. apply braces. apply pill. don't close the blue box. Swill under water.


    .... needs about 8sec to read out loud.

    your video is 3 minutes. - there has to be TONS of info in the audio (haven't heard it yet!)


    you know that ol' advice, "show what you tell, tell what you show" - perhaps some ADDITIONAL info as subtitles …? if this very simple procedure needs an instructional video, why not "Step 1, Step 2, After 5min" etc?


    technically (still haven't heard the audio): your video looks, imho, a lil' 'dull', could need - for my taste! - more contrasts, being a lil' brighter, the white surrounding looks more grey/beige to me ...


    .... after lunch, I'll listen to it ....


    and, it doesn't look amateurish at all!

  • somanna Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2013 9:53 PM (in response to LynnZee)

    Your insight is very good. You are not far off from the stage when you can offer your video skills for others to grab up for their commercials!


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