5 Tips to get started on creating videos and how to create better quality videos

Here is a quick list of tips for beginners to get started creating videos and help you avoid some pit falls that may stop you from creating work. It will also show how easy it can be to start making videos, and show that you don’t need a lot to create videos.

1. Audio – Make sure you have good audio in your videos. It gets looked over too often, with people just starting out not thinking about it. But if you have terrible audio a viewer will be faster to stop watching the video than if it was bad visual quality.

2. Story telling – Have a clear story or message in your video. You don’t want to confuse the viewer by getting off point and going on random tangents. You want to have short and concise video, get from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible, while keeping the attention span of the viewer.

3. B-roll – Is secondary footage you get, that shows off the product and can save your audio if your main footage gets messed up. When you are editing you can also use it to avoid jump cuts. It can also show more detail of what you are talking about.

4. Framing – Set up your shot so that it is pleasing to the eye. You generally want to have the subject center of frame but not with to much room to the left or right of them, with a few inches of room above their head and make sure you don’t cut off the subjects head.

5. Just start shooting – With how advanced technology has gotten you can start creating videos with your smart phone. Most smart phones can record video at 1080p if not higher, and with proper lighting and in a controlled environment you can get great sound quality too. You can even do some light editing right on the phone and upload the video online.

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Why do I love making videos?

So I’m back, as The Skyline View’s multimedia editor, even though I’ve been the multimedia editor two semesters now and have been working on multimedia for more than two years straight. So you have to ask me the burning question, what is it like editing videos and multimedia, and how do you keep doing it?

I just love videos.

I was one of those kids who always wanted to create content for others to see, and growing up with YouTube inspired me to make videos and post them online. I didn’t get into filmography until recently either, as I used to be an engineering major, which is a huge jump too.

Watching YouTube channels like CorridorDigital and RocketJump, I was inspired to work with videos, albeit not in the Special Effects department. Just as long as I’m making edits to videos, cutting and trimming, mixing audio, all that jazz. It’s fun to see the fruits of my labor, to see something work so well even when I unintentionally make an edit and it turns out to be perfect. It just makes me really happy and proud about my work.

I joined the news room two years ago, not expecting to want to do multimedia and make videos. I really jumped in as a writer, expecting to write stories, to interview people, and all things journalism. But after one semester of being the multimedia editor, I fell in love. I didn’t realize that making videos could be so fun, that editing was what I wanted to do. Even if I still am not a journalism major, I wouldn’t mind doing broadcast or being a video editor for a news publication.

Here I am now, making videos, learning as I go. Unfortunately, Skyline College doesn’t have a film program, so I can’t expand my horizons here. I’m going to transfer, maybe to San Francisco State University or San Jose State University. Or Academy of Arts, who knows.

Either way, one of my professors is the one who got me into making videos. He was a film major before he decided to go all the way around and become a Biology major and teach. But he said it was a fun experience, even though it was taxing on his personal life. I feel like I could totally handle that, and I wouldn’t mind the stress video editing as a profession can bring. So I’m going strong with this, and sticking as a film major.

Miguel Garcia
TSV Multimedia Editor

Launched! The New Skyline View Magazine, Viewpoint

Every semester that The Skyline View has been publishing (over 15 years now!), each staff has left a legacy of some sort, be it growing from a newsletter to a tabloid, or moving the paper to online, or building a stronger multimedia presence, or ramping up its social media presence, or expanding the newsroom. This semester is no different.

Or perhaps it is. Because for the first time ever, The Skyline View has published a magazine, Viewpoint. This is a great leap forward. And of course, with every leap comes risk.

When the editors first spoke to me, their adviser, about doing a magazine, everyone was very excited. After all, for years, staffers have been asking to do a magazine, and now it was finally going to come to fruition. But with no magazine class, no magazine-specific staff, in fact, no real plan at all, it wasn’t going to be easy.

And just because the students were committing to tackle a magazine didn’t mean they could abandon their bi-weekly print newspaper. Or their daily website. Or their hourly social media presence. All of which means it was quite difficult to focus on the logistics of How. To. Get. A Magazine. Out. So, why in the world would an adviser say, “Go for it!”?

Here’s why: Back in 1999, when Skyline College gave me the green light to revive the 11-years dormant journalism program with a single class, news writing, I decided mid-semester that having a news writing class made no sense without having an actual newspaper. So on a wing and prayer, the students started The Skyline View.

That first semester, only two issues were published. They were four-page newsletters, really–far less impressive than the tabloid-sized 12-pagers the students produce every two weeks now (not to mention the daily publishing they do online and through social media).

Had they not pulled the trigger and gone for it, whether they were ready or not, there’s a good chance The Skyline View would not be thriving today. So the logic is this: Start a magazine. Just start. It may not be great. You’ll run into problems. But you’ll find ways to solve those problems. And they did. They figured out how to design pages that are more visual and oriented toward the long read. They learned something about setting up art that lands a strong visual punch. They learned that magazine articles aren’t quick-hit pieces that can be written in a day. And, yes, they learned you have to closely proofread the table of contents.

And you know what? We’ve already put the magazine in the calendar for next year. We’re already thinking about whether or not the college could support a magazine class. We’re already considering how to enter magazine contests.

Sometimes the only way to do something is to jump in. And jump in they did. The result is a great-looking first edition, one they can rightfully feel proud of. Check out their PDF version here.

Nancy Kaplan-Biegel
Journalism Program Coordinator
Adviser to The Skyline View

Team work for the win, as far as handling online goes. Otherwise, it’s just bags of fun and endless joy by yourself

It has been an interesting experience the last couple of semesters as the Online/Digital Editor. Which hasn’t always been fun, but in the end it has been a learning experience when I look back at it all really. I say this because at the end of the day, that what it means to be a part of a community college newspaper.

During my time on staff as the Online/Digital Editor it hasn’t always been easy or fun. When I first started as Online/Digital Editor, I found myself as the only person handling the online (it was nothing new for anyone who has been Online/Digital Editor for the TSV before) and boy that was fun and when I say fun, I mean it was fun because I was the only doing everything on the online side of things for The Skyline View (TSV).

When Spring 2013 rolled something something that rarely happened on staff happened, I actually had help with the online for once. This help was in the form of Shaquill Stewart, who was our Social Media Editor, and Nico Triunfante, our Multimedia Editor. It was odd at first but there help actually made the workload easier.

Since then, we have improved massively in terms of our online but it still needs work. I say this because that semester was the same semester, that we started doing the News Briefs weekly for Spring and Fall. A weekly multimedia project that has benefited everyone involved from weekly host Nico Triunfante, Miguel Garcia, Katelyn Payne, and everyone else who has been part of it over the semesters. Even I’ve learnt from the experience, from writing the script each week to working with the equipment behind the camera.

As seen this semester, this has grown with the addition of Angelica Fregoso, who is a multimedia reporter, and whom has been producing multimedia content for the section throughout the semester. Of course, this even applies to the News Briefs (NB) which has changed since it started.

On the social media side of things, it’s kind of obvious now but I’m surprised that it took this long for us to develop it. Namely we’ve developed two systems for handling the social media aspect of The Skyline View (TSV). The first system we tried towards the end of last semester was granting the section editors access to the TSV social media accounts.

That system didn’t worked out as well for various reason, so this semester we tired another system. One that broke the TSV Staff into social media teams, that would update them regularly throughout the week and the semester. This system has worked much better that the previous semester, with plenty of room to improve on in the future.

In short, it’s not fun when you’re the only one managing more then one position but when you have a team helping with it, the job becomes much easier and fun to do, as it allows you to focus on other areas (not to mention homework and college work) that need the attention of the Online/Digital Editor.

Will Nacouzi
TSV Digital Editor

Yo! My name’s Joshua Collier, the first and best Focal Point Editor of The Skyline View. As the spring semester starts rolling to an end some of you avid readers of The Skyline View may have noticed we nixed the features and entertainment sections in favor of a new section, which seems to be an amalgamation of the two. The birth of this new section wasn’t something we took lightly. Grand changes hardly come without much controversy.

I want to give some quick insight into what transpired. The simple version is we didn’t have enough returning staff that had knowledge on how to lay out a section for the newspaper. So after many days of deliberation we decided we would combine two sections that had some sort of connection. We came to the conclusion that features and entertainment fit the bill.

We noticed that a lot of other community colleges had already taken the measure of combining these two sections, so this wasn’t so much of a big leap as it was catching up to what the crowd is doing. Yes, we here at The Skyline View are a bunch of hipsters. Oh you just heard about that new app Periscope? Guess what! We were on that way before it was cool (Throws on shade glasses and swags away).

One of the biggest snafus we ran into while bringing this new section to life was the name. It was one of the most annoying things I’ve had to deal with during my whole tenure here at The Skyline View. We just could not come to a consensus over a name. We ran through every pun that included View you could think of. We even had one staffer come up with the monstrosity of a name, featuretainment. I just about threw a chair. My personal favorite was The Nexus or Nexus; it was perfect in my opinion.

When brought up to others in the newsroom, all they could think of was the Google phone series of the same name. This feedback not only made me vomit a little in my mouth, I also lost a little faith in humanity. During the height of all the debates a shining ray of hope shone through. This ray of hope came in the form of our perfectly chiseled opinions editor, Steve Perotti, when he decided to flex his fully toned manly man muscles, and out of thin air the words Focal Point appeared and smacked all of us lowly undeserving maggots in the face. Well after we finished groveling to the paragon of a humanity that had mercifully decided to spare some of his valuable time with us, we hit the drawing board.

We had a name, now what were we going to do with the section itself? How would we structure it? Well, that responsibility essentially fell into my hands, since for some bizarre reason I decided to volunteer myself to take on the role. I decided I would have half of my usual two page section devoted to features and the other half devoted to entertainment. And thus featuretainment….. aww shoot, I mean, Focal Point was born. So bear with us while we nurture this section from its infancy to the beautiful little butterfly we all know it can be.

Joshua Collier
TSV Focal Point Editor

My experience as opinions editor

I’ve been the opinions editor for The Skyline View for three semesters now, and it has been both a good and a bad experience in the long run.

The opinions section is one of the most complicated sections in our paper. To some reporters, opinions are the easiest type of articles to write. To others, they are the most difficult. As an english major and a fan of creative writing in general, opinions have always been very easy for me to write.

Especially since I am a very opinionated person and there is always something running around in my head that I can put down on paper in a matter of minutes. There were a few semesters where no one wanted to write for my section because they didn’t feel comfortable writing opinions, and there was nothing wrong with that because I would write all of the articles myself.

This semester has been the first semester in my “career” as the opinions editor where I don’t have to write anything for our print publications. I have writers asking me if they can write articles for me. This is a new experience, and a good one.

The negative with the opinions section is that opinions differ from person to person. An article that I think is amazing and well-written may not be seen in the same manner by those who are reading it. An article that is obvious satire and sarcasm may be viewed by readers as overtly harsh or misinforming. Most times opinions get shrugged off as less serious or powerful than the other sections.

A well-written opinions piece is sometimes viewed as less “newsworthy” because it is an opinions piece. The majority of a newspaper is filled with articles with sources, where the reporter has gone out and done his/her “due diligence” and gathered adequate information in order to write the stories. They have hard facts and information to support what they write.

An opinions writer sits down and just writes. Can there be hard facts in an opinions piece? Of course, but it is still viewed as less “newsworthy” by some because of the nature of the article and the nature of the section itself. One of the most irritating and infuriating things I have ever heard in my time as opinions editor is, “well of course you’re already done, you’re just the opinions editor.”

While I have enjoyed my time on The Skyline View, both as a reporter and as an editor, it would be incorrect to say that it has all been sunshine and rainbows. But with that being said, I would not take back any of the time I have spent in the newsroom working on my section. I have learned a great deal in my tenure as opinions editor, some things good and some things bad, but it has been a positive learning experience for the most part.

Steve Perotti
TSV Opinions Editor