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Video Production

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Production value

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Videos often include credits at the start or end of content. This type of attribution ensures that viewers are aware of a video's contributors. Credits may also be transcribed for the visually impaired.

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Sometimes, the delivery of credits may be sufficiently artistic or dramatic in such a way that contributes to the viewer's overall experience.

Leading contributors can be featured alongside a video's title

Text may be presented with a variety of methods and can be opaque, transparent, or even artistic.

Single-frame method

In some cases, all contributors can be credited in a single still frame near the beginning or end of a video. This method is simple but impractical for videos with a large number of contributors.

Marquee method

The marquee method consists of one or more streams of scrolling text, typically oriented vertically or horizontally. For aesthetic purposes or to create a focal point, text is sometimes faded with a gradient. This method is commonplace in many videos.

Serial method

The serial method describes text where contributors are credited individually. This method can sometimes be manipulated for effect when carefully synchronized with audio that is complementary or suspenseful.

Text can also be integrated into the scene, such as be made to appear to be written on a wall.

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Static backgrounds, a common example being solid black, are simple and can provide high contrast for viewers.


When possible, a static background can be framed in graphics, animations, or video.

Uninterrupted content

In many cases, credits can overlay uninterrupted video without any issue. This may be desirable or undesirable depending on the video and intended audience.

Tailored scenes

Production value can often be greatly enhanced by the integration of video that is purposefully tailored for displaying credits. For example, if introductory credits are desired and a video's first scene portrays political proceedings, text could overlay video of the legislative building followed by a person walking up its steps to the doors.

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Credit placement can play an important role in its accessibility, the ability to provide context, and even a video's overall production value. Typically, credits are placed near the beginning and/or end of a video, but they can also be interspersed. In some cases, the visibility of credits—especially those at the end of a video—may be diminished by a broadcaster's proclivities, such as the use of picture-in-picture to introduce subsequent programs or sometimes even outright omission.

Opening credits

Credits can be placed at the beginning of a video. Often, this is done to highlight leading contributors while other contributors are listed in closing credits.

Closing credits

Credits can be placed at the end of a video. This placement is often used for comprehensive attribution.

Realtime attribution

The realtime model is often preferred in cases where communicating context to the viewer in real-time is a top priority. This method is frequently accompanied by one or more others and is typical of journalistic productions.

Some videos also use attribution as a humorous gimmick or to suggest irony.

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Staging method

The staging method entails a series of static frames, each crediting a given number of contributor. When used as part of an introductory phase, this method allows for leading contributors to be featured and can also be used to incorporate visual elements that affect the viewer's perception of succeeding content. For example, these visual elements might include key characters, allusive symbols, enthralling objects, or immersive scenes with each new interval of progression.

Interspersed method

The interspersed method employs gradual crediting of contributors in phases spanning a prolonged introductory period or sometimes even an entire video. This method may be used for effect, such as to tantalize or surprise, or to add artistic value. Contributors may be credited along with the introduction of a relevant character, scene, theme, or plot. In many cases, this method is best combined with one or more others.


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Metadata can facilitate the attribution of contributors in some digital formats.

MPEG-4 supports the ISO-standardized Extensible Metadata Platform in addition to its own metadata format.


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An intermission screen

Intermission is sometimes desired, or even in the case of videos produced live, a necessity.


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Video length is often an important consideration.


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Some distribution platforms platforms are designed to accommodate videos of a specific length. For instance, a television station may have program blocks of 15 and 30 minutes, while an online hosting provider may allow for hours or even seconds, in the case of a Vine.

Limitations may become a cross-consideration in the event that a video has enough potential to be desired in its original form on an alternate format, which is something to evaluate in certain circumstances.

Live broadcasts and streams

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Introductory screens inform viewers that content will begin soon

Productions that utilize live video present unique considerations.


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Subtitles and transcripts are different: a transcript is only the text of the video, whereas a subtitle file includes the timecode as well. Subtitle files have a variety of formats (.srt, .sub, etc.), but they are compatible with each other.


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It is very important for independent video producers to make available subtitle files (or at least transcripts) when they are distributing their work. Furthermore, it is highly beneficial for online video distribution projects to include an option to upload subtitles/transcripts with the video files, even as a way to raise awareness on the issue. Without a subtitle file in the original language, it is much much more difficult to translate a video, which highly limits the possibility of its distribution.

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This is a suggested workflow that would make translation of your video or DVD much easier. It avoids the problem caused by networking transcriptions of video features without the time code, which is that each transcript then has to be timecoded for each language. With co-ordination we should be able to avoid this. There is a project and sample workflow for subtitling here. This also includes a suggested /Workflow for translators helping video collectives with subtitle translations. Work that needs to be done: building a network of translators familiar with the use of subtitling software that can read, edit and create *.srt subtitle files.


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This section includes transcription, subtitling, and translation tools.

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Cross-platform software
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Windows software
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Mac software
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Linux software
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Posters are one form of advertisement that can be used to solicit prospective viewers.

Printed posters, billboards, and sidewalk signs can all be used to advertise a video.


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This trailer entices the viewer by introducing characters.

Trailers are short clips that solicit further interest in a full video.


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How to make a DVD in Linux
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This video can be redistributed without legal complications because it was published under a Creative Commons license

If a video is released under a permissive license, such as the Creative Commons attribution license (CC-BY), others can exhibit and redistribute the video without difficulty.

Public Domain

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Because raw video files are tremendously large by contemporary standards—an uncompressed half-hour 1920x1080 8-bit video at 30 frames per second will exceed 300 GB, for example—it is generally necessary to make use of a process known as encoding. The same 300GB video, when encoded with a common codec, will be reduced to about 20 GB.

There are a few popular ways of encoding video using commercial solutions and many free options exist as well.


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Codecs are software algorithms that compress data into a desired container format.

Many codecs exist and in order to select the one most suitable, several factors may need to be considered, including availability, video quality, compression efficiency, compatibility with the intended method of distribution, and licensing.

Common codecs
Container format Video codec Audio codec Licensing
MP4 AAC H.264 Proprietary
OGG Theora Vorbis Open source

Further reading

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Introduction to using Open Source Tools for Video Production and distribution

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Different Software is used for the many stages of the Video production process. Depending on what platform you use there are various different levels of effectiveness and ease of use of the open source solutions.

This is a section of notes on interpretations of the scope and ease of use of different Free and Proprietary software.

Mick Fuzz's notes on Windows & Mac platforms and Free Software solutions

Working out what kind of Video File you have

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If you are uploading a video file and you often need to know what type/ codec it is to allow people to be able to make the correct choice to download it.

How to Make a Video podcast

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What is a podcast?

Why create one? Video podcasts are a good way to distribute your Video. They can be seen in programs like iTunes, Democracy player and Fireant. If you get the format of you video file right they can also be downloaded onto portable devices. They can also be featured on other people's websites often as a list at the side of their pages. This is called syndication.

What do you need to do to make one?

Get you audio or video ready for the Internet. (see encoding notes)

Essentially you have to make specialised a text file available on your website. This file is written in a simple Markup language which gives details about your video. It part of it might look a bit like this.


You can if you choose hand code this file, but there are automated ways which make it a bit easier. This next section examines the different solutions.

Using Blogger and Feed burner and Archive.org
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Once you have created your audio / video files, you can use these 3 free tools to create podcasts.

Step one: put your media up online with archive.org / ftp to a webspace
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To do this you first need to sign up to be an archive.org member. Go to the front page, click join us, and follow the instructions.

With this tool you can upload your music / video file to the archive.org site, and choose a copyright licence to go with it. You will then get a page where the link to your file is displayed.

Or if you have some webspace that you can upload your files to. Use an FTP client to do this.

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You can create a blog quickly and easily at blogger.com - A blog is a simple web page which is diary like in format listing the latest posting first (just like a podcast does).

In the settings panel of blogger.com you can adjust the formatting tab so that you can include a link with every post. In the link field we need to paste a link to the uploaded media file on archive.org.

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blogger.com creates an RSS feed for all your entries, but it is not a Podcast. You can't use a program like iTunes with it yet. We need to use a service called feedburner to change the feed into a Podcast.

To do this we need to click an option on the feedburner settings called smartcast.

Using a Video Content Management system
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Ourvideo CMS - (not a big community of developers)
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Ourvideo CMS is a Media content management system running on MySql and php. It is aimed at community and low budget groups and can help them achieve their aims at a lower cost in the following ways. There are minimal changes to the standard server environment to help groups that don't have access to a high level server administration resources.

Loud Blog website
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Loudblog is a flexible and easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) for publishing media content on the web. It automatically generates a website and multimedia distribution via Podcasting.

Loudblog needs to be installed on a webserver and requires systems administrator level skills for install and setup. It will allow you to host your own website with integrated audio and video distribution support.

You can upload your audio/video via ftp, via web forms, by fetching external links - thus hosting them on your server, or linking to external files.

It is designed for audio, and creates a flash audio preview. This is also possible with some video files. So the web presentation of your media is pretty good. It takes the form of a blog.

It creates a podcast with iTunes categories.


  • This is set up for audio files, so while the podcasts do work for video files, you get unsuitable messages on the wen pages, like "listen now"
  • The RSS podcast doesn't have images associated with it yet. It has no "media:thumbnail" element in the feed.
Word Press CMS
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The wordpress content management system has a very simple approach to podcasting.

How It Works

  • Create audio or video that you want to share (usually MP3 or MP4)
  • Upload the file to a server
  • Link to the file in a post in your weblog
  • Wordpress automatically Includes a link to the file in your RSS/Atom feed
  • Listeners "subscribe" with podcast client application to your RSS/Atom feed and download new files automatically.

WordPress creates all the necessary links for you!

Disadvantages: Archive.org can be used to host podcast audio files but archive.org uses re-directs on the file paths it publishes - this confuses WordPress, and consequently, the Podcast publication fails (missing enclosure tag error).

To avoid this error, if you are hosting your audio files on archive.org, you need to add a Custom Field called "enclosure" and paste the full URL for the mp3 file in the Value field.

Rss editor for Windows
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If you don't want to enter details in to a Content Management system, or don't have the technology to set one up. Then there is an alternative. If you have ftp access to your website. You can enter the details of each podcast item into a program called rss editor and it will alter and upload the RSS file you need to have a podcast.

Tutorial >> Rss editor for win

Notes on Media RSS / Podcasting specifications
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Unfortunately the Media RSS specification used by Democracy player and Yahoo isn't the same as the Podcasting specification used by iTunes. The solution is to avoid things that will make your feed unreadable in either.


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For issues that are not covered in the corporate media, using a network of community screenings, independent cinemas and pirate TV is a good way to get your media, such as a film or documentary, out there.


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Independent Cinemas

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Community Screenings

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This section explores and explains how to distribute video on the Internet.


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Video hosting services

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Further information

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Tactical use of the Internet to distribute Video
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Here is a proposed model of how groups could work together to create and distribute content via the Internet Convergence and collaboration model This includes recent reflection and thoughts on the European Newsreal Project.

Here is a work in progress for how to distribute a video file as widely as possible Wide distribution

  • Collaborative projects to create Video content using the Internet

Asia 247: Online contributions are picked up by an editorial team who collate the material and contextualise it for daily podcast transmission. They are active in training video producers from across Asia in using this technology.

The European newsreal is a half hour magazine whose production and distribution is decided in a decentralised way with the use of email lists and online collaborative tools like wikis.

Appropriate Use of Video released over the Internet
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Appropriate use

Some thoughts on specifying the appropriate/ethical uses of online video.

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Plone is one system that can be used, Engage Media are working with other plone developers on multimedia aspects of this set of tools.

Drupal is another popular content management system (CMS) that can be used to manage your video online.

Some work has been done on aggregation sites which really maximises the capacity of Drupal to import and manage RSS or RDF data.

One example of this is the V2V site which outputs data in RDF form which can then be imported into a CMS.


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Terrestrial Broadcast

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Pirate TV
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United States
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Free Speech TV (FSTV)
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It is possible to submit Social Justice video content to Free Speech TV which covers every state in the US. One very successful use of FSTV is Deep Dish TV, a New York based part of the network which collates the work of Independent Video producers and grass roots activists and puts together professional shows which are uplinked to FSTV. They are also recorded locally and retransmitted by over 200 local TV stations and cinema/community screeners. In this way the costs and time of copying and networking physical tapes and disks are reduced.

FSTV also accept content from outside the USA, for example programmes from UK based Undercurrents Productions and the European Newsreal.

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In Europe it is possible to rent the time of satellites without paying for them all the time. This may be useful to network programmes for retransmission to local TV stations and collectives.

Physical media

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Optical media, such as DVDs and Blu-ray discs, is commonly used in much of the world to physically distribute content. USB drives can also be used.

Lesson Plans

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Lesson Encoding Video for the Internet

Lesson DVDs with subtitles

Save dvavi from premiere pro