Flipping for Video: In-Camera Editing

My work with Flip videos is improving. I got an iPod Touch for Christmas and discovered that I can use it to shoot and edit videos. I am fast becoming one of those people who will be outfitted in an oversized beige canvas jacket with pocket cubbies everywhere to carry all the equipment I think I need to capture and edit videoable moments.

In my November “Flipping for Video” post I wrote about a couple of my favorite professionally done videos and divulged the number of video clips I had on my computer, crippling the hard drive. It seemed like a critical time to focus on editing. In this post I want to talk about in-camera editing.

As I continue to work with digital video on my own and with schools I have been thinking about  editing. One type of editing is in-camera.  In-camera editing is a process where you carefully conceptualize the event or vignette you are going to shoot, plan for each step by creating a storyboard and shot list  and then shoot it frame by frame doing all the editing in camera. Everything is preplanned and shot in sequence , down to the second.

 In-camera editing requires a clear vision of what of you will be shooting and a tightly planned storyboard and shot list. And, most importantly, the first thing it requires is a good idea.

One of the reasons I like in-camera editing and think it is a good tool for students to try is that it requires lots of pre-production planning work. Students need to have a clear vision for their movies and a step by step plan for getting to the finished piece. This helps them hone their ideas, work on framing the shots, and work towards a clear finished product. These are all good skills to acquire as students develop their skills as digital media artists. It is a great way to help students plan with the end in mind plan and to plot out the steps it takes to get there.

Within this process students learn about types of shots, transitions, and the way these things work together to tell stories and communicate ideas. Students can learn the importance of different camera angles and learn how to connect one frame to the next.

I also think it is useful for students to create their movies without dialogue. This allows them to concentrate on imagery and sequence of shots learning how these can be used to build dramatic tension and communicate a story visually.

I have included in this post  a storyboard, shot sequence list and finished video that a 14-year old friend, Lydia, created using my Flip video camera and the in-camera editing process. We were sitting around the kitchen table eating a before dinner appetizer of blueberries. I shared my Flip camera with Lydia and asked if she was willing to try out the camera and the in – camera editing process. So, this was done rather quickly, before and after dinner. It shows Lydia’s initial attempt with the in-camera process as well as her thinking as she worked with in-camera editing; storyboarding, and shooting the film.


Blueberry Movie from CTL on Vimeo.

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