Your challenge for next week is to produce a “Found Footage” trailer.  Record your very short story as the audio track and use properly cleared clips from Videoblocks, YouTube (“,creativecommons”), and other appropriate legal sources to create a trailer.

Your trailer should include the following:

  • a voice-over from your very short story (may be a new version)
  • legal music
  • titles
  • at least one overlay of a still image/graphic (may be part of the title)
  • variable clip speeds (slow or fast motion)
  • a crop and pan
  • at least one very special effect transition of your choice

This will help us practice

  • workflow
  • file management
  • finding good materials
  • understanding copyright, creative commons, and fair use
  • audio recording and processing
  • editing

My Submission

Lessons Learned:

  • More knowledge => Better Stories
  • The pace of a good sentence does not necessarily translate to a good pace for a video
  • Sounding natural and engaging in a voice-over is super hard
  • Importance of finding matching visual elements and matching camera movements
  • Need a shot-list that includes visual elements and movement standardization
  • So many easy ways to do amazing things (transition packs, templates, presets)
  • Expanded my knowledge of available effects in Premiere and how they can be layered and used together to create more complex effects.
  • So many ways to better organize workflow (nesting, etc.)
  • “Cool” transitions can be over-used and misused.  (I kept a few over-used and misused transitions in the video above as examples.)
  • Learned more about After Effects (6 hours of work) though absolutely nothing I created in After Effects was good enough to put in this video.  Lots of learning left to do.


Where  to find footage:

  • Videvo has some great free material
  • Storyblocks has video, photo, and audio + After Effects Templates ($149/year)
  • Search YouTube, adding “,creativecommons” to find material you can use if you are not monetizing your video
  • Use to find good historical footage
  • Great photos at Pixabay 

For Music:

  • Go to Create/Music Policies in your YouTube Creator Studio
  • Search for the song you want to use and check the permissions (0:55)
  • If you found a song, use a YouTube converter to download
  • Find unknown artists and ask them if you can use their music
  • Support a rising artist on Patreon in exchange for their music (I support Panthurr and Andrew Applepie)
  • Check out the YouTube Audio Library (though these are over-used)
  • There is some music on Storyblocks
  • Also consider purchasing a subscription to or something like that.

I also have a playlist of “good free music” on YouTube you can browse.

Recording the Voice-Over

  • Use the Zoom + a lavalier + headphones to monitor.
  • Eliminate as many sounds in your environment as possible.  (There is a sound-room in Hale Library.)
  • If all else fails, get as many blankets as you can and just bury yourself in the blankets while you do the voice-over.
  • Set levels on the Zoom so it peaks about -6dB.

The quickest way to tweak your audio in Premiere:

Remove Background Noise with Audition

Advanced Processing in Audition if you want it to sound amazing:

In short:

  • Normalize to -1dB
  • Use equalizers and dynamic processing to get the tone like you want it.
  • Amplify and Compress
  • Noise reduction
  • Normalize again
  • Cut breaths and unwanted sounds
  • Normalize again
  • Hard Limit to -1dB or use an amplifier or multiband compressor preset (7:00)

Adding Titles & Graphics

Jump to 1:30 for the good stuff.

Slow and Fast Motion

Pan/Crop “Fake Camera Movements”

1:00 – Zoom
2:40 – Pan
4:30 – Rotation
5:30 – Combination Zoom and Rotation


Organizing the Chaos 

Backing stuff up:


Special Effects in Premier Pro

Special Effects in After Effects

The Pros use these presets to seem amazing:

What is After Effects?

The basics of After Effects:

How to use After Effects templates

Up Next: Seeing the Light


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