Journalists' Toolkit


A training site for multimedia and online journalists

Video Resources

By Mindy McAdams Updated 7 Sept 2011

Editing: Software Tutorials

It is perfectly fine to start learning how to edit video using one of these simple programs. They do not have all the functionality of a full-fledged video editing program, such as Final Cut Pro, of course. The trade-off is that they are much, much easier to learn.

If you do not enjoy editing video using one of the simple programs, I really don’t think you’re going to enjoy it any more if you use a more complex program.

Editing: AVCHD and Final Cut Pro 7 (FCP)

If, like me, you have a Canon Vixia video camera, and you’re using FCP7 to edit, you will really appreciate this fine tutorial:

If you have any other AVCHD video camera, or you just want the comfort of hearing what Apple says, these are very helpful:

General Video Tutorial Sites

Find lots of specific how-to videos about shooting and editing video at these sites.

Tips and Guides

Video Tips for Still Photographers (one-page PDF), by Regina McCombs. Regina shot video for 10 years at KARE-TV in Minneapolis. Then she shot and edited online video for 10 years at the Star Tribune newspaper. Now she’s on the faculty at Poynter. She’s one of the best trainers anywhere.

Top 10 Mistakes of Rookie Filmmakers, by videographer Bill Pryor. This is a short, no-nonsense list of things you must learn to avoid doing.

Five Shots, 10 Seconds: Use the five-shot method and the 10-second rule to shoot video that is easy to edit! This is a teaching technique that helps brand-new video shooters shoot usable clips from the very start. Illustrated.

Video Examples: Download these seven video clips to use in editing a sequence (useful for classes and workshops). The clips use the five-shot method and are well suited for teaching how to match action from clip to clip.

Sequencing: The foundation of video storytelling, by Colin Mulvany, photojournalist at the Spokesman Review, in Spokane, Washington. This is required reading for new shooters.

Shooting on the Go: Avoid shaking, jumpy video by learning how to steady your camera — without a tripod. NOTE: Requires a subscription. There is a two-week free trial.

Filmmaker’s Tool Kit: Creating a Movie with Web 2.0 (2007; at ReadWriteWeb): Advice about many free online tools for production and post-production.

Have a great guide or tipsheet to add? Let me know!

Blogs and Discussion Forums

I have learned a lot from these folks.

iMovie Help

See the links at the TOP of this page for easy-to-use handouts (PDF format) about using iMovie 09. Note that iMovie 09 is significantly better than iMovie 08. The version of iMovie after 09 is iMovie 11. I have not used it yet!

Massive Resource Site

Ken Stone’s Final Cut Pro: More than just FCP tutorials; also audio, DVD burning, hardware reviews, compression tips — and more!