Video Editing. where to begin?

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    • #39474

      Hi. I am wanting to start a Video Editing business like filming weddings and special events and making wonderful edited DVD’s of the events. Plus converting VHS tapes onto DVD’s with special editing like Fade In/Fade Out, Screen Titles, Credits like listing names of the people in the videos, Slow Motion scenes, adding Photos within the Video, making Slide-Shows, adding Music, having Voice Narration, etc. etc. etc.

      I am having a PC built since my current PC is rather old and I do not have a DVD burner.
      The manufacturer knows what I’m wanting to do but they want to know just exactly what all I’m going to need before they start building my PC. So that’s why I created this thread. I am rather new to DVD’s and CD/DVD burning. So if you could reply in layman terms, I would gladly appreciate it.

      My PC will have the following:

      AMD AM2 Sempron 3000+ processor (plenty of speed).
      More than 512MB RAM. I will at least double that so memory shouldn’t be an issue either.
      A larger Hard Drive than their usual 80GB.
      52x32x52 Cd Burner / DVD Drive (Drive D)
      I will also get a DVD Burner (Drive E) but might need some product info from yall since this will be my main Drive for burning the DVD’s.
      There’s much more my computer will have but not going to list everything to save space on this post.

      Ok I know about getting a Capture Card and what I’m wanting is Capture Card that will be (1) internal, (2) be able to capture video from Camcorders, VHS player, etc. (3) have Firewire input (4) Analog inputs RCA & S-Video, (5) and capture TV signals with coaxial inputs and include TV outputs.

      About the only thing I really need help on is the software for editing and burning DVD’s. Also want to be able to make copies of the DVD’s I burn because for example a wedding there will be many orders for a copy. So I need make sure when I copy a DVD that it will copy all the interactive menus like Titles and Chapter marks etc.

      Also would i need 2 software programs for this? Like 1 for editing and the other for DVD copying? Or can 1 software program do it all?

      Of course if there’s anything else I might have left out please let me know.

    • #170536

      Hi Boppi –

      One thing you neglected to specify is how much experience you have with a video camera.

      I would not think it possible to start a business of your own without a certain degree of expertise in videography (or photography) and video editing. From your post it seems like you are a beginner and might want to think twice before jumping into the wedding/event video business (where word of mouth seems to be your best sales device).

      I have been a photographer (sometimes professionally) for 46 years and videotaping family stuff for 25 years (stuff for work for about three), working with non-linear editors for about three years, have built a large collection of video, photo, music, titling and effect assets & programs, spent hundreds of hours viewing other peoples work, hundreds more reading and viewing training/tutorials, thousands (at this point) of hours reading and posting to message boards like this one and at this point, I still don’t have all the necessary skills to start my own video business (and be able to feed my family).

      Maybe you should adjust your expectations and see what you can do to ramp up to the point where you can do this professionally.

      Just my $0.02.

    • #170537


      While we all here don’t know all of the details regarding your experience let alone your personal situation, I’m afraid that "birdcat" and "comp" are right. In starting from scratch, you can expect to spend approximately, $2500.00 for a decent PC with monitors, $6000.00 in cameras (you want at least 2), $1000.00 in tripods, between $1500.00 and $1700.00 for software, and another $1000 for mics and lights. These numbers are sort of on the conservative side but none the less, you’re talking over $12,200.00 to get you up to speed on hardware only! There are other start up business expenses involved too if you are serious about starting your own business.

      The one point that was made, and this pretty much goes for anyone trying to be the best at whatever they are trying to do, is that experience is the key. All of the gear listed above will be useless if one doesn’t know how to effectively use it. Sure you can read and learn a lot, but it is still an art to get everything to come out and look right. If you’re not under any time frame and you have time to ease into everything and to learn all there is to learn, then by all means go for it. I guess what I’m saying is don’t expect to be turning out Academy Award wining projects right away. It takes time! πŸ˜‰

      I’m not sure about everyone else here but for me, it seems that every new project I do, is better than the one I just did.

      When I need a real good laugh, I just pull out one of the first projects I have ever did and watch it. I then ask myself, "what was I drinking?" X-D

      Good luck my friend and may your camera always say focused.


    • #170538

      1. don’t screw around with PC. Go Mac with Final Cut Pro!

      2. Don’t skimp on ram or hard drive (or processors) – look at about 8k minimum for the edit system – PLUS DECKS

      3. Buy at least the HVX 200 (Panasonic HD palmcorder) or Sony Z1 – anything SD bought today will be obsolete too fast. 1 good camera beats 2 mediocre cameras…but 2 good ones are always better (as are 3, or 4)

      4. save $$ when you have to to LEAVE ROOM FOR MARKETING

      I know a guy who started with 1 (broadcast) camera rig 20 years ago and runs a $10MM operation now. It can be done starting small.

    • #170540

      I would agree with the sentiment regarding the Macintosh.
      Macs have always been known for their graphic editing capabilities.

      I just got a Mac Pro.
      2 Dual Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz processors
      4 Gigs of Ram (can fit up to 16 gigs)
      3 TB of HD space (not mac drives)
      Dual monitors (not Mac monitors)
      2 ATI 512MB DVI Video cards with dual connections

      And Final Cut Studios.

      SInce it is an Intel board I am able to swap out some of the devices for off-shelf devices.
      I got 4 Seagate 750GB SATA/300 drives at around $350 a piece (compared with $800 per mac drive)
      I got 2 HP 22" widescreen monitors (Mac monitors were about $1200 each)
      Final Cut studios was easy to figure out since I have been working with Adobe Prem. Pro for so long.

      I have had so many problems with PC’s in the past few years, I wanted something more stable.

    • #170539

      I have been working professionally with computers (as a programmer) for thirty years – I have helped write operating systems, database management systems, have used various OS’s on mainframes, minis & PC’s, can code at the expert level in about six programming languages and play around with about a dozen more – That said, I find it impossible to use a Mac. I can deal with anything Wintel throws at me, but find Apple products very unintuitive.

      Besides, I love Sony’s Vegas and you are very limited in choices for an NLE on a Mac.

      Just MHO.

    • #170541

      I’ve had a somewhat similar experience to birdcat’s, in that I feel confronted with roadblocks when I’m on a Mac. However, I’ve heard many Mac enthusiasts rave about their computers. I suspect a user develops an approach to computing based upon what computer they start with. I started with CP/M, and UNIX systems, so from my perspective a Mac seems a bit strange. But I’ve seen computer novices start with a Mac and be downright ecstatic. I guess you’ll like whatever you start with. X-D

      BTW, I do like the many software choices available with Windows (ahhh… if only Linux had such choices. :'( )
      Since I use Windows, I’m able to use Vegas 7, which is a real bargain! Also, for the same amout of computing power, I think you’ll find that Windows-based machines are more affordable. One final note: I’ve heard from a few knowledgeable sources that Macs are a bit more stable.

      My 3 cents worth. πŸ™‚
      Ken Hull

    • #170542

      At one point in time, MAC’s did have the edge when it came to working with photo and video apps. That has since come to pass for it was just a matter of time before ther PC/Windows based engineers would catch up with their apps in these same areas. Sure there are some out there that will complain about one or the other but 99% of the time, it is their system configuration or lack their of that causes their problems.

      Ken: Great point regarding falling in love with the first system you start with. That is usually the case in the real world.


    • #170543

      pinups4 Wrote:

      1. don’t screw around with PC. Go Mac with Final Cut Pro!

      2. Don’t skimp on ram or hard drive (or processors) – look at about 8k minimum for the edit system – PLUS DECKS

      3. Buy at least the HVX 200 (Panasonic HD palmcorder) or Sony Z1 – anything SD bought today will be obsolete too fast. 1 good camera beats 2 mediocre cameras…but 2 good ones are always better (as are 3, or 4)

      4. save $$ when you have to to LEAVE ROOM FOR MARKETING

      I know a guy who started with 1 (broadcast) camera rig 20 years ago and runs a $10MM operation now. It can be done starting small.

      Dont get sucked into the whole MAC/PC thing both platforms are equally good at video editing. Only morons buy into those Apple Commercials. I have run video editing on A Mac & PC for over 6 years and they both do an equally impressive job. PC’s are usually cheaper though.

    • #170544

      Personally, I have grown up with PC’s. I got a bachelor degree in computer science so I know a fair amount about PC’s as well. I don’t do anything with that though. I also got a degree in education, and that is what I do full time.
      Actually, I had never worked on a MAC until I recently purchased one. I found it very simple to get into and navigate around. Many of macs commands are based on the FreBSD Unix commands FYI.

      In conclusion, I found it very simple to transfer over. Of course, I only use the MAC for video editing. Everything else is done on a PC at my house. There are more free programs wink wink.

    • #170545

      A little experience to share….
      I have learning "disabilities".
      I did so poorly in school, (I failed gr 9 four times (including "introductory to Computers)) that Child and Family Services (I was in foster care) dumped me off on a street corner in Toronto with Nothing.
      I was sixteen.
      I was homeless for the better part of two years.
      I got a secondhand camera for twenty dollars (pentax k1000) and six months later, had artwork in restaraunts, prints being offered for prizes on the radio, booked my first wedding for $1200.00 cdn.
      My first computer was a laptop windoze me pIII 233 512 meg ram. It spent more time being fixed, than being used, and was totally unstable and hoorendous to work with.
      I now run a Home based business, with a network of three Macs(no down time in four years). I left my full time Job (in healthcare) last year to goto College. (did not borrow a dime!)
      I took courses in Marketing, Advanced photoshop, and commercial photography.
      I listen to students in my class, who were weaned on PC’s moan and complain about Macs, then gasp in awe at the quality of work I produce.
      Bottom line:
      Do you want to be a PC "Expert" who does creative work whenever you’re not too busy dealing with system crashes, viruses, spyware, hardware conflicts, drivers, defragging harddrives…(you get the picture) ? Or do you want to be a working creative pro that creates great work with a computer that "Just Works"?
      I for one, don’t care how it works or what it costs…as long as IT WORKS!
      That goes for cameras, vehicles, video cameras and computers, it has to do what it’s supposed to do, do it well, and do it reliably, so I can spend my time making money.

    • #170546


      I too have been in television production for along, long time and very experienced. But I’m here to tell you to chase your dream as we all did at one point or another. Considering the vast amount of people who shoot for years without any ‘usable, functional" knowledge of how to shoot, it isn’t a pre-requisite and you start by shooting.
      The very first event I ever picked up a television camera and shot…AIRED! My training consisted of a news producer showing me where the "on/off switch" was, how to "white balance" and how to "focus". Other than that, the only other thing she told me was, "good luck."
      Yes, good gear costs money, but you shouldn’t be too impressed with all the bravado that people tend to spew about how much stuff costs and which gear to buy.
      Better to find someone doing it already, see if you can tag along on a couple of shoots and see if it’s for you. Then see if someone will mentor you for a while so you can develop some skills. Step into the shallow end and don’t spend one pennie before you’re sure this is what you want to do.
      75% of my gear comes from E-Bay. It’s a trusted source for finding great gear at tremendous savings.
      In short, pursue your dream with vigor. Don’t let anyone discourage you. Don;t be scared off with costs or lack of experience. Everyone had their "first shoot". Find a mentor. Learn everyday. And remember, video production isn’t rocket surgery. No one’s life hangs in the balance if you make a few mistakes. Learn from them and go on….like everyone else does.

      All the best in our new career!


    • #170547

      I’m probably just lucky– and stubborn enough to stay PC. After a lot of research, I found that Avid Liquid 7.1 runs very well on a PC and after updating to 1 gig of ram and making all the necessary system adjustments, it’s never crashed on me. I always perform a defrag every week, keep peripherals to a minimum, virus scan once a week, run windows update and check for updates and upgrades from Avid. Other than that (knock on wood), Liquid runs like a champ—even the plug-ins.

      The sad truth is — and this is a little embarrassing to admit– I’d consider running windows on a mac, but I don’t like Mac’s one button mouse.

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