Clay, My friend you are a



My friend you are a victim of the ‘Sizzle’. It’s just like that old saying; ‘We’re not selling the Steak, we’re selling the sizzle.’ When companies sell you consumer-grade gear and software, they show you slick professionally looking demo videos of what their product will do for you in your hands. However, those videos were professionally shot with professional gear and edited with said gear and software. Only once can I remember seeing a commercial which showed the actual footage shot with the product being sold.

So in answer to your question is; yes, your videos don’t look like what you buy at the store because they were not shot and edited with higher grade gear and software. Now, that said running out and buying Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or Vegas Pro won’t automatically make your videos better. They’ll be a help in doing so, but you’ll also have to make the best of your camera by using the techniques pro’s use, like lighting your scenes to your advantage, maintaining good focus and using stabilization to keep your images steady like a tripod and such.

Then once you get it into post for editing, that’s when a higher grade of editing software will come in handy. The first thing to do is make a good cut of your video, then make a clean soundtrack and then perform color-correction and color grading to give your work the finishing touches. Once that’s all done, the higher grade NLE software will give you a better platform to make a clean uncompressed digital print in Quicktime or AVI so that when you’ve ready to make your DVD you’re DVD creation software will have something to work with. Remember that the transfer from the digital print to MPEG2 for DVD will add compression so you want the DP to look good as you can make it. That way it won’t look terrible when you put it on DVD.

Lastly, you’ll have to up your DVD software as well. Elements and other consumer grade software is really intended to allow people to make their ‘little home movies’ not something which could be considered high-grade. If you want to get beyond the consumer grade level, you’ll have to up your game some. Again, don’t run off and buy the most expensive stuff you can find. Take it easy and ask around the forums as there are plenty of folks here with knowledge about intermediate software, camera gear and techniques which will help you up your game. Oh and check out the numerous video tutorials here at VM as well. A lot of good info is available here for free!

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