Video 101: Marking Your Tape

The key to successful editing (besides strong coffee) is organization. The more organized you are going into your editing session, the better the story will be.

Here’s a quick tip on how to get organized:

It’s the state championship football game. You’ve just shot hours worth of footage. You need to find the go ahead touchdown that happened in the 3rd quarter, and it’s taking forever because you recorded every play. Try marking your tape next time. Here’s what you do:

  • Record your footage as usual
  • When you get a piece of video that you know you’re going to need, stop recording (either let the interviewee finish their thought, let the play continue, etc.)
  • The next piece of video you should shoot is your hand blocking the lens , the ground, the scoreboard, etc. Something that will indicate that the clip before it is important.
I have my students shoot their hand in front of the lens. That way, when they see black in their succession of clips, they know that the one before it is a keeper.

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