How to Make a Videographer Portfolio

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Videographer portfolios allow prospects to evaluate your expertise.
Videographer portfolios allow prospects to evaluate your expertise. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Making a videographer portfolio -- also called a demo reel --is an essential marketing task for video businesses. Serving as the visual aspect of your resume, video portfolios include several videos edited and complied into a single cohesive presentation. Videographer portfolios may be posted online or burned to DVDs for customer viewing, and will ideally last for five minutes or less to retain client attention. Video portfolios must exhibit your best work, portray key style elements and transition smoothly from one clip to the next. Instructions are specific to editing in Windows Movie Maker, but also apply to other software programs.

Importing and Trimming Clips

Upload videos to your computer and name them for easy reference. Video upload methods will vary according to camcorder type, but usually upload automatically by connecting the video camera to the USB or Firewire port.

Launch the video editing program and choose "Import Media" from the menu. A search box will appear to allow you to locate video files.

Locate video files in the search box, click a single video and click the "Import" button. The video will appear in the program's "Imported Media" box.

Click on the video and drag it into the program's timeline while depressing the mouse button. Release the mouse button when the video is positioned the timeline.

Watch the video in the view window by clicking the "Play" button. When you have located the video portion you wish to include in the portfolio, press the "Stop" button and note the beginning and ending time of the chosen portion in the time bar just above the timeline.

Click on the time bar at the desired beginning of the video, choose "Clip" from the menu and "Trim Beginning" from the drop-down menu items.

Click on the time bar at the desired ending of the video, choose "Clip" from the menu and "Trim End" from the drop-down menu items. Your clip will now be shortened in the timeline and ready for addition to the portfolio.

Repeat for additional clips until you have amassed the target number of clips in the timeline. Ensure that subsequent videos added to the timeline are dropped at the end of the previous video -- indicated by the presence of a vertical blue line -- before you release the mouse button.

Finishing Your Video Portfolio

Create a title for your video portfolio by clicking "Titles and Credits" in the left column under "Tasks."

Click "Title at the Beginning" in the dialog box, enter company name, contact info and other relevant information in the text box and click "Add Title" when finished. The title will now appear in the timeline at the beginning of the video compilation.

Create ending credits for your video portfolio by clicking "Titles and Credits" in the left column under "Tasks."

Click "Credits at the End" in the dialog box, enter credits and other relevant information in the text box and click "Add Title" when finished. The credits will now appear in the timeline at the end of the video compilation.

Add video clip transition-types and effects placing the mouse cursor at the beginning or end of individual clips. Choosing "Tool" from the menu will access examples of available effects and transitions which are chosen by clicking the desired example displayed.

View the video by pressing the "Play" button to check for continuity, length, effects and transitions. You may modify any element of the video by repeating the prescribed actions before it is finalized.

Click "Publish Movie" under the "File" menu. Options will appear to publish the movie to the computer's hard drive, DVD, CD, e-mail or camcorder.

Tips & Warnings

  • For best video quality and distribution flexibility, publish the movie to your computer hard drive. You may then create DVDs or publish to web applications using the newly created file.
  • Individual video clips should be approximately 15 to 30 seconds in length. You may manually trim or lengthen individual clips by positioning the mouse curser at the beginning or end of a clip, depressing the mouse button and dragging the video along the timeline in either direction.
  • Close other computer programs and non-essential applications while editing. Video editing uses large amounts of memory and your machine may crash if other programs are running.

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