Making an Instructional Video


This page teaches how to film and edit an Istructional Video.


Most importantly, remember that this is intended to be multimedia. If you or your students sit in front of a camera and just talk, you are completely missing the point and wasting everyone's time. Other than making sure that you incorporate video, music, pictures, screen shots, and/or lecture, as needed, the instructional video just needs to flow with an introduction, instruction, and conclusion.

Here are some ideas you can use. Zoom in as close as possible, and if you show something that an instructor is writing, use a marker, not a pen or pencil. Also, feel free to cut to everything the instructor is talking about, whether it is a paper they're writing on, a brief movie clip, photos, footage of a person or place, or a computer's screen shot.


Storyboarding - Instructional Videos are generally very long, and planning ahead greatly decreases time spend shooting and editing. It also serves as a guide, helping you see how many shots and what kind of shots you will need to make the video flow well. For example, if your storyboard includes a one-minute shot of an instructor speaking in front of the camera, you know that you will have to do something to make that minute more interesting.


Extracting audio - If you want to have pictures or a different video showing while audio from another clip is playing, first select the part of the clip with the audio that you want to hear. Then while holding Command (Apple) and Shift, drag the audio where you want it to go. An audio track should appear.

If you are showing any video that the audio came from, drag the clip to the timeline first, then select the clip, hold Command (Apple) and Shift, drag the clip away and then place it in the timeline, making sure they get lined up properly. If it won't line up perfectly, add or take away a few frames from the beginning of the video and see if it helps.

Also, if you are showing the video that the audio was extracted from, you must mute the video. Do this by selecting the video clip, click on the Sound button (which looks like a speaker) and set its volume to zero. Now, if you are showing the speaker, cutting to extra footage or pictures while the speaker is still talking, and then returning to the speaker, first you must place the video or pictures you want to show in the proper order. Then select only the part of the video of the speaker you aren't showing and delete it. If you are going to cut back to the speaker, you must take out the same amount of time that your additional video or pictures added from the second part of the original clip. This will allow the audio at the end of the clip to still line up. To make this simpler, when you film, leave extra time (1/2 second or longer) between sentences, then you can simply extract the audio of one sentence, move it to the timeline, and add the pictures or video you want to show.

Also, if you want only part of a video clip heard, but the entire video clip to be seen, you need to select the part you want to have heard, move it to another part of the the movie, then move it back. This simply cuts the clip into two parts. Then select the part that you don't want to have heard, click on the speaker button, and set the volume to zero. This way the video will flow as if it were still one clip, but you can adjust the audio of each separately.

As a word of caution, in some earlier versions of iMovie, if the computer had just been turned on and was still initializing parts of the operating system, it seemed that the audio and video weren't ligned up anymore. If you turn on your computer and it seems everything is wrong, just wait a few minutes before changing anything.

Adding Audio - In order to add music from your computer's library, click the music button on the right, then place the music where you want it to go.

If you want the music playing in the background while someone is talking, but at full volume during some other clips, you can select the clip that you want to have heard, click on the speaker button, and click the box for ducking. It will lower the audio levels of all other clips (that are playing at the same time) to whatever percentage you choose and automatically fade them in and out.

You can also trim the audio clips to start or stop at certain points, but not after the video stops. If you want to have the picture fade to black at the end, but still have the music going for a while, you need to simply add a clip, then change it's brightness to be black and iMovie will allow the music to still play.