How to Make Great Videos Quickly

by Steven Washer on September 4, 2012

Speed. When it comes to making video, this is the the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Or is it? Sure, you can Google “how to make a good video fast” and you’ll get over 3 billion results. That’s billion with a big fat B. And yet the top results on page one include how to make your videos load faster or how to make your videos not suck.

Nothing about how to combine quality and speed.

There seems to be an acceptance that video is hard to do, video takes a long time, and so let’s not rock the boat, thank you very much. That’s why it’s time we shook things up a little bit. Or even a lot…

You can greatly speed up the making of your videos if you do all of the following. Each of these items takes away a certain amount of time. Each one by themselves aren’t the answer, but taken together, they really add up.

Here’s how to make videos faster than you ever imagined.

So how much time can you save? In order to do that, we need to know how much time it takes to make a good video in the first place. So let’s add it up and then we’ll take a look at how to shave this time down substantially. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

Writing a script:                                                1:00
Setting up the “set” and gear:                        :30
Shooting a 5 minute video:                             :30
Getting the video into your computer:       :10
Editing your video:                                          1:00 – 6:00
Distributing your video:                                   :30 – 5:00

That’s 3:40 – 12:30 depending on how involved your shoot is. That’s a good chunk of time in anyone’s day. Leaving aside the issue of ROI (videos live quite a long time doing their job of attracting clients) let’s see what can be done to slim down this process.

When you get an idea for a video you can either write it out or outline it. If you write it out, you’ll want to use a teleprompter. If you outline it you can just press the record button and go. But if you want to save the maximum amount of time, you’ll just outline it. One main concept and three bullet points is usually sufficient.

Time saved: 45 minutes

Setting up the “set” and your gear:
What if all you had to do was move a few items into place because you always shoot in front of the same “set”? No making decisions about where to shoot this week, how to arrange the furniture or how to set the lights. Set it and forget it. Do this and you can set everything up in 5 minutes.

Time saved: 25 minutes

Shooting a 5 minute video:
The key to saving time here is to practice shooting your videos with a set opening and closing and one main topic using the 3 bullet point method. By the time you make a dozen of them, you’ll be much more confident.

Time saved: 20 minutes

Getting the video into your computer:
Shoot on a memory card vs. tape. Tape forces you to bring the footage into your computer in real time. You have to watch it come in (horrors!). Seriously, I prefer this way because I can see if I made any mistakes that would cause me to have to re-shoot, but hey, we are talking about saving time, right?

Time saved: 5 minutes

Editing your video:
Create your fancy graphics, intros, outros and lower thirds before you edit. This way, when you need to get a video out fast, it will still look professional. Limit yourself to 3 or 4 graphics tops, including text. You need to get this done. Keep these pre-made pieces on your timeline so you don’t have to go looking for them later.

Time saved: 30 minutes to 4:30

Distributing your video:
This is a huge time suck, and it’s so important to do. But why do it yourself? There’s no creativity involved here. Use a virtual assistant, use a service like TrafficGeyser that sends your video to all sorts of places. But don’t make the mistake of doing this all yourself. That’s like taking a day to gather up all your papers and file them. That’s not the job for you as a business owner to be spending your valuable time doing.

Time saved: 1 – 5 hours

Total time saved: 3 – 11:15.

Minimum time spent on a good video: 1 hour.

So you can spend one hour, make a good video that people will find value in, and increase your ROI each and every day from that same video.

But why stop there? You’re all dressed, set up, and “in the zone” so why not shoot 3 or even more videos? By “chunking” (grouping) your efforts you can shoot and then edit your videos and leverage the time you took to get ready and all set up. This way you will be saving even more time!

Next week we’ll give you some amazing resources to make this happen.


The Video Brain Trust just got a brand new course! Today I finished Greenscreen Success – The Simple Way to Get More Engaging Videos. It’s part of our monthly series of requested courses that our members get for free. There’s still time for you to become a charter member at the lowest price we’ll ever offer. And by the way, you can watch all of the videos on getting your greenscreen shoot set up properly right here: Greenscreen Success


In fact, I was 2.5 days late in getting the greenscreen course out because I spent those days in high-level talks with one of the most prominent video marketers  in the world. We’re planning some exciting surprises for you in the next couple of months. I’ve always had a passion for doing things here in a certain way, and now that way will include a lot more tools and resources to make your video creation so much easier, faster, fun and profitable.

I’m so excited about this huge increase in value I can hardly wait to share it. But I’ve promised to keep a lid on it for just another week or so while we work out all the details. Expect to hear something starting next week!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark September 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I love your tutorials – as an occasional video-maker I have had many (many!!) years professional experience in broadcast audio but not video. A point though – writing a script = 1 minute? Setting up the “set” and gear – 30 seconds? Really? I mean, yes, editing can be quick but not that quick (1-6 minutes)!! Am I missing something here?


Rick September 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Hours, Mark, Hours!


Admin September 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

LOL! Yes, it’s hours. Most people don’t read those numbers as a video producer would. 🙂


Richard Killey September 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

ya, my first look at those numbers had me confused, until I realized they were hr:min, not min:sec!



Dave Pipitone September 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Good analysis, Steve. The biggest drawback for me has been “lack of space” – small rooms in our house that don’t allow much depth for filming.


Susan September 5, 2012 at 5:20 am

i am seriously thinking of moving home to be nearer to my family. After Dave’s comment about lack of space what should I be looking for in terms of being able to have a room to adapt for filming. The money for the big studio has not come in yet so it has to be economical at this point.


admin September 8, 2012 at 7:13 am

For Dave and Susan and anyone else feeling cramped:

Unless you live in solitary confinement, you can probably pull yourself 3 feet out from a wall. This means you can arrange the wall how you like it. Maybe it’s a covering on a bare wall. Maybe it’s just cleaning up the kitchen or living room. Maybe it’s rearranging the books on your shelf.

Whatever you do, it’s usually just a matter of cleaning up the background somehow.

Then you make the background less obtrusive by keeping it pretty dark. You put the light only on yourself and try to leave it off the wall as much as possible. That’s why you want to try to get about 3 feet away. The farther the better, obviously, but just get as far as you can.

You can also, if you have the right kind of camera, get a wide angle lens which allows you to get farther away from the wall. In “How to Film Yourself Without Shooting Yourself in the Foot” I basically put myself in the doorway of the room and shot the scene from the hallway. (just Google that title in quotes and the video will come up #1)

You can do this! Just don’t let your thinking be bound by the walls of your rooms.


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