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Research Guides@Tufts

Video Recording Kit

Transferring videos

1. Remove the SD from the bottom of the device by clicking open the battery cover and pushing in on the SD card.  

2. Connect the included card reader to a computer and insert the SD card.  A drive will mount. 

3. Copy/paste ALL folders onto your personal device. 

Once returned, the DDS Staff will erase all media on the card and you will not be able to retrieve any forgotten files.

Media Management Tips

Media management encompasses the organization of media assets from research and writing through sharing and archiving.  Below are some best practices for keeping track of files as you work on your project.



We recommend creating a shared Box folder to store all your digital assets.  You can share this folder with any collaborators you are working with.


USB External Drive

Depending on the size of your files, working with cloud storage can be cumbersome.  You can also purchase a small USB external drive to save photos and project files between computers without having to worry about the speed of your internet when working.




Staying organized is essential as you collect and create various assets for your project.  Organizing and naming all your files will help make collaborating smoother.  Above is an example of how you can stay organized during this process.



Always backup your media and project files in at least two locations!  It’s important to always back-up your media and project files in case your computer crashes or hard drive malfunction. All machines in the DDS are wiped weekly.

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Media Files vs Project Files

It is important to understand the difference between your media files and project files.  This will help you stay organized while ensuring none of your work is lost.  It will also help you understand what files need to be shared with a project collaborator.
    • Project File - Project files are usually a small (kb or mb in size) file that saves information about how your organizing your video and audio on a timeline, transitions, effects, project settings and other editing parameters.
    • Media File - Media files are the raw materials you are creating your video project with, e.g., images, field recordings, interviews, voice overs.  
When you select "Import" in most editing applications, your media files are linked to the project file.  The project files knows where your media files are saved and references them every time you open the project.  This is why media management is so important - if you move your media files midway through the editing process you may open your project to find that all your media is offline.  
To successfully share your editing project with a teammate, they must have access to all the media files on their computer as well as the project file and even despite this it may require they manually show the application where these files are located on their machine.
Applications like iMovie have the option to create duplicate media that gets wrapped inside the project file.  This takes up more space on your computer but when sharing your edit with a team member, you can simply share the project file and it will contain all the media files as well.  Similarly, applications like Garageband wrap the media files inside the project file to make media management easier. 
If you are unsure what files to save, or how the application you are using manages media check with DDS Staff or the Studio Assistant at the Welcome Desk in room 303.

Project and Timeline Settings

Prior to editing, review all of your media.  Check the format, resolution and frame rate of your media.  In applications that require you to set your project and timeline settings, ensure that these settings match the settings of your media.  If you aren't sure what these settings are, right-click on your media to get more information.  Some applications like iMovie, will automatically set your project settings for you.
  • Resolution and Frame Rate Settings - In most cases, your media will dictate your project and timeline settings.  The ideal resolution for your video is HD 1920x1080p at 23.98 frames per second (fps).  These settings will vary but having a resolution lower than 1920x1080p will result in poor quality video and a higher resolution can create larger files that are difficult to edit.
  • Space - If you are using a robust editing application and working on an older machine, make sure you have enough space available on your machine to edit.  If not, either clear space on your computer or try working on a web based editing application.  If your internet connection is weak and unreliable, try downloading a free application so you can edit confidently offline.  

Getting Started with Premiere

 Below are some basic steps to get started in Premiere.  For more in-depth guides check out Adobe's User Guide.  For video tutorials that include practice files and a transcript check out Udemy's Premiere Beginner Editing course (free when you login with your Tufts ID).

1. Launch Premiere
2. Create a new project by clicking the "New Project" button.
3. Name your project and choose the location where your project file will save. 


Importing and Creating a Sequence

                                   1. To bring files into Premiere, navigate to "File > Import".  Find and select the media and click the "Import" button.  Your files will accessible to you through the "Project" window once imported.
2. Organize your files by creating bins (folders) and renaming files.  To create a bin, click the folder icon at the bottom of the Project window.  To rename your files double click on the name of the file or select the file and hit enter on your keyboard.
3. To create a new sequence you can drag and drop a video clip into the "Timeline" window.  A new item will appear with a sequence icon it.  It's good practice to rename this sequence.  Note that using this method means the sequence will adapt the frame rate, resolution and audio settings based on the clip used to create it.  


Editing Tools

Selection Tool - allows you to select and reposition your clip on the timeline. 

With the Selection Tool you can trim the beginning or end of your clip by hovering over either end of your clip

and waiting for your cursor to switch from an arrow to a bracket.  Once the bracket is present you can clip and

drag to trim your clip.

Icon image of Razor tool in the shape of a razor blade

Razor Tool - allows you to cut your clip at a specific point. 

Once the Razor tool is active, hover over where you want to make a cut and click. 

This will take your clip and create to distinct clips that can be re-positioned on the timeline.

Icon image of Slip tool with arrows pointing in two opposite directions

Slip Tool - allows you to take a clip that has already been placed on the timeline and "slip" the clip. 

For example, let's say you have a clip that is 4 minutes long.  You've edited it on your timeline to start at

2 minutes and end at 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the original clip.  After adding the audio you realize you

want the clip on the timeline to still only last 30 seconds but you want to start at minute 1:30 instead of two. 

Rather than having to re-edit the clip in you can use the slip tool to keep the duration of the clip the same but

have it start earlier.

Icon image for the Text tool as a capital letter T

Type Tool - allows you to add text

Once the Type tool is activated you can click on the Program window to place a text box in your desired location. 

This will create a new layer in the "Effects" tab for that clip where you can alter the font, size and more.


Editing Strategies

Paying attention to your surroundings, monitoring the volume of your recording and framing are all important factors in recording quality video regardless of device or application.  Below are some techniques to consider when editing.

J/L cuts: J and L cuts are used to help ease the switch from one clip to another.  A J-cut is when prior to the edit we hear the audio of the next clip but still see the same visual.  This helps transition the viewer into the next shot, e.g., hearing a car horn before cutting to the car.  An L-cut is when we viewer sees the next shot but the audio from the previous shot continues.

Two illustrations of a J-cut and L cut as described in above text.

images from Premium Beat

Cut on action: Cutting while your subject is moving can help propel the energy from shot into another.    You don't need to feel obligated to let your subject complete an action in order to make a cut.  In the example below we can cut on the downward motion to a wider shot that continues that motion downward into the ice cream cup.

Close up                                          Medium shot

Example of a close-up shot. Person's hand with spoon and part of ice cream cup visible.  There is an arrow indicating that the person is moving their spoon down into thhe cup.   Example of a medium shot. Person sitting near window framed from top of head to waist.  They are looking down a ice cream cup on the table with their spoon inside the cup.

Establishing a location or a subject: Consider how far or close your camera will be from the subject and how that impacts your story.   Having a variety of shots will orient your audience to their location in the space.  

Establishing shot                       Wide shot                                 Medium shot                          Close-up

Example of wide shot.  Sky, full exterior of building, and front lawn are visible. Example of a wide shot.  Foreground has flowers and a path. Trees are cropped so only bottom half is visible. Example of medium shot. 3 foot flowers are visible in bloom. Example of close-up.  Flower in bloom.

Montage: A montage is a sequence of clips that allows you to condense time and space by showing a sequence of shots that relate in someway.

Audio -  Your audio is just as important as your video.  Clean up any unnecessary blips or pops in your audio that your audience may find distracting.  Consider adding sound effects to help create more depth rather than using music right away.  Sound effects or field recordings can help give your video specificity.  
Transitions: Fades and cross dissolves are a great way to smoothly transition us from one space to another (visually or aurally). 
Titles:  Adding a title card and final credits help ground your video for the audience, even if that audience is just your classmates or professor!  A title can help set the stage and frame how the viewer will approach your video.

Feedback - Once you have an edit, don't hesitate to share it with your friends or family!   Sometimes people with the least context for a video can be the most helpful in spotting areas that are confusing, too quick or...a bit boring.  Even just being in the same room with someone watching your video can give you space to see where you can make improvements.