This is the Video Editor's Digest Newsletter -- your place to become the BEST video editor you can be.

Edition #032

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Before leaving for Vietnam a situation arose and it's stayed on my mind ever since. It's actually been so much on mind that I'm making it a main theme for EVF in 2017. Let's rewind back to the middle of November.

I'm in a windowless edit bay frantically trying to finish project after project before heading out of the country for three weeks. Then I get text from a good friend. He has a job at a large corporation and there is this new person on his team that's supposed to do corporate video for them. It's an entry-level position...AKA the person is inexperienced AF. She was having an issue. She needed to get this video she created up on the company's webserver but her file size was drastically too big.

Now you may immediately know what's wrong. Or you may not. The fact is, you don't know what you don't know. This can be for anything. I know nothing about fishing. I can't even bait a hook. Good thing I'm not paid to fish. Okay, back to the story.

The new employee was coming from a TV background. Everything she did she created high-res QuickTime files for broadcast. She never had to publish for the web. She doesn't know about .mp4 and the H.264 codec.

I called my buddy up and gave a 2-minute crash course on encoding. I explained all she needed to do was take that QuickTime, drop it into Adobe Media Encoder, apply one of the 100 different H.264 options for .mp4s (I told her just to use the YouTube 1080p preset), choose the destination and render it out.

A few minutes later I get a text message with a thumbs up emoji and "that worked perfectly!"

I later explained to them that there was a time when I didn't know what H.264 was and I was ripping my hair out trying to get this QT Movie up on my now decommissioned iWeb website (yeah, that probably dates me a bit). I don't remember if it was a peer, a mentor figure or the internet that solved my issue. But somehow I learned how to create videos for the web and get it up on my site. I simply didn't know what I didn't know.

Over the course of 2017 I want to expand on this topic. I'm unsure how at the moment but it's something that I cannot get off my mind. There's never a question too small to ask regarding our profession. If there's ever one that pops up that Google can't answer in a minute of research just shoot me an email.

I'm curious. Was there ever a time that you just didn't know about some magical concept / tool / whatever that made editing ridiculously easier for you? Hit reply to this email and let me know!


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