BEYOND: Video Production Part 1

So I made my first barbie video the other day. It was not easy.

I had been in awe of Vanessa Morrison for some time, but I had absolutely no idea how difficult it could be until I tried it myself. My video is actually done for a group of friends I work with on learning Spanish at home, with your kids. I really like how it turned out but I had to have really low standards about what appeared in the background.

My undergrad degree is in Technical Communication so I have lots of school and work experience with video scripting, production, editing, etc. Here are some tips to get you started with barbie video production.

Tip 1: There are lots of free sound effects on the web. That’s where I got the frying egg, chair screech sounds and Dun-dun-dunnn.

Tip 2: You can make your own sound effects or what is called “Natural Sound” (“Nat Sound” for short) by layering sounds. The playroom scene is my daughter’s voice layered three times.

Tip 3: Use what are called “Cut-away” shots to pass time. The close up of the frying pan gives the viewer the impression that enough time has passed for the daughter to leave her room and come to the kitchen. The viewer needs a short rest and will accept the time passage as realistic. When transitions are abrupt they are called “Jump cuts” and they give the viewer an uneasy feeling. During the shot where the daughter moves her chair and gets back up on it, I have what is called “jump cut” because it feels too abrupt. I should have used a cut-away shot but was feeling lazy. You can’t cut from a shot of her on the ground to a shot of her up on a chair without it feeling wrong. If I wasn’t going to show her getting up on the chair I should have cut away in between. So, this video shows one well-handled cut and one jump cut.

Tip 4: If you are voicing all your own characters you can use free sound editing software to deepen your voice or make it sound like a child’s. You have to change the pitch and the speed. The main voices are mine for the mom, my daughters’ for the daughter and my voice deepened and “echoed” for the title screen.

Tip 5: If you don’t want to deal with sound, you can use “subtitles” to narrate. This is what Vanessa Morrison does in her popular videos and her stories have a strong following so she’s doing things right.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Kristl it was wonderful!!!! Just too short. We wanted to see more. Why didn’t you tell me about your background, I would have been picking your brain a long time ago. I have been trying to save up for Voice editing sw so I could do all the voices myself and you tell me there’s one available for free! Where can I find it?

  2. You’re too sweet Vanessa. That is quite a compliment coming from the Master herself. I was astonished at how hard it was. Stray hairs, blurry shots, stray background items, errant limbs – what a mess!! but like I said, my standards were very low. I will probably keep mine short bc they are for Spanish learning so people should watch them a few times over to get the vocab. I already have the next one shot but not edited. There are some mistakes in this one too – misspellings, missing accent marks, etc. As for voice editing, let me find you a quick link…

  3. so whenever I want free software I go to You type in what you want with keywords, then select “Free Trial” or “Totally Free” (something like that) to narrow results. I found something totally free called Wavosaur that has a pitch changer that is fairly easy to use. To use the tempo changer though, you have to download a plug-in, which requires a few extra steps. WavePad from NCH is has a 30 day trial period and is $50 after that but is much easier to use. I use their VideoPad software because it is simple and very integrated. I have used many video editing suites from the multi-thousand dollar suites to the free stuff and for this type of video I like NCH’s Video Pad bc I can do most everything from the same place. If you decide to give Wavosaur a try and have trouble with anything let me know and I’ll post instructions.

  4. Thanks so much. I will check them out. I am still a little on the fence about adding voices just because I love listening to the music. But I may just chose one group and do voices and slowly move into that direction. I am glad that you came over to the dark side. It is a lot of work! I try not to think about the number of days it takes me to put together a 4 min video. That is why it has taken me soooo long to do this Daddy/Daughter dance video. When there are so many dolls in the video, it takes way too long because now, I have to be concerned about what everyone is doing in the shot, not just the main characters (sp?). So I have to move everyone a little here and there. I am just not looking forward to shooting all those dads and daughters on the dance floor. LOL!

  5. Ms. Leo says:

    I have learned so much from what you have done and said here! I would love one day to do a video. I will check out all the sites you mentioned. You did a great job on your video.

    1. thanks Ms. Leo…videos are SO HARD. I cannot imagine being a prolific as Vanessa.

  6. EbonyNicole says:

    very fun video and I have to agree with Vanessa it was too short!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Ebony. It’s always good to hear from you.

  7. gabrielle coffman says:

    Really cute I can’t imagine trying to do something like this!

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