Video Podcast Work Flow

My buddy Chris Brogan recently posed the question, “What is your podcast work flow? He is the co-founder of the PodCamp Unconferences, along with Christopher Penn, and is both constantly gathering data and tickling others to share their knowledge.  So read on for our work flow!

Please check out:
“Chris Brogan”:http://www.chrisbrogan.com
“Christopher Penn”:http://www.christopherspenn.com/
“Podcamp”:http://podcamp.pbwiki.com/SharedToolsAndCommonKnowledge

We produce the daily video podcast, “Beach Walks with Rox”:http://www.beachwalks.tv. We have to keep things pretty tight to make this work in our daily schedule. It helps that the nature of our show is straightforward most days. All bets are off though when we want to do something out of the usual!

# Always keep the camera bag loaded with charged batteries and extra tapes, all lenses and filters.
# Shoot the episode; one take is all we get. Our template (in “iMovie”:http://www.apple.com/imovie) requires an 8+ second clip for the opening title sequence and about 10 seconds for the credit roll. We could use the same footage day after day to save on this, but we prefer a completely fresh new episode each day. Gearing up (and then down) and the shoot take about 15 minutes. (Not counting drive time as we would be going to the beach anyway!)
# Import the footage from camera into computer; this takes place in real time. If we have a lot of clips, we take notes along the way and do a mental version of the “first cut.” Figure this takes 5-10 minutes.
# Our template in iMovie has the opening and closing music already laid in, and the closing copyright notice too. (Thanks to “Eric Rice”:http://www.ericrice.com who pointed us this direction waaaay back when.) We add in transitions, add overlays with links, etc. sometimes drop in other graphics or footage. Editing takes 15-30 minutes for a typical show. Special episodes can take several hours.
# Once edited, we export as a full quality DV file. That takes a little longer than real time, let’s say 8 mins for a 5 min show.
# Next, encoding. We have a little script that we drop the DV onto and it creates our Quicktime mov and the iPod m4v versions. This will take about 20 minutes.
# While we are doing this, we open the graphic template in “Fireworks”:http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.adobe.com%2Fproducts%2Ffireworks%2F&ei=77lKRsOGEp34hAPH16ijBg&usg=AFrqEzf2BM_cDlA2HKCuxDbXPJ7GsBPjTw&sig2=YfymrxBsfpayTK0Oim2G5A, and create our custom show graphics. We used to make four (4) images of various sizes but have reduced this to two; a 480×360 for the main show graphic which also gets added to the iPod (.m4v) format as the ID3 show graphic; and a 240×180 for the “Akimbo service”:http://my.akimbo.com/browse_category.aspx?cid=9ee61a620644f0b4 that we upload via FTP to our media server from which Akimbo then pulls every morning along with our WMV media file.
# We also start the blog post, writing the show notes, adding the tags, and selecting the categories.
# After the mov and m4v are done, we make a high quality Windows Media (WMV) version using “Quicktime Pro”:http://www.apple.com/quicktime, and then a Flash (FLV) version using Visual Hub. Add on another 10-15 minutes.
# Files are then batch uploaded to “blip.tv”:http://www.blip.tv/users/view/beachwalks. For a 5 minute episode, this one process can take about an hour. During this time we finish working on the show notes and reply to viewer emails. If it’s Tuesday, we start watching Boston Legal. grin

Total Average Time for a 5-minute Episode: 2-3 hours, assuming the work is done on the G5 quad processor tower and a broadband connection. Working from our Intel MacBookPro and various internet connections can add considerable time to the process. The nice thing is that Secret Cameraman and I get to share the editing and encoding tasks, which really helps.

Check out the camera gear we use here: “http://www.beachwalks.tv/behind-the-scenes/”:http://www.beachwalks.tv/behind-the-scenes/.

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