Photo of a bird with a 3x3 grid placed over it

Mike Suarez from Montana PBS presents training on how to make videos for your research, teaching, and outreach needs.

This WebEx event took place on December 8th, 2020.

Topics include:

  • Technical aspects of video creation
  • Using free software
  • Creativity: how to film, tips and tricks


  1. Prerequisites
  2. Workshop Video
  3. Further Information



Start here.  Below are two recommended tasks that should be completed before continuing to the training video. 

  1. Install OpenShot video editing software
  2. Review the PHLEARN Composition Guide
  3. Move on to the Workshop Video

Video Editing Software

OpenShot video editing software will be used during the workshop, and it is recommended that participants have it installed on their computers.  OpenShot is free, open-source, multi-platform, and user friendly.

OpenShot can be downloaded here:

Instructions for getting started with OpenShot:

Practice files used in the training (optional 621MB download):

Composition Guide

The PHLEARN channel on YouTube offers a composition guide titled 3 Guides for Great Composition in Your Photos that is recommended viewing for participants in this workshop.


The PHLEARN channel shares this information about the video:

Like many other techniques in photography, creating effective composition is best done in-camera rather than during the editing process. That being said, there will be times where you may want to make minor adjustments or even completely change the composition in a shot. For those situations, the Crop Tool in Photoshop provides useful guides for some of the most common compositional techniques.



Workshop Video

If you've checked-off the above prerequisites, it's time to start the training video.  Further details and a list of chapters can be found below.


Mike Suarez from Montana PBS offers training on how to make videos for research, teaching, and outreach needs. Topics include the technical aspects of video creation, using free software, and creativity (how to film, tips and tricks). This event was hosted by Mary Burrows, and took place via WebEx on December 8th, 2020.

Please note that the video is blank when a screen is not being shared. Video footage starts at 14:49 and is intermittent thereafter.  Chapter shortcuts open the video on YouTube.  Closed captioned, transcript available upon request.

  1. 00:00 Introduction
  2. 01:17 Basics of Film Theory
  3. 08:23 Shooting Video
  4. 19:29 Time as a Dimension
  5. 23:20 Lighting
  6. 26:24 Shooting Video for Editing
  7. 30:03 Shot Types
  8. 37:06 Sound
  9. 47:03 Question about Lighting
  10. 53:07 Question about Film Theory
  11. 56:11 Cameras
  12. 58:05 OpenShot Software
  13. 1:05:58 File Structure
  14. 1:09:06 Timelines
  15. 1:15:23 Transitions and Effects
  16. 1:23:35 Question about Wind Noise
  17. 1:24:53 iMovie, Final Cut, Avid
  18. 1:27:28 Question about Multitrack Audio
  19. 1:32:36 Royalty-free Music
  20. 1:39:24 Key Frames
  21. 1:44:37 Exporting Video
  22. 1:52:52 Audio Crackling
  23. 1:59:10 Branding
  24. 2:03:03 Closing Questions


Further Information

Contact Mike Suarez or Susan Fraser for more information about this training workshop.


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