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The Video Debrief - Part 3: How To Maximize Your Video With Basic Editing Skills on iMovie

Creating A More Efficient Workflow

So - you've successfully incorporated video into your debriefs and have seen the improvement in your sailors. But you feel like something is missing - you want to show leech comparisons or maybe want to show your sailors what they are doing right and wrong in a more...immediate format.

We've compiled some editing tips and know-how so that you can maximize your video content for your debriefs and bring your coaching to the next level. BUT first - check back with Parts 1 and 2 of the Video Debrief series so that you're up to speed on the best video practices at practice (you sea what we did there? and there?).

Once you've read through the first two parts- you'll need to figure out what editing software you'll be using. For most editing you'll be doing, iMovie or OpenShot are free options for Mac and Windows users, respectively. They will be good enough for the 2 quick edits we are going to show you here in Part 3: Splicing Video and Tiling Video.

NOTE: We are going to show you how to do this on iMovie on MacOS X Catalina, which is free for Mac and iOS users.

Splicing Video: Cutting out the parts you don't want to use

In the video production world there are a million and one ways to cut video and re-arrange together to weave a story - but for us Opti Coaches we are interested in showing progression with the footage we present, and keep the footage as efficient as possible by not having any dead air or bad, jumpy footage preceding the particular shot you are wanting to show. 

Cutting a video is pretty simple on iMovie:

1. After creating a project, add the clips you intend to use to the media pool by selecting media from the Import button

2. Run through the clip to see the parts you want to use or not. Settle on a cut point, and right-click to bring the playhead to the point you want to cut to.

3.  Rinse and repeat to break up your video into the segments you want to show

4. Once you have decided on the content you want to delete, simply press delete and you have the video you want to show. If you want to add transitions or voice-overs, see this great article on using iMovie's effects

Tiling Video: How to put video footage side-by-side

Tiling video, or placing side by side is great because it allows you to show sailors what different sail settings and boat trim can do to a boat - picture the classic bow trim dilemma where you want to show your sailors just how much bow splash moving forward on the rail can create. One thing to note is that if you are shooting in landscape your image will be cropped, but on the flipside, if you are shooting in portrait mode most of the time this will be easy enough to put together. 

1. Drag and drop the clips that you want to show at the same time to the timeline and make sure one is above another in the timeline.

2. Click the Video Overlay Settings icon above the Viewer window and then select Split Screen option from the drop-down box.

3. You can now see the clips which has been cropped automatically in the Viewer window. You can select where the split-screen clips appear by selecting the target positions. iMovie allows you to add slide-in transitions and adjust the duration.

There are some downsides when using iMovie split screen feature to make a split screen video:

Limited Split Screen Layout: You can also choose 2 split-screen modes (Left-Right, Top-Bottom) to display your video footage;

Limited Video Tracks: You can only add 2 videos to the tracks,  which means you can only display 2 videos at the same at most.

BUT, You'll be able to demonstrate progress much more quickly because most kids learn by doing and by watching so by virtue of the sailors watching themselves you can get some technique points across really, really well.

Some ideas on using Tiling effectively:

  • showing differences in performance with sail settings
  • Showing differences in hiking technique, and body positioning
  • Showing effects of boat trim/sail trim on heel angle, or lane switching
Remember that if you want to show progress, make sure to grab a few clips of each sailor across the practice and combine with tiling to show any changes across their training block that day. We typically get 30-second clips of them sailing upwind, which allows us to go around to almost, if not all, the fleet and get useful footage for each sailor in your group. 

Final Thoughts

Now that we've covered some ground rules on how to run an effective and enriching video debrief for your Opti group, you can get out there and show them how good of a coach you really are. A lot of coaches say that they don't need to use video, or that they can't do all that 'fancy stuff' when really any coach can benefit from incorporating video debriefs into their training plan. There really is no better way for a kid to learn than by watching, and with phones nowadays shooting amazing quality footage - there's nothing stopping you from bringing your game up!

See you out on the water!


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