Formatting Video Titles
Use the following format: “Title” (year) i.e., “The Scary House on the Hill” (2017)
What capitalization rule should I follow in titling my video?
- Capitalization is language dependent. The relevant language is the language of the country origin so be careful with titles in English which are made from non-English words as in El Cid or La Bamba.
- English, Portuguese, Hebrew, Indian languages: All capital letters at the start of words, with a few exceptions.
- English language words which must begin with a lower-case letter (unless at the end of a title) are: a an and as at by for from in of on or the to with
- French, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian languages, Hungarian, Dutch, Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese: All lower-case letters at the start of words, except first word plus some exceptions (names etc.)
- German: Mixed Here are some example movie titles to illustrate these rules:
Creating Dynamic Thumbnails
Your thumbnail image is the face of your video. It is your video’s first chance to make a good impression where someone gets to visually “see” it for the first time. This glimpse should be compelling enough to entice the viewer to click on it to watch, and is a main factor in getting your video recognized.
Rules for Thumbnail Images
Note: We reserve the right to substitute submitted thumbnail images at our sole discretion.
Use the following techniques to quickly create dynamic thumbnail images that will stand out, get noticed, and most importantly – get people clicking on your video.
Most images destined for the internet need to be “enhanced” using a a technique called image-editing or post-processing. The following are the basic and most commonly used steps to improve digital images.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Always work on a duplicate of an original image! If you make a mistake along the way, just make another copy of the original and start editing again. Also, it is easy to over edit an image making it lose detail and become unnatural looking.
Basic steps to edit digital images
- Open image via in your image editing software.
- Flip the image if its orientation needs to be changed.
- Crop/Frame – zoom in on desired portions of an image if desired; crop to a specific aspect ratio (e.g. HD 1080, 2048, 4096).
- Resize – makes an image larger or smaller.To ensure height and width change proportionally, make sure the “constrain” or “keep aspect ratio” setting is enabled.
- Enhance the image by adjusting: Brightness/Contrast, Auto Color/Auto Levels, Hue/Saturation/Levels/Curves, Shadows/Highlights
- Save the image. Save your image as a high quality JPEG at 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Select three different frames from your video that encapsulates the theme of the work. A dramatic moment, or an interesting camera angle can be a great start for selecting frames for your thumbnail images.
Cropping is one of the best things you can do for improving image composition. Using the rule of thirds outlined below, frame out distracting items around the focal point/subject of interest of the image. Sometimes cropping an image by as little as 5% can make a world of difference, at other times cropping out over half of a photo can turn an insignificant area of a large image into a stunning new shot. Rotating the image to line up the vertical and horizontal lines with the edges of the image will also help make your image more striking.
TIP: Start with an oversized/high resolution image so that the size/resolution of the remaining cropped image meets your final needs requirements.
The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.
The Rule Of Thirds
The “rule of thirds” is a basic art principle that helps you to frame/compose interesting and balanced images that build drama. It works by imagining that your image is divided into nine parts. According to the rule, if you place your subject at the top, bottom, left or right area, then it will make a good composition
Using The Rule Of Thirds
The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. This also creates a selective focus that is used to draw a viewer’s attention to one specific area of an image
The rule of thirds is an imaginary tic-tac-toe board that is drawn across an image to break it into nine equal squares. The four points where these lines intersect are the strongest focal points. The lines themselves are the second strongest focal points
Which Point to Use
Which point or line you place your subject on does matter. While any of the points and lines will add emphasis to your subject, some are stronger than others. When an object is alone in an image, the strongest position is the left-hand line. An exception to this is for cultures where information is read from right to left. In those cases, the right-hand line will be the strongest.
Hierarchy of Strength
When a subject is not alone, there is a hierarchy of image strength.
- The subject in the foreground will naturally have more strength than the subject in the background. However, the rule of thirds placement can emphasize or reduce this strength.
- The bottom right point is the strongest for multiple subjects and the upper left point is the weakest.
Another general rule is that your subject should be placed on the opposite line of the direction that they’re looking. For example, if your portrait subject is looking to their left, their body should be placed on the right of the frame. This gives the photo more room in the direction they’re looking and avoids the appearance that they are gazing off into space. This rule can, of course, be broken under certain circumstances.
Enhancing Your Image
One of the simplest things you can do is make an image lighter or darker, or increase or decrease its contrast.Sometimes a quick and simple adjustment of the brightness and contrast is enough to turn a dull underexposed snapshot into a nice high impact photograph.
Auto Color/Auto Levels
Quick fixes that adjust the colors, making them appear more natural. Sometimes if the light is artificial, pictures will appear a strange color; a quick click of one of these buttons will usually sort it out though.
Hue / Saturation / Levels / Curves
An alternative to Auto Levels and Auto Color are these manual methods of correcting color. Hue allows you to change the color of an image and saturation allows you to make an image more colorful.
The more you increase the saturation the more colorful the image becomes… be careful not to overdo it though especially on portrait photos… Caucasian people’s skin contains a lot of red so oversaturating it has the effect of making them look like they are covered in a nasty rash or badly sunburnt!
Levels and curves
These are very delicate and quite complex. Levels allow you to adjust the amount of the 3 primary colors individually, and curves go one step further by allowing you to adjust the shadows and highlights too. Avoid using them until you have become competent at editing, but don’t be scared to experiment later as they are far more flexible and precise than the basic adjustments.
Shadows / Highlights
These adjustments are a relatively recent addition to image editing software, so you may not have them if you’re using older or entry level packages. They allow you to brighten the dark regions of an image, and darken the bright bits. Once again this is a delicate process, overdoing it can ruin an image, so be sure to combine it with a brightness and contrast adjustment rather than trying to correct everything using shadows and highlights.
Toning and Desaturating
Most editing packages will give you the options to do all sorts of crazy things to your images, most of which you will probably want to ignore, but there are a few useful ones. The first of these is the option to desaturate: meaning to turn a color image into black and white. There are several ways to do this. Some programs require you to go into hue/saturation and bring the saturation right down, others have a desaturate option, and some allow you to change the color mode of an image to grayscale… all have roughly the same effect.
Choosing what to make black and white and what to make color is entirely down to you, but as a general rule think about textures and shapes when shooting for black and white. Black and white images accentuate textures as they attract your eye more when there is no color, and strong geometric shapes often look far bolder in black and white than they do in color.
Toning allows you to add a color to a black and white (or sometimes a color) image. Check the help files to find out how to tone image using your software. Adding a tiny touch of blue to a wintery B&W image, a touch or orange to a summery photo, or a little brown to a nostalgic one can make a difference.
Tip: For more striking results, once you are comfortable with desaturating, look into converting to black and white through colored filters. This will allow you to accentuate different parts of the image depending on the colored filter used.
The sky’s the limit
All of the editing techniques mentioned here are fairly basic, but should be more than enough to help you improve your images. There are myriads of things that good software packages can do if you take the time to learn them properly. With a little patience and careful practice it won’t take long to learn how to adjust the perspective of an image, alter the colors individually, stitch two photos together, or even remove people or objects that you don’t want.
Editing and processing is a skill in itself an every image should be processed! Almost every single image or photo ever shot can be perfected and improved in some way, making it stand out in a internet ocean of bland, lame thumbnails.
TIP: Try shrinking the image down to about the size of your thumb and see how well you can tell what the image is. The better you can see it, the better others will too.
You don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for image processing software. Many are free and free stuff means more money to spent elsewhere. For many people this might be the preferred option. Many software packages have 30-day trial versions/learning editions as well.
Additional Details: Closing Credit Order
ATL refers to the list of individuals who guide and influence the creative direction, process, and voice of a given narrative in a film and related expenditures.
Here’s a common ending credits order for above-the-line:
1. Director 2. Writers 3. Producer 4. Executive Producer 5. Lead Cast 6. Supporting Cast 7. Director of Photography 8. Production Designer 9. Editor 10. Associate Producers 11. Costume Designer 12. Music Composer 13. Casting Director
BTL is a term derived from the top sheet of a film budget for motion pictures, television programs, industrial films, independent films, student films and documentaries as well as commercials. The “line” in “below-the-line” refers to the separation of production costs between script and story writers, producers, directors, actors, and casting (“above the-line”) and the rest of the crew, or production team.
Here’s a common ending credits order for Below-the-Line:
14. Unit Production Manager 15. First Assistant Director 16. Second Assistant Director 17. Full Cast/Character List (including lead and supporting cast that have already been credited separately) 18. Stunt Department 19. Production Departments (often listed as “Crew”) 20. Production Personnel 21. Production Supervisor 22. Production Coordinator 23. Art Department 24. Camera 25. Grip 26. Electric 27. Sound 28. Wardrobe 29. Hair/Makeup 30. Set Operations 31. Transportation 32. Special Effects Etc. 33. Post-Production Departments 34. Editorial 35. Visual Effects 36. Colorist Etc. 37. Song Credits 38. Caterer 39. Title Design 40. Special Thanks 41. Logos Guild logos (SAG, DGA, PGA, etc.) 42. Camera, Lenses and Equipment Makers (RED, Adobe, etc.) 43. Locations 44. Shooting Locations (sometimes required by filming permit) 45. Location of Final Sound Mix (“Recorded at…”) 46. Copyright 47. Disclaimer
A note about using logos in the closing credits. Sometimes companies or guilds require that you show their logo in the end credits where their equipment or members were used. Remember to check if these are required by your contracts. If they are not required it’s possible that you’re actually not allowed to include the logos in your end credits.