Become a Better Filmmaker: Use a Video Template

By November 7, 2017Videomaking

As a filmmaker I love to make everything myself, but knowing what part of my skill set I’m good at and what part I need to work on is necessity. It’s called knowing yourself.

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I use to think I had to do everything myself, or learn how. This was fine when I had more time, but as you get into your career, time is what you have less and less of.

What I lack most in my skillset is doing motion gfx and VFX. I know that about me and I’ve come to terms with that. Depending on the budget I normally send this out a professional to do a custom job, but it’s not always in the cards. I hate turning down jobs or gigs just out of pride. So what do you do? Use a template.

Video Templates are great for last minute and low budget gigs that come up. Using sites like Envato or Video blocks you can find some really awesome templates for super low cost. Usually under $30.

Recently I was approached to do a quick turnaround on a promo for a new album coming out. I could have said no, but I really wanted to work with the artist. So what did I do? I knew what the artist was looking for and found a 24 dollar template that was close to his vision.

The template I used here had a lot of the bones of what the artist was looking for, but I used the pre-designed motion elements and treated them as shots. Doing this allowed me to look at the job as a whole and then the template to see how I can tell the story using the elements I had. I also used stock video and images to tell the story of this album.

If you divorce yourself from looking at a template like a paint by numbers guide then it just becomes a tool that you can use to tell the story of the video you are making. Added bonus to using templates: you get better at aftereffect and working with motion gfx.

I actually learned Adobe AFX by deconstructing a few templates. Seeing how the pros who had the templates lay out their designs really teaches you how to use the program better.

Have you ever used video templates in your projects? Let me know your experience in the comments.

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