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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 14 of 37

Audio Q&A


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 14 of 37

Audio Q&A


Lesson Info

Audio Q&A

You know, before I move on, do we have any quick questions of what we're doing? I do wanna play some of the clips that we got, just kinda get you geared up into kinda as we move throughout this class, to start thinking about the edit, to start thinking about how these things sounded as they came out of the camera and as they came out of the recorder. Alright, well we definitely have some audio questions and this one's from Michael in the UK. Do you ever use an adapter to convert a monolove mic into a stereo audio signal to make post much easier? You know, I never do that, I never do it. Partly because I'm very scared about doing any type of conversion in production. It's much easier to take a mono track and double it into a stereo track in post than it is to take a mono track, make it stereo in production and then try to use it and then if you mess up, you're toast. So for those of you who don't understand what I'm talking about cus I'm speaking gibberish, a mono signal, so if you ...

cover one ear, that's mono, okay? You can only hear out of one channel, one place. If you uncover that ear, that's stereo. So what the questions was is, is there a way to record something that's mono and convert it so that it becomes stereo? And my response is, well no, I'm just gonna record it in mono and then take that track in post production and copy it over so that I artificially get a stereo track. You guys follow me on that one? So that's like the best way that I can explain mono and stereo in a way that's tangible for all of us cus we've all done that, right? Like, you know, so it's very easy for us to get it once we kind of put it in that framework, you know? I think the thing that I really always, and I hate to hammer this back to always being the same thing, but when it really talk about audio and we really talk about capturing sound and we really talk about getting it good and getting it correctly, one, don't bite off more than you can chew. I know this is really scary stuff, because this, unlike lighting, and unlike some of the other things that we can really lean on as being like, hey, we're photographers, we know this stuff, yeah, go us, I think this is the one area where we get really scared and that's okay. Remember, your first year of videos probably won't involve capturing an interview. And, here's the other thing, right, you could just capture an interview and then bleed in some other shots and use that as a narrative and you can just get a person into a room where you're comfortable, where you can see the levels and record to a computer, I mean, that's how they do podcast, right? I recently, yesterday, was with Casey recording stuff and that's exactly what we did, you know? Don't feel like you've gotta get production sound now if you're not ready for it. Again, it should not be what stands in the way of you capturing and creating content. I got a question back there. Yeah, do you ever record backup audio? So my issue that I have coming up is I may be doing an interview with a mid 90s gentlemen who I know has never used a mic, so if I put a mic in front of him, he's gonna wander away from it, he's not gonna capture it. Would you also lav him, or just get a high end lav and abandon the regular mic. I would do two things, I would lav him twice. So I would stick a lav wireless, beam the signal and then stick a lav into a recorder into his pocket, okay? And then just use a button mic or whatever it is to hide it, he won't even feel the weight to the recorded in his pocket, they're that small, you know? So if you wanna do a back up, that's what I would do. If you wanted to do a back up that hits the recorder and then goes to another recorder, you could do that as well. You know, like beam it wirelessly to your recorder and then just record a second track to another recorder or even the safety track to camera. You know there's a couple options there. What are the pros and cons? If I have two recorders, that means they're recording both independently of each other, if one goes down, I got the back up, okay? That's the best benefit. The con of that is it's double the equipment, double the mics, double the recorders, you know? And one recorder has to be small enough to fit in a pocket. The other way, if I have a signal being beamed to a recorder and then I, basically, copy it to another recorder real time or to my camera, I have two copies of the recording but if that mic goes down, then both recordings will go down, do you understand why? Because it's going to one, splitting off, and well if it's dead, it's dead, okay? So it seems like that's an important person you wanna capture sound from so I would probably err on the side of double recorder to ensure that I would have what I need from it. Cus, you know, there also comes the point where you gotta weigh your cost and benefit, right? If I'm gonna be in this project and I won't have time to re-shoot, then I'm gonna have to err on safety but if I have time to re-shoot, then I can err on move shooting from the hip kinda stuff. You just gotta be very cognizant of the situation that you're in, okay? So I would do double recorder and what you could do is, in lieu of doing double recording to two recorders, you could have two wireless lavs and you could mic the wireless lavs into one recorder and then what you call flushing channels, okay? You can record one mic to one channel, you record the other mic to the left channel, so one's recording on the right channels, the other's recording on the left channel, okay? You still have two mics going, you still have two channels going, and the channels are recording separately. So it's a way of getting track recording by beating the system, gaming the system a little bit without having to buy another track recorder, okay? And that's what a lot, a lot, of guys who capture sound for a living end up doing, is they flush their channels in a way to get two tracks out of it. Cus what we can do, we can always double that mono into a stereo, okay? So that's another really good option, too. Just get a great recorder that's got two XLR inputs, get two wireless lavs, plug the receivers into that, flush your channels, you're set. Kind of in the vain of working with what you have and then travel photography, you're kind of in an idealized scenario where you're able to flush everyone out of the room, and get that, like, I'm thinking travel, you're in restaurants, you're in whatever with lots of background noise. Strategies for dealing with that, with kinda what you got on hand. Cool, that's a great question. So do you guys all watch Anthony Bourdain ever? Yeah. Oh yeah. Okay, right. Anthony Bourdain's production crew is amazing because they have a really great of mitigating ambient sound with whatever they're capturing from him and the way they do that is a lav. That, in terms of like being in a public space, that ambient noise is gonna be that ambient noise. You, honestly, if you were to record a video in a restaurant and have people in the background clearly talking and the only voice you can hear is the guy who's talking, that's creepy, right? It's like, what did you do to all those people? You know, like in what world does that happen, right? It's perception, we are all so used to being in a space and if you provide the context, i.e. in a restaurant, there is a lot of give and take there. Our viewers will allow that sort of audio quality because it's audio quality that we are all used to hearing. I remember reading from someone in the audience about recording live performance and recording like music performance or something to that effect and I think this is a really, really good opportunity for us to talk about that because there's several ways that you can record live performance that can leverage not just your knowledge but the knowledge of the people in the space, as well. But depending upon the level of access that you get, let's pretend it's like a high school concert or it's not like a major, major concert, you can really work with whomever is working on the sound board to get a really nice audio signal from them that's gonna capture the entire night, you know? We use this a lot at weddings, just give the recorder to the DJ and have him record everything, they record all the speeches, all that stuff and then that becomes your timeline, you can sync everything to. In the way of live performance, you know you're gonna need multiple mics, multiple recorders, right? And you're gonna wanna make sure you check your levels and all that kind of stuff but that's a really good opportunity for you to use software like PluralEyes, you know, where you can sync multiple clips from multiple cameras from multiple recorders all into one thing. If you just doing like two cameras and a recorder, you can do that so easily in Premiere Pro. I think practicing capturing sound extends beyond doing it for the interview because if we just listen to the room or like try to imagine walking down a city street and imagine what it sounds like, you know, that's a really good exercise, it's like, how would you capture the sound of rushing traffic or the sound of water, or how would you want specific things to sound like in terms of like a closing door and how would you measure that and how would you get that level and how would you record that? Doing those types of skills will really, really clue you in more than learning about it in my class or anywhere else because you'll learn that when you're in a room and you wanna capture ambient noise, you want to avoid omnidirectional mics, specially if you're gonna be, you're gonna do a person like Anthony Bourdain, right? That's gotta be a directional mic, because then it's not gonna receive as much ambient noise around it but if you want that ambient noise and you only have one mic, then you're gonna want an omnidirectional mic that receives noise from everywhere. So I've done concerts and when you're dealing with a lot of venues, if they already know you're coming to shoot, you can coordinate ahead of time, and then when you get there, you just go to the sound guy, the engineer's board, the front of house board, they'll have an extra set of left and right main out, you plug in all your recording in that, just let it go. Absolutely, and you just gotta pay attention to what kind of outputs you're using or inputs you're gonna be using, if they're balanced or unbalanced, you know, that stuff comes with time. Because how much of the stuff is like travel knowledge victor and how much of the stuff is actually like lists that you did and you kinda like read through. In the beginning, guys, I had notes everywhere. I would have like gaff tape on my camera that would say, white balance, I'd put a sticky over the record button that says, sound levels. I would leave reminders for myself because it's a lot to think about at one time, specially if you haven't done it a lot yet. It's okay to do that because, you know what, at the end of the day, if you look like a fool, that's okay cus you're gonna make a great project, okay. I'm fully okay with looking like an idiot, I do it all the time, everyday of my life. But it's given me a great opportunity to kind of like put my best foot forward, you know? And continually improve as a person who's doing something. I think to round this out, I do wanna just play some of the audio file so that you guys can hear, and it's not something we use in the edits. What you're looking at here is me in Premiere Pro with what I call the fully synced edit, so I laid in an audio track from the recorder and then I threw in, I synced the footage to that audio track and you could see here as I kind of trumped down with the timeline looks like that there's one audio track and you could see visually how we kinda took a break in the middle for like 10 or 20 minutes and then started up again. So we're just gonna listen to this part of the audio right here, just to kinda get a feel for what raw audio sounds like when it's coming off the camera. (background noise drowns out sound) Okay. (background noise drowns out sound) What's that? Yeah, so, right now what's happening is Ivan's the only one who's mic'ed, right, so, yup. Makeup (laughing) oh, shiny (laughing). Oh, shiny. So you could see just rich, right? It's very rich, it's got a lot of base in it and we're just gonna keep letting it play and you're gonna hear like, you could hear like me talking in the background and I'm all the way across the room but he's right here with his lav so everything he's saying, right, so to answer your question from earlier, it's like, how do you avoid all that ambient noise. Well, I have a directional mic. That directional mic captures only what's in front of it, as opposed to everything around me. So you can see here just there's so much, we get trapped into thinking that when we do an interview all of it's great, how much dead space we'll have here? You know, how much dead space? And then you look at something like here, like even now when he's answering a real question, You get trained, right? And it definitely changed it, I mean, I started getting guys that weren't looking for cage fighting. They were looking to do lifestyle martial arts. so you kinda just hear and that's the thing, I got a really, really decent, I captured some decent sound and that sound allows me to really kinda move forward into an edit and later on we'll crank it up and allow you to hear what the hiss and the crackling and the pop, and how you fix that. And I wanna push back a little bit and say it didn't take me like six years to learn sound, it didn't. It just took me a few times to get the hang of it, alright? And it's as easy as, just like understanding levels, just understanding levels, and understanding mic position. Just like how you understand intensity of light and light position. Think about a microphone in the same way you think of a light. The closer your light source is to your subject, the softer the light, right? Two things will soften light, making light source bigger, like making it bigger, or bring it closer. If you can make it bigger and bring it closer that's awesome, that's the best. But if you can do one or the other, that's great. It's the same thing with the microphone. You bring it close, okay, you bring it closer. And that's gonna increase the quality of the sound the you're capturing. I just do wanna stress here that we've taken you guys from planning, the scouting, to pre-production, to the interview aspect of it, to the camera set up, and we're kind of like driving this idea that all of this work happens even before we get to the shoot. How much of the shoot is this class that we talk about? Shoot's like that much, right? It's not just about the shoot, guys. And as we kind of like jump through this beginning to end sort of scenario, we're gonna start to realize that the shoot's this much, the production and pre-production aspect is like that much and then the editing is like that much, right? The shooting is easy, anyone will tell you that. Anyone will tell you that it's the easiest part of bringing a project to fruition, from start to finish. What do you guys think? Like is this something that you see in your daily lives? Is this something that you experience as you kind of go in to create content? I mean, I'm asking here in the audience, as well as on the web too. This is something that really, I think, as we go through this class, it becomes more apparent to everyone that everyone focuses on like the 10% of what's important in an entire production, and ignores the 90% of it that makes it great, you know? I think I'm kinda the same space that Ken is where I've got the hours and hours of the film already, it's what now? What do I do with all the footage that I've already collected and you can't really go back and fix the pre-production part but, going forward now, knowing what to plan ahead and then the editing portion, what to do with all of the awesome footage I already have. What kind of footage do you have? Travel stuff, podcasts, that kind of stuff, and then it's the overwhelming part is the editing portion, to me. Is now knowing what to do with what I've collected. I think a good tip for anyone who's collected a lot of footage, and a good tip for anyone who's kind of like got a lot of stuff in the cam but has never really edited it, is just to spend sometime and just let it play in the background while you're doing something, okay? Let it just play in the background. Find like an old computer, or find a way for it just to play so that you can refresh your memory as to what was shot. Just let it play in the background and while you're doing your normal day. And just let it play, if you've got hours of footage, that's the best way to review footage, in a organic way that doesn't involve you sitting in front of a computer scrubbing through footage. We do that after a shoot because we already know the shots. When you haven't seen something in a while, you gotta let it organically come to the surface. What you will find in doing this is you will find that by letting it just organically play throughout your day, throughout the course of the next few days, because you're the person, I presume, that recorded all of it at the same time or throughout the whole time, it's gonna jog your memory and you're gonna start to feel thematic elements that are gonna pop up. You know you're gonna see repetition, you're gonna start to see things that are similar across different clips and then you're gonna start to be able to kind of like piece those together. Keep a notepad by the screen, take a note, see what clip it is, the name and the time. And just take your note, just put it down, and every time you get to something, okay, take your note. And you may miss stuff, that's not the point. What you're gonna see is a lot of similarity because you're the person recording it all and you have a way of seeing the world, you're gonna actually be able to piece stuff together. Does it make sense? That makes perfect sense and I think that would've helped me with my other issue, is hating the sound of your own voice, that's kinda like an innate human thing and that's the other part of getting to the edit portion is I don't want to listen to myself so I think, maybe, putting it on, just getting used to that sound, being able to kind of ignore it would be really great, too. Yeah, and I think, in the process of editing this video for Ivan, I think I listened to the same statements easily 100 times. Over and over and over and then what's gonna happen as you listen to it over and over and over, something is gonna rise to the surface, and this happens all the time, something will rise to the surface and you're gonna be like oh my god, that's the statement I've been looking for and you move it to the right place in the edit and then it sings and it's like oh my god that's great, you know? So what you're doing here is you're, essentially, doing what we call reviewing dailies. You're taking the footage, you've ingested it, you're watching it, listening to it, annotating it, but you're just not doing it in a very traditional way. As you let it play, you can just listen to things and I think what you're gonna find is when I show you later how to trunk down statements, it's gonna be very, very cool for you to be able to go like, oh hey, well on this trip I said this, and this thing I said this, and this was over here, and then this shot was paired over here, you can begin to see a theme in your travels and a theme in what you're creating and then, slowly, that story's gonna crop up to the surface because maybe what you do in every trip, is you visit old fire houses and you never really knew that until you started doing it, right? Or you, on a trip, always manage to take pictures of red doors and didn't realize it until you saw it, right? So now you start to see this little theme, a thread line between what you do organically and then that's how you get to these great art projects that are one photo of one day of one thing, it's very deliberate. Again, immediacy, right? If we weren't so nose to the screen half the time we'd be able to kind of do other things like listen to our footage, listen to our own voice that we don't like, listen to all these other things that can take up time and space without needing our attention. Because our brains are always working actively as we are listening to things, we just don't realize it, you know? It's funny how you can review some footage, step away from it, three hours later get back to the same footage, and go, oh, I didn't hear that the first time. And that happens every edit, every edit. And that's another important thing, too, is you gotta take breaks, you know? You have to leave yourself some room to be inspired so that you can then approach the work that you just created in it with a different mind set, with a different fresh pair of eyes and a different set of ears, you know? I do have a question that came in about voiceover. So the question is, do you prepare a scripted voiceover prior to shooting and then edit to the voiceover or does it come in a different way? It depends. If you're being hired, or asked or commissioned to do, let's pretend it's a product video. So we're gonna do a product video on this remote. And the person who's commissioned me to do a product video on this remote, I would ask them to provide me a list of the key features. And then I would ask them to explain to me what this remote does, in their own words. And then I would create the script that would be able to describe this remote in a concise and meaningful way. And then I would shoot to that script. I would think of the shots necessary to achieve the message of that script. That's the most easy, plain, simple, straightforward way of doing it. If I'm being asked to create a profile piece of an organization. And that organization has multiple departments, and is expansive and broad and maybe I don't have time to ask them to give me what they want to say or whatever it is, I would go in, doing the research, and make the building or the space my subject. So finding the things in each department that could be illustrative, because I know that what's gonna drive these visuals is the overarching voice that's gonna carry it through. So they're gonna probably be talking about how many floors they have and how many departments and who works in what department and what each department does, right? So it becomes very top-down kind of explanation, you know? It's a very corporate, very type of sterile type of video that pushes forward a message. And those types of projects do, also, exist as well, you know? I think working from a script is always ideal. Sometimes you can't work from a script, so therefore you kinda have to shoot and then tailor the script to that. We don't ever want to be in that position but a lot of times we are.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video