Quickest way to record a movie commentary

The quickest way to record a movie commentary is by limiting the scope of the commentary. Many individuals and groups try to over engineer their first recording. They try to setup the best studio, pick the ‘perfect’ movie, and plan the best script. These don’t sounds like bad things. However, doing all of this beforehand can severely delay your recording or even discourage you all together.

The best advice I can give is to start small. Record your first commentary as quickly as possible, even if it’s full improvisation. This gives you or your group a concreate experience to build upon. Finishing the first one helps you better identify what aspects of recording a commentary you’d like to expand. Some people find getting better equipment will increase the quality of their commentary, whereas others may want to focus more on editing, or script preparation or even their presentation / energy. But you never know what you do well and what needs work until you get your first commentary recorded, or better yet reviewed. The process below is my basic guide on how to limit your startup time by focusing on just the bare minimum requirements to record your first movie commentary.

Getting Started

  1. Just focus on getting the minimum required equipment and software. This can be different for everyone, as there are many factors: Operating System, microphone type, and budget. But at the very least you need these items. Headphones, a microphone, free or paid recording software, and a computer or two.
  2. Pick a movie, and play it on a device that you can plug your headphone into. Make sure you can hear the movie audio, but it’s not being recorded by your microphone. This is very important, because picking up the movie audio can lead to copyright claims. Try using a separate TV/laptop to play your movie. It may be possible to play the movie and record on the same device but most audio recording software doesn’t allow for this.
  3. Ensure your microphone and audio recording software are working. Make sure your setup to allow multi-hour recordings, and if possible configure your recording software to measure in seconds as they can default to other metrics. I recommend calling out in your recording when you click ‘play’ on the movie. This will allow you to set the beginning of your commentary to 0s on the movie. ReVid will require audio commentaries to behave this way anyways so it might be good to get in the habit early on.
  4. Most importantly, have fun!  It’s cliché, if you’re not having fun then it’s likely your audience won’t be either. Bring energy and personality to your commentary, as that’ll capture listeners’ attention more than cool facts or interesting background details. Remember to stay relaxed, this isn’t live you can always edit your commentaries later. If all else fails and you really don’t like the commentary you don’t have to publish it. If you make a commentary you are excited about, well done! Export your audio file as a MP3 making sure that the start second on the commentary aligns with the start/”play” button press of the movie.

Publish And Share

When you’re ready to share your commentary ReVid helps make that process super simple. If you want to learn more about sharing commentaries with Revid checkout this post How to publish and share a movie commentary


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