Creating Voice-Over Demos on YouTube (and LinkedIn) with Windows Movie Maker
By Mike Broderick
YouTube is becoming a very popular place for Voice-over artists to market their services and even pick up potential business and clients.
For a few weeks now I’ve wanted in on the action, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my demos into video format. I’d envisioned having to buy expensive video editing software for my PC or needing to dance with death and download free software replete with potentially spam-laden surprises.
Little did I know that I already owned the required software, and that the process to create YouTube-ready demos was simple, painless, and generally quick and easy.
A Google search of recommended software for creating YouTube videos pointed me in the direction of Windows Movie Maker. I’d never heard of it, but a quick search showed that it was already on my laptop.
Using Movie Maker
Full disclosure: my version of Movie Maker harks back to the days when Barack Obama was still the junior Senator from Illinois and the Palm Treo was the height of smart phone technology. Newer versions are available via free download from Microsoft for Windows 7 & 8. These are presumably at least as user-friendly as my older version, if not more-so.
I found Movie Maker to be incredibly intuitive, and I didn’t need to read any instructions to create my first video of my voice-over demo. (I think I read only one tip in the help section along the way.)
The software enables you to create a project, import your mp3 demo(s) and any photos or video that you want to use in your demo film, copy and paste the photos or snippets of video and sequence them where you want them on the timeline, and create an opening title and closing credit slide. Using a drag and drop approach, you can then create a YouTube-ready video of your voice-over demo in minutes.
In putting my films together, I:
1) Created a new project using the file menu
2) Imported all the demo mp3’s and pictures I wanted to use into the project dashboard at the top of the page
3) Opened a timeline view at the bottom of the page
4) Dragged the mp3 I wanted to use into the audio/music line of the timeline
5) Dragged the pictures I wanted to use into the media line above the audio/music line and sequenced them the way I wanted to by cutting and pasting them in the timeline
6) Saved the project file
7) Published my demo videos to the My Videos folder on my computer and then uploaded them to YouTube
• Save the project file before you publish the film. (The programme crashed on me a couple of times – but, luckily, it auto-recovered the files. I think this happened because I tried to publish the film before I had saved the file.)
• You can edit and re-use an existing project file, by for instance dropping in a different demo mp3, and then save the new project under another name using the File/Save As function. This was handy, as I was able to use the same sequence of pictures, with only a couple of minor tweaks, for two different demos.
• You can see how long each picture or snippet of video will appear on the screen and either shorten it or lengthen it by pinching or enlarging the size of the photo or video in the timeline.
• When uploading your completed demo videos to YouTube, do it in the reverse order of how you’d like to see them on your YouTube Channel. If you’d like your Commercial Demo to appear first on your YouTube channel, upload it last.
With just a bit of work I had my demos up on YouTube.
To see how my demos on YouTube turned out, please see:
Uploading to LinkedIn
Thanks to a helpful tip from voice-over artist Marc Scott I was then able to upload my YouTube demos to my main profile page in LinkedIn as well.
This was useful as I had been having difficulty getting the Soundcloud links to my demos to work on LinkedIn.
To see Marc’s instructions for importing your demos from YouTube to LinkedIn, go to: marcscottvoiceover.com/add-demos-to-your-linked-in-profile/.
To connect with me on LinkedIn go to: www.linkedin.com/pub/mike-broderick/24/742/969.
I hope that you’ve found this information helpful.