Using Splice for Super Simple Vlog Editing

I have had a bit of a problem lately.

It’s not a huge Earth shattering existential crisis of faith or anything like that. Just a small recurring nuisance of a problem that makes you purse your lips when you think of it, then it fades away after a few seconds to hide in the recesses of your brain until the next opportunity to bug you.

My problem is with my vlog workflow and the process of getting a video out into the world. I talked about why I started vlogging here.

Anyway, back to my problem.

Workflow Conundrum

My old workflow for vlogging included a Canon 80D, a Sennheiser mic, a Gorilla Pod for capture. Then I would use Adobe Premiere for editing. This setup produced some great results, but had some speed bumps.

First, the camera+tripod setup was heavy and obtrusive. People often look at you sideways when you are carrying around a DSLR with a mic and start pointing it at or near them. It’s also an expensive item that I was scared to break.

I would be standing in the garage about to get in the car to go somewhere and think “Do I really want to be carrying around a heavy expensive camera all day?” More often than not the answer was “No” an I wouldn’t get any footage. If I did take the camera I’d get tons of footage, but it would never get edited because of the second speed bump.

Second, was the learning curve. Premiere is a great app for video editing. It’s pro level and has many features and add-ons. Along with being pro level it comes with a bit of a learning curve. There are several fee learning resources for Premiere online, but vlogging is a hobby so as a priority it comes after a lot of things including being a husband, dad, and business owner. I don’t have the time to learn the deeper features of the app (like multi-camera switching) or money to outsource and hire an editor. It’s just a hobby.

Lastly, I don’t use Premiere (or Photoshop) enough in my business to justify the expense of the monthly $50 Creative Cloud subscription. So last month I said adiós to Premiere and started looking for something that isn’t iMovie and doesn’t come with a monthly subscription.

Trying out Splice by GoPro

My buddy Hart (go subscribe to his channel!) told me about Splice an iOS app and I downloaded it to my phone. I thought of this saying after using the app for the first time:

The best camera is the one you have with you!

I’m not sure who to attribute that to, but I think it’s Chase Jarvis.

Yesterday my wife and I took our boys to a new pizza/arcade/games place while our daughter was at a sleepover. I didn’t set out to make a vlog, but while at the event I took some video with my phone like most of the parents do.

Today I was looking through the footage and added a bunch of the clips to Splice. I started making a video with the intention of it being just a home movie and not a proper vlog.

After 45 minutes of editing (including learning the app and a few software crashes)  I had a video that is a step up from a series of unedited video snippets or a slideshow with some Ken Burns splashed on it. The finished product can be published to YouTube (or Facebook or Instagram) and moved off of my phone.

In our family our living room tv with AppleTV is the main hub of group video watching. Once I hit publish I told the boys to open YouTube and go to my channel and they were excited to see the video of the fun we had last night.

If you can’t see the video it’s here.

Having editing software on my phone that can handle HD, has enough features, and is free removes all of the hurdles to producing that I was experiencing.

The Perfect Workflow

I don’t think this is the perfect workflow, but it’s certainly good enough for me right now. In the future I might add Final Cut Pro to my workflow because it’s a one-time cost and has pro level features. If I do purchase it I’ll know I will need to spend some time leveling up my skill to take advantage of what the software has to offer.

For now, I think I’m good with using an iPhone and Splice to put some polish on our home videos and my vlogs.