The Proper Way to Encode Video

To ensure an optimal upload and playback experience, video files uploaded to most casting profile sites should be encoded in one of these two formats:

QUICKTIME (.mov or .mp4 files) or WINDOWS MEDIA VIDEO (.wmv files)

Files that do not meet our requirements may not play correctly on the site, so be sure to always encode video with the following general settings.

Quicktime File Type: MOV or MPEG-4 Codec: Mpeg-4 video Frame Rate: 24 Key Frames: Every 300 Data Rate: 768 Kbps Video Size: 640 x 480 VGA (320 x 240 is acceptable but will be lower quality) Select “Preserve Aspect Ratio” and “Deinterlace Video” Audio Format: AAC Audio Channels: Mono Audio Rate: 32.000 KHz Audio Target Bit Rate: 32 Encode Files for “Fast Start”

Windows Media Video File Type: WMV Bit rate: 1.0 Mbps Display size: 640 x 480 pixels Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Frames per second: 30

Note: The size of an individual video file should not exceed 500 megabytes (100 MB for basic users). You can check the size of your video file by following these steps:

If on a Mac: Click the file to highlight it, click on File, then click on Get Info. If on a PC: Right click on the file, then go to Properties.

If your file does exceed the 500-megabyte limit (100 MB for basic users), you will need to shorten the clip or edit it into multiple parts before uploading. Which program should I use to create and encode my video files?

There are many editing programs that can encode files to our recommended settings. Below are the step-by-step instructions for iMovie (most commonly used on Macs), Windows Moviemaker (most commonly used on PCs), and Quicktime Pro, which can be used with either Mac or PCs.

Be sure to check which version of these programs you have on your computer, and read the corresponding instructions for that version below.

Instructions for Mac Computers

iMovie HD Instructions

Requirements: Apple Macintosh System X, version 10.3 or higher

STEP 1: IMPORTING VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM A MINI DV TAPE CAMERA

1.Connect your camera to the computer via the firewire cable.

2.Open the iMovie application, then open an existing project or start a new project.

3.Import clips, take by take, from video camera into your iMovie project.

a. Turn camera on.

b. Set iMovie to “camera mode” by setting the slider button on the lower left area of the iMovie window to the camera icon.

c. Using the iMovie playback controls, press play button to start the tape.

d. Cue up the audition.

e. When the audition take starts, press the Import button to begin capturing the actor’s audition take into iMovie, and when that take finishes, press the Import button again to manually stop the capture. Note: In iMovie Preferences, you can also set it so that iMovie will automatically grab and edit all auditions off the tape as long as you pause the camera between takes and actors. This allows you to start the tape, hit the Import button and walk away from the computer while it begins capturing and editing the auditions from the tape.

f. The captured audition clips will appear in the Clips pane at the right side of the window in iMovie. All clips that you capture will be stored here.

g. Repeat step ‘e’ to capture any additional takes from the actor’s audition.

Please Note: we recommend that you capture each individual take for an actor’s audition separately. This will keep file sizes to a minimum. As a reminder, do not upload files larger than 500 MB (100 MB for Basic Users).

h. Select Save project under the File menu. STEP 1 (ALTERNATIVE): IMPORTING AN EXISTING QUICKTIME FILE

1.From iMovie, go to File, then Import.

2.Select the Quicktime file you wish to import, and click Open.

3.The file will import into iMovie. When importing has finished, the file will appear in one of the boxes in the upper right corner of the iMovie screen.

STEP 2: EXPORTING FILES TO CAST IT RECOMMENDED SETTINGS

1.Once the file has been imported into iMovie, drag the clip down to the flip strip area at the bottom of the iMovie screen.

2.Go to the File menu and select Export.

3.Along top of window, select the Quicktime icon.

4.Click the Compress movie for pull-down menu to select Expert Settings.

5.Click Share.

6.In the next Save Exported File As window, name the new movie according to actor name and take number. Make sure your file name ends with the extension .mov. Also check to see where the file will be saved. This will come in handy when you need to upload a bunch of actors and their audition takes. (make sure you save your file with the .mov extension at the end). Then, next to the Export: Movie to Quicktime Movie pull down menu, click the Options button.

7.You'll see the Movie Settings window. Under 'Video', click Settings.

a. In 'Compression Type:' menu, select MPEG-4 Video.

b. In Motion area, set Frame Rate to ‘24’ and for Key Frames type in ‘300’ in the text field.

c. Slide the Quality pointer over to Best.

d. In the Data Rate area, click the Restrict to button and type 768 in the field before kbits/sec. Then, click OK.

e. Under ‘Video’, now click on Size. Select 640 X 480 VGA. Check the box next to Preserve Aspect Ratio (using Letterbox). Click the box next to Deinterlace Source Video. Click OK.

f. Under 'Sound', click on Settings. Set 'Format' to AAC, 'Channels' to Mono, ‘Rate’ to 32.000. Next to Target Bit Rate choose 32 in the dropdown menu. Then click on OK button.

g. Make sure 'Prepare for Internet Streaming' is checked and select Fast Start.

h. Click OK.

i. Click the Save button and iMovie will export and create the QuickTime movie that you will then post to the Cast It system.

VIDEO SETTINGS FOR CREATING SUPER HIGH QUALITY CLIPS

Please Note: Using the following settings instead of the “standard” settings stated above will result in much larger, higher quality video clips. Encoding video with the following settings can take up to twice as long, and uploading times will most likely increase 2 – 3 times as well.

1. Import your clips into iMovie. Then follow steps 1 – 6 above.

2. You'll see the Movie Settings window. Under 'Video', click Settings.

a. In 'Compression Type:' menu, select H.264.

b. In Motion area, set Frame Rate to ‘24’ and for Key Frames type in 300 in the text field. c. Slide the Quality pointer over to Best.

d. Select Best quality (Multi-pass) next to the ‘Encoding’ Menu.

e. In the Data Rate area, click the Restrict to button and type 768 in the field before kbits/sec. Then, click OK.

f. Under ‘Video’, now click the Size button. Select ‘640 X 480 VGA’.

Check the box to Preserve Aspect Ratio (using Letterbox). Click the box next to Deinterlace Source Video. Click OK.

g. Under 'Sound', click on Settings. Set 'Format' to AAC, 'Channels' to Mono, ‘Rate’ to 32.000. Next to Target Bit Rate choose 32 in the dropdown menu. Then click on OK button.

h. Make sure 'Prepare for Internet Streaming' is checked and select Fast Start.

i. Click OK.

j. Click the Save button and iMovie will export and create the QuickTime movie that you will then post to the Cast It system.

iMOVIE HD HINT: To crop/edit a video clip

1. Select the clip you want to edit or crop in the clip area to the right of the iMovie window.

2. Drag the small grey bookend triangles below the timeline to set the beginning and end points of the clip.

3. Go to the Edit menu and select Crop. You can also split clips by selecting Split Clips at Playhead.

iMovie ‘08/’09 Instructions

Requirements: Apple Macintosh System X, version 10.3 or higher

STEP 1: IMPORTING VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM A MINI DV TAPE CAMERA

1. Connect your camera to the computer via the firewire cable.

2. Open the iMovie application, then open an existing project or start a new project.

3. Import clips from video camera into your iMovie project by turning the camera on, and clicking the “Camera” Icon on the left hand side of the iMovie screen. This will bring up the Import Window where you can choose your camera source. Select the camera you have attached to the computer via firewire cable

To import all footage from the tape automatically:

a. Set the slider button on the lower left area of the iMovie window to Automatic.

b. Press Import to rewind the tape and import all footage. After the tape has been imported, click Done and skip to step #8.

To import footage from the tape manually: a. Set the slider button on the lower left area of the iMovie window to Manual.

b. Using the iMovie playback controls, press play button to start the tape. Continue on to step #4.

4. Using the play, fast-forward, and rewind controls, cue up the audition.

5. When the audition take begins, press the Import button. You will be asked to Save the File and to Create New Event. You can name your event (by default it will be today’s date) and click OK to begin capturing the actor’s audition take into iMovie.

6. When the take finishes, press the Stop button again to manually stop the capture.

Note: In Preferences, you can also set it so that iMovie will automatically grab and edit all auditions off the tape as long as you pause the camera between takes and actors. This allows you to start the tape, hit the Import button and walk away from the computer while it begins capturing and editing the auditions from the tape.

7. When you have captured all of your clips, click Done. The captured audition clips will appear in the clips pane at the bottom of the window in iMovie. All clips that you capture will be stored here.

Please Note: we recommend that you capture each individual take for an actor’s audition separately. This will keep file sizes to a minimum. Do not upload any files larger than 500 MB (100 MB for Basic Users).

8. Click on the Camera icon to capture any additional takes from the actor’s audition. When you hit Import you will again be asked to save and Add to Existing Event or Create New Event. A good rule of thumb would be to create events for each day’s session, and save the corresponding day’s clips to those specific events.

STEP 1 (ALTERNATIVE): IMPORTING AN EXISTING QUICKTIME FILE

1. From iMovie, go to File, then Import Movies.

2. Select the Quicktime file you wish to import. You will be asked if you want to Add to Existing Event or Create New Event. Select one of these options, then click Import.

3. The video file will import into iMovie. When importing has finished, the file will appear in your event library.

STEP 2: EXPORTING FILES TO CAST IT RECOMMENDED SETTINGS

1. Choose a clip in the event library and drag the cursor to create a yellow box around the portion of the clip you would like to use. Next, drag that selected clip to the upper flip strip area (that says ‘Drag media here to create new project’) to begin the export process.

2.Go to the Share menu at the top of the screen and select Export Using QuickTime.

3.In the next Save Exported File As window, name the new movie according to actor name and take number. Make sure your file name ends with the extension .mov. Also check to see where the file will be saved. This will come in handy when you need to upload a bunch of actors and their audition takes. (make sure you save your file with the .mov extension at the end)

4.Then, next to the Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie pull down menu, click the Options button.

5.You'll see the Movie Settings window. Under 'Video', click Settings.

a. In 'Compression Type' menu, select MPEG-4 Video.

b. In Motion area, set Frame Rate to ‘24’ and for Key Frames type in 300 in the text field.

c. Slide the Quality pointer over to Best.

d. In the Data Rate area, click the Restrict to button and type 768 in the field before kbits/sec.

e. Then, click the OK button.

f. Under ‘Video’, now click the Size button. Select 640 x 480 VGA.

Check the box next to Preserve Aspect Ratio (using Letterbox). Then, click the box next to Deinterlace Source Video. Click the OK button

g. Under 'Sound', click on Settings. Set 'Format' to AAC, 'Channels' to Mono, ‘Rate’ to 32.000 and ‘Target Bit Rate’ to 32. Then click on OK button.

h. Make sure 'Prepare for Internet Streaming' is checked off and select Fast Start. Click OK.

i. Click the Save button and iMovie will export and create the QuickTime movie that you will then post to the Cast It system.

iMovie 10 Encoding Instructions

Requirements: Apple Macintosh System X, version 10.9.2 or higher

1. Follow the above instructions for importing your files from your camera to iMovie

2. If you have existing files on your computer, Import your files into iMovie by clicking the arrow IMPORT symbol.

3. To create a single clip, double-click the audition so that the entire thing is highlighted yellow and drag it down into the blank grey timeline below. You can adjust the beginning and end points as needed by holding your mouse over the start/end point, clicking and dragging.

4. If you are using more than one clip in the audition, you can add it via the same process.

5. When you are done editing, click SHARE and select FILE.

6. Select the highest quality you can, while keeping the file size below 100MB. It will tell you the target file size on the left hand side of the window, below the preview window.

7. If the file is still too large, select SHARE via EMAIL. When the file finishes exporting it will automatically open in your email program. Drag file onto your desktop. VIDEO SETTINGS FOR CREATING SUPER HIGH QUALITY CLIPS

Please Note: Using the following settings instead of the “standard” settings stated above will result in much larger, higher quality video clips. Encoding video with the following settings can take up to twice as long, and uploading times will most likely increase 2 – 3 times as well.

1. Follow steps #1 – 3 above in Exporting Files To Cast It Recommended Settings.

2. Then, next to the Export: Movie to QuickTime Movie pull down menu, click the Options button.

3. You'll see the Movie Settings window. Under 'Video', click Settings.

a. In 'Compression Type' menu, select H.264.

b. In Motion area, set Frame Rate to ‘24’ and for Key Frames type in 300 in the text field.

c. Slide the Quality pointer over to Best.

d. Select Best quality (Multi-pass) next to the ‘Encoding’ Menu.

e. In the Data Rate area, click the Restrict to button and type 768 in the field before kbits/sec.

f. Then, click the OK button.

g. Under ‘Video’, now click the Size… button

i. Select ‘640 X 480 VGA’.

ii. Check the box next to Preserve Aspect Ratio (using Letterbox). Click the box next to Deinterlace Source Video. Click the OK button.

h. Under 'Sound', click on Settings…

iii. Set 'Format' to AAC, 'Channels' to Mono, ‘Rate’ to 32.000.

Next to Target Bit Rate choose 32 in the dropdown menu. Then click on OK button.

i. Make sure 'Prepare for Internet Streaming' is checked and select Fast Start.

j. Click OK.

k. Click the Save button and iMovie will export and create the QuickTime movie that you will then post to the Cast It system.

iMOVIE ‘08/’09 HINT: To split/edit a video clip

1. Select the clip you want to edit or split in the clip area in the iMovie ‘08 window.

2. Drag the cursor within the clip to create a yellow box that sets your desired beginning and end points of the clip.

3. Go to the Edit (“Clip” menu in iMovie ’11) menu and select Split Clip. If you select a frame range beginning and ending in the middle of the clip, the clip will split into three parts. To delete the unwanted parts, highlight them and hit the ‘Delete’ key. ______________________________________________________________________________

Quicktime Player 7 (Quicktime Pro) Instructions !

How to export a video clip using Quicktime Pro

STEP 1: OPENING A FILE IN QUICKTIME PRO" 1. Go to the File menu and select Open File. Browse your computer for the video file you want to open and encode, and select it.

STEP 2: EXPORTING FILES TO CAST IT RECOMMENDED SETTINGS

1. Go to the File menu and select Export.

2. In the next Save Exported File As... window, name the new movie according to actor name and take number. Make sure your file name ends with the extension .mov. Also check to see where the file will be saved. This will come in handy when you need to upload a bunch of actors and their audition takes (make sure you save your file with the .mov extension at the end). Then, next to the Export: Movie to Quicktime Movie pull down menu, click the Options button.

3. You’ll see the Movie Settings window. Under ‘Video,’ click Settings.

a. In ‘Compression Type:’ menu, select MPEG-4 Video.

b. In Motion area, set Frame Rate to ’24’ and for Key Frames type 768 in the field before kbits/sec. Then, click OK.

c. Slide the Quality pointer over to Best.

d. In the Data Rate area, click the Restrict to button and type 768 in the field before kbits/ sec. Then, click OK.

e. Under ‘Video’, now click on Size. Select 640x480 VGA. Check the box next to Preserve Aspect Ratio (using Letterbox). Check the box next to Deinterlace Source Video. Click OK.

f. Under ‘Sound,’ click on Settings. Set ‘Format’ to AAC, ‘Channels’ to Mono, ‘Rate’ to

32.000. Next to Target Bit Rate choose 32 in the dropdown menu. Then click on OK button.

g. Make sure ‘Prepare for Internet Streaming’ is checked and select Fast Start.

h. Click OK.

i. Click the Save button and Quicktime Pro will export and create the Qmovie that you will then post to the Cast It system.

Instructions for PC Computers

Windows Moviemaker Instructions (for XP)

How to export a video clips from Windows Movie Maker

Requirements: Windows XP, Service Pack 2 or higher; Internet Explorer or FireFox browsers only; Firewire Port/Firewire camera or USB port/USB camera

STEP 1: CAPTURING VIDEO CLIPS WITH WINDOWS MOVIEMAKER

1. Connect your camera to the computer using a firewire cable. Turn the camera on and set it to VCR (playback) mode.

2. Open the Windows Movie Maker application, usually found under the Start menu. 3. Click on the File menu up top and scroll down and select Capture Video…

4. In the Available Devices window, select the camera you are using to capture the video and click Next.

5. Name your project (Movie Maker can capture multiple actors within a project automatically) and specify where you want your project and captured videos files to be saved on the computer.

6. Choose the video setting by selecting Best quality for playback on my computer and then click Next.

7. Select Capture parts of the tape manually and then click the Next button.

8. Cue up the actor by using the playback controls under the preview window in Movie Maker and when ready, click the Start Capture button to begin capturing the video to the computer.

9. When finished click the Stop Capture button. Movie Maker will automatically import the video clips and display them in the Collection area of the application. Please note that Movie Maker automatically separates the clips whenever you pause the camera, which makes the export process much easier.

STEP 2: EXPORTING FILES TO CAST IT RECOMMENDED SETTINGS

1. Now you are ready to begin saving these video clips for uploading to Cast It. First, select the clip you would like to export by clicking in it once in the collection area. Drag it down to the lower timeline area in the Movie Maker application.

2. Go to the File menu and select Save Movie File.

a. In the Movie Location window, click on My Computer and click Next.

b. Name your movie by using the actor’s name or initials and the take number so you can keep track of it. Choose the place on the hard drive where you will be saving this exported file. You will be uploading these to the Cast It system. Click Next.

c. In the Movie Setting window, click on Show more choices. link.

Then select the button for Other settings: and on the menu scroll down to Video for LAN (1.0 Mbps). Then click Next.

d. The Saving Movie window will appear with a progress meter. Wait for the video movie clip to finish saving.

e. If you want to watch your movie clip after completing this process, select the Play movie when I finish check box.

f. After the movie is saved, click Finish.

3. Congrats, your clip has been created! To continue saving more clips, first delete the old one from the timeline area, then drag the new one down to the same place. Repeat step #2 above.

______________________________________________________________________________ Windows Moviemaker Instructions (for Vista)

How to export a video clips from Vista Movie Maker

Requirements: Windows Vista, Service Pack 2 or higher; Internet Explorer or FireFox browsers only; Firewire Port

STEP 1: CAPTURING VIDEO CLIPS WITH WINDOWS MOVIEMAKER

1. Connect your camera to the computer using a firewire cable. Turn the camera on and set it to VCR (playback) mode.

2. Open the Windows Movie Maker application, usually found under the Start menu.

3. Find the Import section located in the upper left hand corner of the Movie Maker program, then select From Digital Video Camera.

4. Name your project (Session Date is often an easy way to organize your Movie Maker Projects), then specify where you want your project and captured videos files to be imported to on the computer. Finally, click the Format drop-down menu and choose Windows Media Video (one file per scene). Then click Next.

5. Select Only import parts of the videotape to my computer. Then click Next.

6. Using the Digital Video Camera Controls, cue up the actor to the exact point you would like to begin importing, and when ready click Start Video Import. The video will begin to simultaneously play and import onto your computer. When the file you wish to import is complete, click Stop Video Import.

7. Repeat this process for all of the scenes on the tape that you wish to import. Then click Finish.

8. Movie Maker will automatically import the video clips and display them in the Collection area of the application. Please note that Movie Maker automatically separates the clips whenever you pause the camera, which makes the export process much easier.

STEP 2: EXPORTING FILES TO CAST IT RECOMMENDED SETTINGS

1. Now you are ready to begin saving these video clips for uploading to Cast It. First, select the clip you would like to export by clicking in it once in the collection area. Drag it down below to the Storyboard area in the Movie Maker application.

2. Go to the File menu and select Publish Movie.

a. In the Where do you want to publish your movie? window, click This Computer, then click Next.

b. Name your movie by using the actor’s name or initials and the take number so you can keep track of it. Choose the place on the hard drive where you will be publishing this exported file. Click Next.

c. In the Movie Setting window, select the button for More Settings. Then scroll down on the menu to Windows Media VHS Quality (1.0 Mbps). Then click Publish. d. The Saving Movie window will appear with a progress meter. Wait for the video movie clip to finish saving.

e. If you want to watch your movie clip after completing this process, select the Play movie when I finish check box.

f. After the movie is saved, click Finish.

3. Congrats, your clip has been created! To continue saving more clips, first delete the old one from the Storyboard area, then drag the new one down to the same place. Repeat step #2 above.