Four steps for creating a highlight short ("trailer") from a full length video

I shoot a lot of event videos such as weddings, fund raisers, memorial services, etc. Usually the client wants a full length video that documents the event in its entirety. Frequently these run for more than an hour. I almost always recommend also preparing a second "trailer" or highlight video that might run 5-10 minutes. In my experience, it is this shorter version that most often gets shown to friends and family, and on special occasions such as anniversary dates.

So I have looked for an efficient way to create these highlight videos.
My tools of choice for this are Sony Vegas Pro non-linear editor (NLE) and the Vegasaur scripting extension. Because Vegas commands can be scripted, it can be highly optimized for certain common tasks such as extracting selected segments as is done when creating these highlight videos.

My Approach

  1. Once I have the final full length video completed I add a time code display to the video and send a low resolution version to the client for review. I ask the client to give me the in and out time codes for each segment to include in the highlight video.
  2. With the full length video project loaded into Vegas, I create a region for each segment. In the example video at the bottom of this post there are 31 such regions.
  3. I then use the Vegasaur Transcoder tool to extract each segment (region) and stitch them together in a new Vegas project. In the example shown here I also told Vegasaur to create a crossfade transition between each segment, and to add a fade to black at the end of the highlight video. 
  4. The result is a new Vegas highlight video project. It can be further edited, and/or rendered to the final highlight short.
This process allows me to create a polished highlight video very efficiently, and for a low additional cost to the client.

Example Project

You will can a few examples of my event and documentary videos on my website.

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