Formatting your Video

Use the following format: “Title” (year) i.e., “The Scary House on the Hill” (2017)

Capitalization Rules for Titling Your Video
  • Capitalization is language dependent. The relevant language is the language of the country origin so be careful with titles in English which are made from non-English words as in El Cid or La Bamba.
  • English, Portuguese, Hebrew, Indian languages: All capital letters at the start of words, with a few exceptions.
  • English language words which must begin with a lower-case letter (unless at the end of a title) are: a an and as at by for from in of on or the to with
  • French, Italian, Spanish, Scandinavian languages, Hungarian, Dutch, Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese: All lower-case letters at the start of words, except first word plus some exceptions (names etc.)
  • German: Mixed
  • Here are some example movie titles to illustrate these rules:
    • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    • Pulp Fiction (1994)
    • Schindler’s List (1993)
    • Una Vida Normal (1994)
    • Un amour de Swann (1984)
    • Les enfants du paradis (1945)

Creating Dynamic Thumbnails

Your thumbnail image is the face of your video. It is your video’s first chance to make a good impression where someone gets to visually “see” it for the first time. This glimpse should be compelling enough to entice the viewer to click on it to watch, and is a main factor in getting your video recognized.

Rules for Thumbnail Images

  • Close-up’s, Faces, Expressions are best
  • No black bordering/letterboxing
  • The image should be high-quality and bright colors
  • The image dimensions should be 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • The image format should be JPEG/JPG

Note:   We reserve the right to substitute submitted thumbnail images at our sole discretion.

Use the following techniques to quickly create dynamic thumbnail images that will stand out, get noticed, and most importantly – get people clicking on your video.

The Basics

Most images destined for the internet need to be “enhanced” using a a technique called image-editing or post-processing. The following are the basic and most commonly used steps to improve digital images.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Always work on a duplicate of an original image! If you make a mistake along the way, just make another copy of the original and start editing again. Also, it is easy to over edit an image making it lose detail and become unnatural looking.

Basic steps to edit digital images
  1. Open image via in your image editing software.
  2. Flip the image if its orientation needs to be changed.
  3. Crop/Frame – zoom in on desired portions of an image if desired; crop to a specific aspect ratio (e.g. HD 1080, 2048, 4096).
  4. Resize – makes an image larger or smaller.To ensure height and width change proportionally, make sure the “constrain” or “keep aspect ratio” setting is enabled.
  5. Enhance the image by adjusting: Brightness/Contrast, Auto Color/Auto Levels, Hue/Saturation/Levels/Curves, Shadows/Highlights
  6. Save the image. Save your image as a high quality JPEG at 1920 x 1080 resolution.
Image Selection

Select three different frames from your video that encapsulates the theme of the work. A dramatic moment, or an interesting camera angle can be a great start for selecting frames for your thumbnail images.


Cropping is one of the best things you can do for improving image composition. Using the rule of thirds outlined below, frame out distracting items around the focal point/subject of interest of the image. Sometimes cropping an image by as little as 5% can make a world of difference, at other times cropping out over half of a photo can turn an insignificant area of a large image into a stunning new shot. Rotating the image to line up the vertical and horizontal lines with the edges of the image will also help make your image more striking.

TIP: Start with an oversized/high resolution image so that the size/resolution of the remaining cropped image meets your final needs requirements.  


The world is full of objects which make perfect natural frames, such as trees, archways and holes. By placing these around the edge of the composition you help to isolate the main subject from the outside world. The result is a more focused image which draws your eye naturally to the main point of interest.


The Rule Of Thirds

The “rule of thirds” is a basic art principle that helps you to frame/compose interesting and balanced images that build drama. It works by imagining that your image is divided into nine parts. According to the rule, if you place your subject at the top, bottom, left or right area, then it will make a good composition

Using The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds is applied by aligning a subject with the guidelines and their intersection points, placing the horizon on the top or bottom line, or allowing linear features in the image to flow from section to section. This also creates a selective focus that is used to draw a viewer’s attention to one specific area of an image

The rule of thirds is an imaginary tic-tac-toe board that is drawn across an image to break it into nine equal squares. The four points where these lines intersect are the strongest focal points. The lines themselves are the second strongest focal points

Which Point to Use

Which point or line you place your subject on does matter. While any of the points and lines will add emphasis to your subject, some are stronger than others. When an object is alone in an image, the strongest position is the left-hand line. An exception to this is for cultures where information is read from right to left. In those cases, the right-hand line will be the strongest.

Hierarchy of Strength

When a subject is not alone, there is a hierarchy of image strength.

  • The subject in the foreground will naturally have more strength than the subject in the background. However, the rule of thirds placement can emphasize or reduce this strength.
  • The bottom right point is the strongest for multiple subjects and the upper left point is the weakest.

Another general rule is that your subject should be placed on the opposite line of the direction that they’re looking. For example, if your portrait subject is looking to their left, their body should be placed on the right of the frame. This gives the photo more room in the direction they’re looking and avoids the appearance that they are gazing off into space. This rule can, of course, be broken under certain circumstances.

Enhancing Your Image


One of the simplest things you can do is make an image lighter or darker, or increase or decrease its contrast.Sometimes a quick and simple adjustment of the brightness and contrast is enough to turn a dull underexposed snapshot into a nice high impact photograph.

Auto Color/Auto Levels

Quick fixes that adjust the colors, making them appear more natural. Sometimes if the light is artificial, pictures will appear a strange color; a quick click of one of these buttons will usually sort it out though.

Hue / Saturation / Levels / Curves

An alternative to Auto Levels and Auto Color are these manual methods of correcting color. Hue allows you to change the color of an image and saturation allows you to make an image more colorful.

The more you increase the saturation the more colorful the image becomes… be careful not to overdo it though especially on portrait photos… Caucasian people’s skin contains a lot of red so oversaturating it has the effect of making them look like they are covered in a nasty rash or badly sunburnt!

Levels and curves

These are very delicate and quite complex. Levels allow you to adjust the amount of the 3 primary colors individually, and curves go one step further by allowing you to adjust the shadows and highlights too. Avoid using them until you have become competent at editing, but don’t be scared to experiment later as they are far more flexible and precise than the basic adjustments.

Shadows / Highlights

These adjustments are a relatively recent addition to image editing software, so you may not have them if you’re using older or entry level packages. They allow you to brighten the dark regions of an image, and darken the bright bits. Once again this is a delicate process, overdoing it can ruin an image, so be sure to combine it with a brightness and contrast adjustment rather than trying to correct everything using shadows and highlights.

Toning and Desaturating

Most editing packages will give you the options to do all sorts of crazy things to your images, most of which you will probably want to ignore, but there are a few useful ones. The first of these is the option to desaturate: meaning to turn a color image into black and white. There are several ways to do this. Some programs require you to go into hue/saturation and bring the saturation right down, others have a desaturate option, and some allow you to change the color mode of an image to grayscale… all have roughly the same effect.

Choosing what to make black and white and what to make color is entirely down to you, but as a general rule think about textures and shapes when shooting for black and white. Black and white images accentuate textures as they attract your eye more when there is no color, and strong geometric shapes often look far bolder in black and white than they do in color.

Toning allows you to add a color to a black and white (or sometimes a color) image. Check the help files to find out how to tone image using your software. Adding a tiny touch of blue to a wintery B&W image, a touch or orange to a summery photo, or a little brown to a nostalgic one can make a difference.

Tip: For more striking results, once you are comfortable with desaturating, look into converting to black and white through colored filters. This will allow you to accentuate different parts of the image depending on the colored filter used.

The sky’s the limit

All of the editing techniques mentioned here are fairly basic, but should be more than enough to help you improve your images. There are myriads of things that good software packages can do if you take the time to learn them properly. With a little patience and careful practice it won’t take long to learn how to adjust the perspective of an image, alter the colors individually, stitch two photos together, or even remove people or objects that you don’t want.

Editing and processing is a skill in itself an every image should be processed! Almost every single image or photo ever shot can be perfected and improved in some way, making it stand out in a internet ocean of bland, lame thumbnails.

TIP: Try shrinking the image down to about the size of your thumb and see how well you can tell what the image is. The better you can see it, the better others will too.

You don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for image processing software. Many are free and free stuff means more money to spent elsewhere. For many people this might be the preferred option.  Many software packages have 30-day trial versions/learning editions as well.

Making SRT Files

An SRT (SubRip Text) file used for closed captioning (clink off CC)is a plain-text file that contains subtitle information, which includes the sequential number of subtitles, start and end timecode, and subtitle text. An SRT file does not contain any video data, it is a simple text file you can create & edit using any text editor.

Because today, videos autoplay on many social platforms and a high number of viewers watch without sound, or are hearing impaired. By uploading SRT files for your video, it’ll get more eyeballs and more engagement!

You can easily create an SRT using any basic text editor or through YouTube’s Subtitles/CC tool. Or, you can use a service to create for you. They are usually inexpensive and do a great job. Here’s a list of several. Note we don’t affiliate with any of these:

3Play MediaCielo24DotsubRevSubPlyVisual Data MediaVitac.

The timecode format featured in SRT files is hours, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds, which appears like this: HH:MM:SS,MIL (i.e. 00:00:05,027 –> 00:00:07,127)

Your SRT files should be named according to the language of the subtitles using the following widely accepted format example: [moviename] – In this instance, this is an SRT file with English subtitles. An SRT file with subtitles in another language, such as German, will appear as [moviename]

Creating your own SRT file

Short Version
  1. Open Notepad, WordPad or other text editor.
  2. Edit subtitles shown as below:

Note: The SRT consists of four parts, all in text:

  1. A number indicating which subtitle it is in the sequence.
  2. The time that the subtitle should appear on the screen, and then disappear.
  3. The subtitle itself.
  4. A blank line indicating the start of a new subtitle.

Next : Save subtitles to .srt format.

In Notepad, please click menu File->Save As, change file name to “”, set “Save as type” to “All Files”, and then set “Encoding” to “ANSI” or “UTF-8”.

Long Version

When you create an SRT file in a text editor, you need to format the text correctly and save it as an SRT file. This format should include:

[Section of subtitles number] [Time the subtitle is displayed begins] –> [Time the subtitle is displayed ends] [Subtitle]

To format the timestamps correctly, show:

[hours]: [minutes]: [seconds], [milliseconds]

Here’s an example:

Correct formatting is crucial for SRT files to work properly.

Once your subtitle file is finished, convert your file to plain text (many text editors automatically have rich text set as the default) and then save it as an SRT file. If needed, change the “.txt” in the filename to “.srt” manually.

Your file must be in plain text to save it as an SRT file. Use YouTube’s Video Creator to Create Your SRT File

Want to skip a few steps? While some people prefer to use a text editor to create SRT files, it can be less time-consuming to create them through YouTubeTo do this, go to Video Creator and click Edit next to the video you’ve already uploaded. On the Subtitles/CC tab, click Add New Subtitles or CC.

Open your YouTube video in Video Creator and click Add New Subtitles or CC. Next, choose the primary language spoken in the video if you haven’t set a default already.

Choose the language spoken most often in your YouTube video.

From here, you can choose from two options for creating an SRT file: Transcribe and Auto-Sync, or Create New Subtitles or CC.

Auto-syncing may sound faster, but you get more control when you create your own subtitles. Auto-sync may not line up the text on the screen to your liking or consistently mistake one keyword for another. In these cases, it would take longer to edit the subtitles than to simply create them from scratch.

Manually writing and syncing your own subtitles gives you full control over the captions and how they sync up to your video.

To transcribe the video manually, click Create New Subtitles or CC and start typing subtitles in the text box on the left. Make sure the subtitles sync up with the video and add sections of subtitles at a time. Remember that all of the sections will be displayed at once so don’t be afraid to break up text.

Add subtitles to the video, breaking them up into small, digestible chunks of text.

If you want to adjust when the text starts and endsdrag the blue borders under the video.

Drag the blue borders to change when the subtitle text appears in your video.

After you transcribe the full video, watch it a few times to double-check spelling and make sure everything works well. When you’re happy with how the subtitles line up, click Actionsand select Download from the drop-down list.

Watch your video through at least twice to check for syncing or spelling errors; then download it.

Next, you’ll see a screen with the SRT code. Copy and paste the SRT code into a text editor, and save it as an SRT file.

Copy and paste the SRT code into a text editor, convert it to plain text, and save it as an SRT file.

YouTube Video Tutorial on SRT's

Making Video Credits

The purpose of film credits is not to entertain an audience. It’s to publicly acknowledge the people who contributed to your cinematic work. Credits provide you with the ability to give recognition to the collaborators of your video. Highlight your video stars, writers or other collaborators. Give credit to your video editors and the musician who composed your score!
Although there are industry traditions and sometimes union and guild requirements, there are no real standards. Although there is technically not a “wrong way,” certain traditions have evolved around the closing credits order in which this gratitude is expressed.

Yes. End credits start with “Above-the-line” (ATL) individuals first and are often presented as standalone cards. “Above-the-line” refers to the list of individuals who guide and influence the creative direction, process, and voice of a given narrative in a film and related expenditures.

Below-the-line” is a term derived from the top sheet of a film budget for motion pictures, television programs, industrial films, independent films, student films and documentaries as well as commercials. The “line” in “below-the-line” refers to the separation of production costs between script and story writers, producers, directors, actors, and casting (“above the-line”) and the rest of the crew, or production team

Additional Details: Closing Credit Order
Above-the-line (ATL)

ATL refers to the list of individuals who guide and influence the creative direction, process, and voice of a given narrative in a film and related expenditures.

Here’s a common ending credits order for above-the-line:

1. Director 2. Writers 3. Producer 4. Executive Producer 5. Lead Cast 6. Supporting Cast 7. Director of Photography 8. Production Designer 9. Editor 10. Associate Producers 11. Costume Designer 12. Music Composer 13. Casting Director

“Below-the-line” (BTL)

BTL is a term derived from the top sheet of a film budget for motion pictures, television programs, industrial films, independent films, student films and documentaries as well as commercials. The “line” in “below-the-line” refers to the separation of production costs between script and story writers, producers, directors, actors, and casting (“above the-line”) and the rest of the crew, or production team.

Here’s a common ending credits order for Below-the-Line:

14. Unit Production Manager 15. First Assistant Director 16. Second Assistant Director 17. Full Cast/Character List (including lead and supporting cast that have already been credited separately) 18. Stunt Department 19. Production Departments (often listed as “Crew”) 20. Production Personnel 21. Production Supervisor 22. Production Coordinator 23. Art Department 24. Camera 25. Grip 26. Electric 27. Sound 28. Wardrobe 29. Hair/Makeup 30. Set Operations 31. Transportation 32. Special Effects Etc. 33. Post-Production Departments 34. Editorial 35. Visual Effects 36. Colorist Etc. 37. Song Credits 38. Caterer 39. Title Design 40. Special Thanks 41. Logos Guild logos (SAG, DGA, PGA, etc.) 42. Camera, Lenses and Equipment Makers (RED, Adobe, etc.) 43. Locations 44. Shooting Locations (sometimes required by filming permit) 45. Location of Final Sound Mix (“Recorded at…”) 46. Copyright 47. Disclaimer

A note about using logos in the closing credits. Sometimes companies or guilds require that you show their logo in the end credits where their equipment or members were used. Remember to check if these are required by your contracts. If they are not required it’s possible that you’re actually not allowed to include the logos in your end credits.

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