How to Trim Facebook Live Video

In the live world, we’ve been watching all of the major players in live streaming platforms and helping our clients choose the platform or platforms that best fit their event streaming and audiences.  Commonly, clients want to know how to trim Facebook Live video.

It’s no secret that we love Facebook Live, especially when paired with the Wowsa ClearCaster streaming appliance. One major issue we’ve had with streaming to Facebook is that unlike Youtube and some others, you didn’t have the capability to trim your content after your live stream. Thankfully, that’s finally changed!

Last week, we completed a live stream for our marketing partners at Fannit. Afterward, when I went in to edit our post, choose a thumbnail and check on the analytics, I was delighted to find that I could now TRIM the video! 

As a marketing person, I can now rest easy knowing there is an easy way to edit those moments when you go live and your talent takes a bit to come on stage. Or if you actually decide post-event that you’d rather not include the end of a presentation that talked about where attendees present in person could find the nearest bathroom or get their parking validated. 

To trim your video just follow the following simple steps:

  1. On a computer, find your video, either on your feed or in your video library.
  2. Click the three small grey dots in the top right-hand corner to display the drop-down menu and select “Edit Video.”
  3. And then select “Video Trimming”
  4. Now you can edit the start and end time of the video by inputting the time or by dragging the yellow slider. The area inside the yellow bars is the content you will be keeping and anything outside of that area to the left and right is going to be trimmed and deleted. 
  5. Now click save and you’re done trimming! It may take a little time for Facebook to trim your content, but you will get a notification when it is complete.

Check out the images below to follow step-by-step!

You can also go back into “Edit Video” and add your video to playlists, add captioning, tags and much more. 

Be sure to check out all the options if you haven’t already. 

Live Streaming Essentials: How to Prepare for a Live Broadcast

Introduction to Live Streaming 

Over the last decade, live streaming video on social media platforms has emerged as a popular way for event organizers, brands, and individuals to connect and engage with a remote audience in real time. 

Whereas traditional broadcast television networks required their audiences to tune in to their television channel at a particular time, live video producers now have multiple social networks to incorporate into their live video content strategy to stream live whenever they want and host their videos on demand for later viewing. 

If you’re thinking of getting started with live streaming video, we’ve put together an essentials guide based on our 15 years experience that will make sure your first live streaming experience is as successful as possible.

Best Practices For Live Streaming

Live Streaming Video Production

     There are a ton of traditional video production companies that can shoot interviews and capture B-Roll, but multi-camera live streaming production is a whole different beast and requires a much different skill set. 

The first item in our live streaming tips are 3 things you should look for in a production company that will set them apart from the rest.

  1. IT Experience – Be wary if a company is touting their creative abilities but doesn’t talk about the internet connection at all during your conversations. 
  2. If they are experienced with live streaming they should be asking you to put them in touch with the venue’s IT staff to see if there’s enough bandwidth to stream, whether the right ports are open, and to ensure there won’t be any issues with firewalls.

    A company with technical expertise will also be able to assist you with backup solutions for your internet connection like cellular bonding and satellite internet.
  3. Event Experience – Some streamers work in a studio setting where they have the same gear set up at all times. Building a flypack and loading into a venue is a completely different style of work and if your vendor is not experienced streaming at events this could lead to negative results for your production.
  4. Strong Project Management Processes – The most crucial part of live streaming projects takes place before anyone gets on site to do the work. Ask potential vendors about their pre-production process, what tools they use, what project management styles and strategies they employ, and how they communicate with their team.

    If they’re unable to give a detailed answer, it’s likely they are disorganized and important details will slip through the cracks.

Set and Stage Design 

    When shooting video, what you see is what you get, so investing in stage design is one of the best ways to improve the production value. Here are five things you can do to improve the look of your event on camera.

  1. Logo – Invest in displaying your logo prominently on the stage. This can be with physical signage, or you can work with the Image Magnification team to display your logo on the screens between sessions.
  2. Screens – Make sure any screens are not directly behind your presenters so our cameras can get a clean shot of the people on stage. If you can’t raise your screen high enough to be out of the way, then designate a spot for your speakers that’s to the side of the screen.
  3. Aspect Ratio – Use screens that have a 16:9 aspect ratio and make sure all your content is also in 16:9.
  4. Branding – Showcase your company’s brand and culture through the stage design. You could add props to the stage that are relevant to your event, or use what’s called a cucoloris on your lighting which is the casting of a silhouette shadow in whatever shape you choose.
  5. Backdrop – Do not use black or dark colors for your drape or backdrop. This will make the image look flat and two dimensional. If this is your only option, then break-up the black background with other stage elements or backlights.

    This will create separation between the speaker and the background on your video recordings and make it look much better.

Lighting For Your Live Stream

     Lighting for video production is much different than lighting for a theater audience and it’s arguably the biggest factor in ensuring you have a high quality video production. The better the lighting, the better it looks on camera. Here are 7 things that will ensure the lighting looks great for your live stream.

  1. The Key Light – This is a primary light source that illuminates the speakers typically at a 30-60 degree angle not too far above the speaker’s head. Do not place lighting directly above your speakers as it casts dark shadows on the eyes, below the nose, and under the chin.
  2. Fill Light – This is a light placed on the opposite side of the Key Light and set at a dimmer level. The purpose is to reduce the harsh shadows cast by the Key Light.
  3. Backlight – Placed behind and/or to the side of the speaker, the backlight creates a sharp edge that separates the speaker from the background. Without a backlight, the video image will look flat and two-dimensional.
  4. No Single Spot – Do not use a spotlight. Spotlights are typically much brighter than other lights and do not look as good on camera as they do for the on site audience.
  5. Backdrop and Stage Lighting – Light enough of the stage so the speakers will be lit no matter where they go and put a light on any important set props, signs, or logos.

    We strongly recommend you add colored uplights to your drape or background as helps add more separation from the background and makes the image more dynamic.
  6. Audience Lighting – If you have a camera capturing audience reactions (and you definitely should), plan to have enough light on your audience so viewers will be able to see them.
  7. Keep light off the presentation screen – Make sure your lights don’t spill on to the projector screen as it makes the screen much more difficult to read.

Audio For Your Live Stream

     Audio is the most important aspect of any production. There are many ways to get creative and fix issues with video, but this is not the case for bad audio. Here are four tips for getting the best results from audio at a live event.

  1. The Mix – Send a master mix of your audio to your video crew via an XLR cable. Also, notify your audio team that this audio mix is for the live stream as they will likely want to send a slightly different mix to the online audience than what they are mixing for people on site.
  2. Types of Mics – We strongly recommended using DPA headset mics, as they have all the advantages of a lavalier microphone without the risk of brushing up against clothes or jewelry.

    If you don’t like the look of a headset mic, lavalier microphones will suffice. You typically want to go with omni directional microphones unless you have a singer that’s not using a handheld mic in which case you’ll want to use a directional microphone.
  3. Microphone Positions – It’s obvious you need microphones for everything on stage, but have you considered micing the audience?

    You should definitely consider adding mics around the room so you can incorporate the ambient sounds of the audience at a low level for the live stream. This subtle touch can add a lot of production value.
  4. Backup Multi-Track Recording – If there’s any chance at all you might want to edit these videos later, we strongly recommend you add a multi-track recorder to the workflow.

    This means your post-production team with have a separate audio track for every single microphone and audio source, instead of having a single track that contains all the audio sources one.

Live Streaming on Social Media Distribution

The distribution strategy for your live stream is crucial, there’s no point in going through all the trouble if no one tunes in to watch.

  1. Public or Private – We strongly recommend to make your stream open to the public whenever possible to maximize viewership.

    There are definitely circumstances like internal company meetings that demand a secure private stream, but if you don’t have a reason to keep something private then you should definitely put it out to as wide an audience as possible.
  2. Paywall – Many people who are streaming for the first time are intrigued at the idea of using a paywall to charge online viewers access to the stream as a way to make money.

    Unless you have a star studded lineup to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, or proprietary educational content that’s not available anywhere else online for free, the only thing a paywall accomplishes is making sure no one watches your live stream.

    Instead of charging people to watch, you should try to maximize viewership and include a call to action towards other revenue streams for your organization.
  3. Simulcasting – One of the best ways to reach a wider audience is to stream to multiple platforms at the same time. Unless you have a well defined marketing plan that calls for live streaming to a single platform, we recommend streaming to all your public channels that support live streaming. The most popular are Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitter & Periscope, Twitch, and Mixer. Also, take note that LinkedIn is going to start supporting live video soon and will be the perfect platform for professional related content.
  4. Pre-scheduling Events – Unless you have strategic reasons for your stream to be kept secret, we recommend you schedule a live event as soon as you can to notify your online audience. Every platform is different, for example YouTube allow you to create an event as far in advance as you’d like, whereas Facebook requires that you be at least seven days away before you can schedule a live stream event. You should also consider releasing regular posts about your live stream every few days to build excitement.

Get Started

The nature of live production ensures there will always be hiccups, even professionals in the highest level productions make mistakes like the 2017 Academy Awards announcing the wrong winners and the NFL Network accidentally airing a video announcing the New England Patriots as winning the 2019 Super Bowl before the game was even played.

The best way to become proficient at live streaming is to do it often and run a rigorous debrief process with everyone involved to take notes on how to improve next this.

This is how we’ve built up our project management processes over the years and it’s done well for us.

Live streaming has certainly grown in popularity over the last five years due to massive increases in internet connection speed as well as the near-constant connectedness of audiences via their smart devices.


Having been in the live streaming industry prior to all of this, we’ve become quite familiar with how folks talk about live streaming, and it seems like there are a few myths that are very typical of people looking to hold their very first live stream.

We’d love to share our expertise with you here to help you understand the benefits of live streaming just like we do!

1. Live streaming your event will decrease in-person attendance

While it might seem logical that people would prefer to stay home and watch your live stream rather than attend your event in person, studies show this isn’t the case. 

In fact, live streaming has been shown to increase in-person attendance. 

According to Digitell, 30% of people who watch a live stream of an event will attend the same event in person the following year. 

We watch our clients grow their events in subsequent years after live streaming all the time because it gives their audiences a glimpse into why they wouldn’t want to miss the event and helps their brands and events gain the exposure they need to grow. 

Coachella is a great example of this; after they live streamed their 2011 festival, they turned around and sold out their 2012 festival in record time — 3 hours! 

Our founder and pioneering live streaming IT guru Aaron Booker always says…

“We can’t get you more ticket sales by live streaming this year, but if you do it, we can get you more butts in seats next year!”

2. Live streaming is too expensive

Live streaming your event can be done cheaply with your cell phone camera or professionally with a crew that will provide broadcast quality coverage of your event. 

Whichever route you decide to take, the value of the live streaming is unquestionable. 
When you consider that your online audience may be three or 4 or more times the in-person audience when the event is live, AND create even more reach for those who couldn’t tune in live watch the recording on demand, you can start to see the value in investing in your live stream production. 

At the end of your event, not only do you have the live stream online for people to watch on demand, but if your event was professionally streamed, you should also have a high resolution recording of the entire thing as well. This footage can be used to make stylized recap videos, bite sized social media postings and added to your content library to pull bits out of for future videos, commercials and more. 

3. Broadcasting your event on Facebook or Youtube is the same as having it played on TV

This is a common idea I find that gets unearthed when I work with clients who want to Facebook live stream their event. 

Live streaming has a world of potential to connect you, your brand, your ideas, your contributors, your audiences and even your management team and employees! 

Here are some awesome examples of this we’ve seen:

1. Giving away prizes to someone who comments with the correct answer to a question
2. Random drawings for a swag bag to the right commenter
3. Displaying comments and reactions from online viewers on screens for the in person audience to see in the room 
4. Major collaboration between online and in-person audiences to solve a puzzle
5. Listen to ideas from the audience
6. Post up polls for them to vote on what happens next
7. Submit fan art to share
8. Even donating to a cause!

Another thing this myth leaves out is the rich metrics you get from streaming online. Streaming online gives you great metrics for your marketing team to use to set and evaluate goals, find out which parts of your programming were popular, how long your audience will stay engaged in a video, as well as a host of demographic information like the age, time zone, and occupation of your viewers.

 

facebook live stream

One cool way we recently saw Twitch engagement being used by a client was for creating “end of the day” wrap up and recap videos. 

Rather than having a dedicated team sit through hours of footage to pull out clips people might find interesting, we used Twitch clips to pull out content that had been clipped by the client’s audience had told us they connected with and strung them together for quick and easy crowd sourced recap videos. 

4. When your live stream is over, the reach is over

In our experience, you will see at least 10X the views on a video after the live stream is over, over the following week. 

While some platforms like YouTube allow you to trim and make minor edits to your video after the live stream is over, others like Facebook do not yet have that feature. 

So definitely keep in mind when you’re planning your streaming content that you may or may not, depending on the destination, have the ability to trim off time at the beginning of your stream that you started before your programming began, which may be really boring for those watching post-event. 

5. If  we live stream, the programming will need to be perfect

While streaming your event to thousands of viewers may make you think that your programing needs to be perfectly polished and scripted, quite the opposite is true. 

Some of the best audience reactions happen during mishaps, awkward timing and candid moments at an event. People watch live content because its more authentic and fluid, that’s the nature of the live space and it’s something we know and love.

If you’re professionally streaming your event, the director of the stream will know just how to call camera angles, graphics and cuts to keep your stream moving along for your online viewers while making them feel like a part of the event and highlighting perspectives that make your brand stand out.

If you want an expert team to help you plan out your next live event, we are here to help. You can contact us here to tell us about your project!

Orchestral Tools is a brilliant symphonic software company that creates robust toolsets for professional film and video game composers. For their product launch during NAMM this year, they wanted to stream their event in the style of an Apple Keynote and they chose Varvid to handle the video production and streaming.

Keynote style product release live stream at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood, California delivered via Youtube and Facebook.

We delivered a three camera live stream with a mini jib for this well-produced show that streamed on their Youtube channel and their Facebook page, which used to also crosspost to one of the presenter’s Facebook page as well. This was the company’s first live stream and the online views and interactions tell us, it’s just what their audience was hungry for.

The Facebook Live stream, the first for this company received over 2,000 engagements!

Frontgate is a leading home luxury multichannel retailer who does recurring live streamed events with us from their storefront locations. Because Facebook is really prioritizing live content, we find that for many of our clients, it is a great fit for getting the most viewers on your streamed event.

Nathan Turner talks food and entertainment at Dallas retail location for Frontgate

Frontgate’s last event was streamed from their Dallas/Plano, Texas location and featured a prominent designer, author and gourmet guru, Nathan Turner, who shared recipes and favorite products for holiday gatherings to a small local audience and reached thousands more via their Facebook Live stream.

Frontgate interacts with their audience in real time on their Facebook Live stream

We love the big brand’s use of live streaming to bring in promoters of their brand that share content that both in the room and remote audiences want and can engage with. Frontgate, stepped it up by holding a prize drawing that featured people in the room and anyone who left a comment of the live stream. We also think that our clients gain the most, by having someone on your team interacting with the live audience on Facebook live stream, via comments. You can view the recorded live stream here.

 


It’s a pleasure to introduce you to our Dallas Team Lead, Patrick Dolan! Patrick joined Varvid early in 2008, after working with Aaron Booker (Varvid’s CEO) on the board of directors for an IT industry peer networking group.

Being active in the IT industry for for 30 years, and having background in production management, Pat’s skills have established him as a practicing live streaming professional. In 2011, his accomplishments guided him to opening Varvid’s Dallas office.

Dallas Events Live Stream

Patrick is courteous, attentive, and honest. His devotion to your event’s success is founded on maintaining an upbeat personality even throughout the most trying times of production. Simply, Pat aims to provide the North Texas area with a professional and fun approach to creating a truly Connected Event!

Contact Pat by calling 214.838.6960, or emailing patrick@varvid.com.

To expand the reach of an event, more and more organizations are starting to use live streaming video as a way to engage their online audience and to provide content to people who aren’t able to attend in person. Most often these streams are free and easily accessible through social media, with Facebook Live now being one one the most effective ways of delivering live content. However, some still question the effectiveness of live streaming events, as they worry people will watch online rather than attending in person. So, if an organization wants to increase the physical attendance to their event (and thus their profit), why should they offer the event online for free?

Consider the reason why individuals attend conferences, concerts, or sporting events to begin with. For first-hand experiences, of course! For example, an EventBrite case study concluded that 67% of millennials that watch a live stream of a concert are driven to buy tickets for the next upcoming show. Although it can be entertaining and informative to watch an event from home, there are many aspects of the on site experience that just cannot be offered via live streaming.

Scaling New Heights Woodard 2016 Conference

For example, conference attendees purchase tickets to meet like-minded folks, engage with new tools, and to gather information from class sessions. Live streaming conferences does not give a remote viewer direct access to these experiences. While an online audience member is able to follow a presentation, their questions are less likely to be answered, they do not have access to resources, and they do not have the opportunity to shake hands and trade business cards with other attendees.

This is not to say that live streaming doesn’t have value, but the point we’re making is live streaming is not a replacement for the on-site experience, it’s a way to deliver your content to a wider audience and encourage them to attend your next event in person. Considering that individuals face different financial challenges, and work schedules, events available through live streams are a powerful way to connect with an audience that otherwise would be missed. From a marketing standpoint, however, growing an online audience is one of the most effective ways to generate a larger physical audience for your next event.

In 2017 we will be starting a new project, The Varvid Podcast, which explores how live streaming can be used to build and strengthen communities. We’ve posted a teaser episode to our new podcast library (check it out here).
The Varvid Podcast Finder
The Varvid Podcast is a resource for everyone interested in live-video production, whether you’re new to live streaming or you’ve been webcasting for years. Host Aaron Booker will pick the brains of individuals who use live video regularly to discover how they use it to connect communities, why live video is important in today’s digital world, and any tips and tools to help improve live broadcasts.
Wirecast Interview with Andrew Haley about live streaming
As we get started, our guest interviews will be broadcasted live over Facebook, and the edited versions of the episodes will be released bi-weekly on our podcast page. So far our guests include Adobe’s Creative Cloud Evangelist, Paul Trani, the Live Streaming Evangelist at Telestream, Andrew Haley, and Josh Hamm, the Media Director for Life Center Church in Tacoma, WA.

Whether you are a live-streaming professional, have an interest in streaming technology, or if you simply just want to learn more about the use of live video, please tune in!

Varvid live streamed a portion of Seattle Startup Week 2016 for JPMorgan Chase & Co. branch, and title sponsor of the event, Chase for Business last Wednesday. By using a Roland VR-50HD video switcher and three camera sources, we streamed to Chase’s YouTube channel. Out of the three cameras, two were operated: one focused on the presenters while they took turns speaking, and the other captured the audience’s reaction. The third camera was set in the back of the room capturing a wide shot of the audience and the presenters.
SSW Video Captures

Although the entirety of the five-day event wasn’t live streamed, we did get to cover an important panel discussion titled: “Do I really need to invest in Digital Marketing?” The short answer:”Yes!”. Social platform leaders from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp held an hour long conversation and Q&A session about the role of social media shaping business identity through digital marketing.

James from LA operating one camera SSW is an event led by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs that aims to develop the Seattle community by building momentum and opportunity for business owners. This year’s event was hosted at Impact Hub in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. If you are interested in creating a startup week in your town or city, learn more here!