VIDEO TIP: Work Sample Compression For Uploading to Grant Application Websites

Sometimes grant applications accept links to video work samples, while other times one is required to upload a video file to the grantor's application website. Here's a step-by-step process to create the proper sized .MP4 (one of the appropriate file types for uploading to the web) while keeping as much quality integrity of the video as possible. **Note: Often there is a total upload limit, which means there will be some math to do on your part - see step #4 below


These steps apply to exporting an HD video file from both iMovie and Final Cut Pro

1. File - Export using Quicktime Conversion

2. A "Save" box opens, under "Format" choose "MPEG-4"

3. Next to "Format", Press the "Options" button

4. Fill in the following settings (from top to bottom)

File Format: choose MP4 (not MP4 (ISMA)) Video Format: h.264 Data Rate: enter 5000* Image Size: choose 1280x720 HD [leave "Preserve aspect ratio..." unchecked] Frame Rate: choose "Current" Key Frame: keep "every" checked and enter "30" frames

* This is the number that you will need to adjust to get the file size you want. Say you are uploading two 5min excerpts and are given a limit of 250MB total. That means they each will need to be under 125MB (totaling 250MB). After you enter this info but before saving, look at the bottom and there is a file size approximation in KB.

Use google to figure the long KB number translated to MB. For example you can enter into a google search "274989KB in MB" and it will tell you the conversion - in this case the file is a little more than 2x too big.

Adjust the Data Rate number - in this case, cut it in half and a little more, say 2200, and the File Size approximation is now 124839 KB which = 124.839 MB (a little under 125MB limit!)

The idea is to get as close to your given limit as possible, as that will make the video file of the highest quality working with the file size constraints.


5. Press "Video Options..." and choose Encoding Mode "Best Quality (Multi-pass)" - press OK


6. OPTIONAL for highest audio quality (do this step before doing your Data Rate math): Navigate to the Audio tab and change Output Sample Rate to 48.000 KHz


7. Press OK and then save

The compression may take several hours. Then you can upload the .MP4 to your online grant application!

[These are essentially the best settings for making video files to upload to Vimeo and Youtube as well, but entering the Data Rate between 5000-10,000.]



Happy grant writing and receiving!


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