Cutting time with custom templates: a #MadeinDescript Q&A

A frame from a video where a man and a woman are chatting virtually. The man is wearing headphones in front of a teal background and the woman is sitting at a piano.

Tim Balogh is a podcaster and a brand ambassador for Ko-fi, an online tipping platform for creators. He uses Descript's new templates feature to speed up production of the Ko-fi Break video series — an interview show where he's regularly switching between picture-in-picture and side-by-side shots with his guests. He uses Descript to create the videos, and we asked him about his process.

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Tell me a little bit about how you use Descript for your Ko-fi video series.

I use Descript’s Storyboard to easily import my video clips to create a sequence. Having the transcripts together allows me to trim the content quickly and focus on fine-tuning the look and feel. When I’m done with my drafts, I can publish them to share with the Ko-fi team to get feedback and collaborate!

Do you have any technical hacks that save you time?

I took the time to learn more about creating templates. All my videos have either picture in picture or side-by-side clips, and instead of spending hours setting each scene manually, I can drag and drop a scene template right on top of my text and all the aligning and formatting is done!

Learn how the new template feature works in the Descript Help Center.

Could you explain a bit about how you made the templates you use?

I wanted to make sure I had a few layouts for my interviews. When I made my first video, I played around with the sizing of the video clips to get the view just right. Once I was happy with the look and feel, I selected a few seconds of the clip, navigated to Templates, clicked New Template, and pasted the video there to save it. It's so easy to then apply new templates to videos and select which video clip I want to focus on and which I want to be picture-in-picture.

How do you achieve those picture-in-picture effects?

When creating a composition of two video files, I select one to be the focus to occupy the whole space, and the second one I reduce in size, move it to a corner of the screen with a little padding on the sides, and apply some rounded corners. When my guest begins speaking, I add a slash to my transcript to create a new scene, right-click on my video and select Replace With my guest, and both clips swap. At that point, I can continue this process throughout the video as we banter back and forth.

What's one Descript feature you think every beginner should know about?

Take some time to learn the keyboard shortcuts! It’s incredible how quickly you can modify your transcripts and edit your sequences. Using Descript, I’ve cut down my editing by hours and the quality of my final product looks incredible, and I’ve just started creating videos.

Where do you go for ideas when your creative well runs dry?

When I need to get ideas, I’ll scroll through the Descript Discord to see how others are using the features and watch their videos. Each product and workflow has its own sub section so I can learn more about building templates, fine tuning my studio sound effects, and some great shortcuts that others use for video editing. Learning from other creators on how they've used Studio Sound in particular has been great because I've found that to really get that perfect sound, you need to play around with the intensity and other audio effects to take iPhone speakerphone recordings to a near-professional sound.

Have you discovered a useful way to use Descript that you think more people should know about? Share it on social media with the hashtag #MadeinDescript, and we might feature you in an upcoming newsletter!

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