The other day, I was taking a look at a newbie video editor’s rough draft and gave her some tips that I think rabbis, educators and nonprofit professionals who read could benefit from as well.

1. She started out with a good music choice, which is key. Think about which Jewish music you are going to use. And, if you aren’t looking to use Jewish music (Should you? Think of your demographic and who you are trying to reach…) you can easily find free stock music online (see here for some examples).

2. She also had great footage shot by Shmuel Hoffman, which is, of course, the fundamental building block of any good video. Wherever you and your organization are located, make sure that you have great footage. A great video starts and ends with its footage.

3. I told her to make each shot no less than 2 seconds long, and to keep up the excitement. The eye is quick.

4. Cut on the action. Not before, not after, but on it.

5. There should never be lag-time or stillness unless it’s like a pretty lake or something. This is moving image, not still photography.

6. Don’t clutter up the graphics on one card. Whatever you have to say between your call to action, logo, website, etc., should be presented sequentially and not on the same screen. A single presentation style works in a brochure, but the movement from one screen to the other in film is what characterizes video and leads the viewer through a process, a catharsis.

These few points can make or break a video, believe me! Please feel free to pass this on to any of your friends and colleagues you know and love – Shmuel and I had to learn it the hard way.




Margelit Hoffman is co-founder – with her husband Shmuel – of Hoffman Productions, an award-winning production company that creates promotional videos and documentaries for nonprofits all over the US, Canada, Europe, and Israel. With Shmuel’s videos, clients have raised millions of dollars in donations, and have increased enrollment and participation an average of 40.5% with just one video.  Watch Shmuel’s videos at


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)