Video Makers’ Style Guide

I’m glad you decided to be a part of our Magic The Gathering Video Team!
My name is Brennon and I am the Head Hancho Content Manager for our YouTube site.
We started out several years ago as a rag tag bunch of crazy misfits. Now, we are team of well trained video ninjas.
However, success does not come easily. We need you to get into video fighting shape! We need you to become an elite video ninja.

Those who are submitting videos to the channel for the first time, fear not! Your videos will be put on our secondary channel, the uniquely named MagicGatheringStrat2 for a trial basis. On that channel you will earn your black belt in video ninjitsu!

After you have completed “The Quest of 200 Views” you will have passed the trial by internet commenter and move on to the main channel!


Easy right? Get 200 views on a video or get 10 likes on those videos. You can do it!

Part 1: Timing

Is everything!
All videos will be scheduled for release. This means you will not see your handcrafted video creation as quickly as you had in the past.
Because we have to have a repeatable, consistent way of releasing content. Our goal is to look just as polished as the major “networks” (ie. CFB, GatheringMagic, etc.)
The ENTIRE week will be scheduled out on Saturday.
This means you MUST have all the content you want published, up on Google drive and shared with me and Dan by Friday Midnight PST each week.

    • Get a Google account
    • Upload your video to your Google account

google upload

google share

  • BEFORE 8am Central US Time on Saturday. (Yes, you can upload any time you want but thats the deadline for the following week.)

Part 2: The File Name

An entire section for just the file name?
Yes, this will be crucial for ease of deployment. If the file is not named correctly, it will be pushed off to the next week. I am not trying to be a buzz kill here, but these steps are very simple and I am certain you are all intelligent enough to follow all these instructions.

File Name Breakdown

Example: MTG Modern Boggles Vs Jund Re-animator Cyrulean.mp4

  • First section: Format, in the above example it is “Modern”
  • Second section: Name of the deck/object you are discussing, in the above example it is “Boggles Vs Jund Re-animator”. This can also be something like Through the Breach Deck Tech, or Strictly Worse Cube overview. It needs to be something that people can and will search for.
  • Third section: Your Handle, in the above example “Cyrulean”. Take credit for your efforts!
  • The file must be in .mp4 format. Again, if it is not, it will not be uploaded.

Now here is a picture for ease of reference:


Part 3: The Video in all its glory

When you record, your video needs to be in 720 p format.
This is very important. First of all, it flags it as HD in YouTube which is a key to our success

Why not 1080?

Because not everyone who makes videos has a screen that can resolve that.

But mine does, so why can’t I record at 1080?

Because we are going to have Headers and Trailers for ALL videos and I am not making 2 of each kind. IF you can take what I give you and make it into a 1080 p compatible video and add it to your video, then be my guest. However, if there problems, the file will not be uploaded.

Now, if you are set up with a system that cannot record at a lower resolution, then you really need to be recording in 16×9 format. Here is a list:

1280 720 HD
1366 768
1600 900 HD+
1920 1080 Full HD
2048 1152
2560 1440 QHD
2880 1620
3200 1800

I will be making the header and trailer in 16×9, so if you add it and your video is not that aspect ratio, it will look dumb.

Bottom line, if you are concerned about your recording size just talk to me before you record. I know we can work it out.

What do you mean header and trailer?

Every single video will have a quick 10-15 second opening video inserted into it and a 20-30 second trailer added to the end.

Example Header:

Example Trailer:

Oh, so like where are they?

Once you have shown commitment to consistent content creation, you will get your own personalized video file to appended to the beginning and end of each of your videos. This is like a flag of honor. You will be a true MGS Ninja once you have your own!

But isn’t that like, a lot of work?

No, and its time we stepped up our game. If you do not want to take these simple steps to creating exceptional content then we may need to address what you are really looking for as a content creator.

Ok, so how do I do it?

I will show you how in Active Presenter. If you do not use Active Presenter, you will have to figure it out on your own. From what I have seen, it is basically the same process for editing software.

Step 1: After you have captured your video, active presenter will display it like this:

active presenter part 1

Step 2: Make sure you cursor is at the very beginning of the file:

active presenter part 2

Step 3: Click Annotations, then click video:

active presenter part 3

You may need to line up the added videos as Active Presenter often does not perfectly line up added content.

Step 4: Browse to the Header video file and select it. After that, the project will look like this:

active presenter part 4

Step 5: Move your capture so that the header shows first. Just click and drag that video section so that the ends meet like this:

active presenter part 5

Step 6: Repeat the process for the trailer, except start at the end:

active presenter part 6

Step 7: After you add the trailer, it looks like this:

active presenter part 7

The nice thing about the trailer, is that you don’t have to do nearly as much work. I wish adding a header was as easy.

Part 4: The Thumbnail

Every video needs a thumbnail image so users will click on it. Just having a screenshot of magic being played is not good enough. If you are a creative type person, make a personalized image and I will add it, otherwise I will just grab some card image. (Fyi the images have be under 2 megs and landscape)

Part 5: The Video Description

Do you want more views? Yes, you want more views. Every time you share a video this window pops up:

google share description

Part 6: What really makes a video?

You need to inject as much of your own personality in each video as you can. People love personalities. They make a connection. If you have super dry humor, let it out. If you are over the top emotional, cry on camera. Just be you!

People love consistency, so at the beginning of every video, as soon as you begin recording, say “Welcome to Magic Gathering Strat, I am [insert name here]!”

Part 7: The Exceptions

But what about this random outlier that may possibly happen sometime in the future?

This channel will be handled at the discretion of myself, Dan and Bava. We are reasonable people and will act reasonably. Please do not press us get your video out earlier than scheduled. It will make us sad. So sad in fact, we may forget how to upload videos all together. Then everyone will be sad.

However, during release weekends or at times of great magic news we will release videos out of band.

Part 8: Twitch…

This is a real head scratcher. What do we do about twitch? The Twitch channel can sometimes up load segments from the stream directly into YouTube. The problem is, these do not meet any of the above requirements. We need to look consistent. Also, no other channel combines the two on their main YouTube outlet. These streams will likely end up going to the secondary channel. As seems to be the custom of the YouTube peoples.

Part 9: Shameless Self Promotion

Another part of getting likes and views is self promotion. We will promote the channel but you need to promote your own hard work.

  • Reddit: Be careful, but if you only produce a one video a week, Reddit is a good place to kick it off.
  • Twitter: Use the proper mtg hashtags and you can tweet away!
  • Facebook: Hey, why not?
  • Instagram: I have no idea what good this would do you, but if you can make it work, go for it!

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