How To Compress A Video

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How To Compress A Video

In the world of Internet video, we’ve come a long way since the dawn of the Internet Age. High speed connections have made it possible for people to stream HD quality films in a matter of seconds. If someone said to you in 1996, “Hey, I’m going to stream an HD movie tonight. Wanna come over and watch?” You’d probably have said, “What’s HD,” then, “What’s streaming,” and finally, “Why don’t we go to Blockbuster?” The good old days weren’t so good [for streaming video].

For most video streaming servers, a 5GB file maximum is imposed; however, video platforms (e.g. Chill, Vimeo, et al.) want to get the highest quality video file from you as they’ll run it through their own system to transcode the file into a variety of formats to accommodate the varying Internet speeds of consumers. At Chill, for the self-distributed platform, we allow filmmakers to upload their film directly to us (with the 5GB limitation). It’s a faster process that gets your film up and running quickly. But how does one get the maximum quality out of their film and keep the file under 5GB?

For browser-based video uploads, a 5GB file limitation is often imposed by the server receiving the file. In the following filmmaking video, I demonstrate how to use an open-source video converter. I will utilize MPEG Streamclip (Mac/Windows) to limit the file size, while maintaining the highest quality possible.

How To Compress A Video

Please note: Enable “Multi-pass” and “B-Frames” to increase quality. Multi-pass will dramatically increase export time.

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George Rausch is the Digital Distribution Manager at Chill with the goal of helping independent filmmakers take their films through the cycle of self-distribution to full-distribution on multiple platforms. Connect with George on

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