"Rip" The Video Footage
I'm not sure what the best word is for this is, but the first step is to get the video footage I'm going to use onto the computer. Nearly all of the video footage I use is from DVDs. Occasionally I'll use LaserDisc or VHS tape, but that is pretty rare.
For DVDs, I start with a program called Mac the Ripper. I rip the disc in its entirety. This program removes the copy protection from the DVD's files, it doesn't reprocess or recompress the footage like Handbrake and other software does. I have used other software for DVD ripping in the past including YadeX (which is no longer supported) and OSeX (which produced results I wasn't very happy with).