Saturday, April 16, 2016

Basic Filmmaker University in now online!





     Well, now I've done it!

     I'm committed. Basic Filmmaker University is now online, and delivering its first free course, 7 Step Process to a Great Commercial.

     I was going to wait until the first course was ready, but since I mentioned I was working on a film school in a prior video, I got HAMMERED with emails about this, so I made the above Q&A video.

     First, I should mention quite a few people who assisted me in this, one in particular who was particularly helpful and took over an hour on the phone giving me advice.  Since I didn't really ask if it was okay to use his name (famous YouTube guy), I'll just say THANK YOU and leave it t that.

     I think I understated how much time, research and effort was put into creating this online university, and I haven't even begun to finish the content for the first of many courses.

     Many may misinterpret that I did this to make money, and that's okay, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  That may be true, but the real purpose behind it is to offer anyone willing to part with a few of those Dollars, Yens, Euros, Rupals, etc., a place to get a full bore, hands-on course that attempts to fire-hose-fill their brain with as much information as I can impart.

     That's just not possible with YouTube as I see it.  I spend a lot of my own time and money making these YouTube videos and posting them for free.  When it came to this university, I realized to accomplish what I really want it to be, I would have to give up something, and that would be more time and money, and I just couldn't afford it.

     So after 6 months, maybe a year, I ended up biting the bullet and just diving in.  The worst that could happen is it is a flop and no one cares, but it wouldn't be the first time I was associated with a project that flopped, nor will it be the last.

     I didn't really mention it in the video, as I'm not sure anyone would believe me, but the most requested (and complained about) subject after reading through 15,000 emails and comments, came down to, "How do I make a YouTube channel that works and has a half chance in hell at making me some money?"

     Well, that may not surprise you, but it sure as hell surprised me!  I most certainly thought it would be something like, well, anything filmmaking, and not how to have a successful YouTube channel. 

     Okay and fine, I can certainly show someone how to do that, assuming by successful they don't mean, "I want to sit at home and do nothing a make some videos and make $100,000 a year."  It takes knowledge, hard work, and patience.

     This course is scripted and partially shot, and it is taking an incredible amount of work.  It takes a LOT to show someone how to set up their YouTube channel correctly, step-by-step. It takes a lot to show someone how to set up all their social media outlets step-by-step. It takes a lot to explain to someone what branding is, how to do it properly, and why.  And the list goes on and on, to over 100 course sections, and that's trying to keep it "small."

     I am sure someone could go out and watch all those helpful YouTube creator videos, and a bunch of others, and maybe arrive at a YouTube channel that works. I know, as I watched them all, and was startled to find out if someone did that, it would not only take them years of trial and error, but that much of the information imparted is just plain bulls**t.

     Really.  What I found is that following all this advice, as noble and helpful as these people are trying to be, would actually end up with a person confused, disappointed, or they would just give up.  The person has no idea the work involved, and doesn't have the years of experience to know whether or not what they are watching or reading is really important, not so important, a total waste of time, or just plain wrong.

     That's when I really got interested, and decided to make this course in full earnest. I covered some of this in the Q&A video, but the first thing I needed was a bucket to contain this and other courses, and I came up with a laundry list of things I wanted for this university.

     Here's the full list:

  • Free, short mini-courses for an overview of a subject, to give a student a few workable basics of the subject, and how the university and courses work.
  • Full courses containing the complete theory and hands-on experience, covering ALL aspects of a particular subject.
  • These would be designed to transform the student from learning the thing being taught, to doing it and achieving a result.
  • Content that is downloadable such as training aids, templates, checklists, quizzes, and the videos themselves for offline viewing.
  • A collaborative commenting system allowing students to interact with other students and the instructors.
  • Simple enrollment with an email address, and no spam.
  • Notification to enrolled students of new courses as they become available.
  • Each course, its content, or any part of it, available to the student, forever.
  • Courses updated with new content as needed, freely available to the enrolled student, forever.
  • Enrollment open to anyone in the world, of any age, bundled courses, money back guarantees, and much more.

    That’s a lot of stuff, but I’m a needy guy, and I when it comes to something important to me, I don’t like half-assing it.

     The other thing I cut out of the video was a complete hands-on tour of the
university and one of the courses, but it got really long, so I decided to let people come over and check it out themselves.

     I mentioned the courses would be between $99 and $149, but not for subscribers of my channel.  It might be lost on many that charging $49 for these, which is what I will offer to my channel viewers, is not some sales-pitchy marked up price thing.  After my time and monetary investment, card processing fees, and much more, that’s giving it to them at cost.

     When I spend time on something like this, it is costing me money - lots of money - and I need to make sure I don't do something stupid and go broke.  I do have a job to do, and I work a lot of hours doing that, and I try not to let this conflict with that. 

     I am hoping to have the first full-length course, how to create a successful YouTube channel, available next month.  I still have quite a bit of shooting, editing, and course material preparation to complete.  These full courses take a really long time, and it really makes me appreciate people who do these online courses.

     As I said in the video, I'm really excited to doing this university, and am hoping it works out for all.

     It is the purpose of this university to offer filmmakers anything and everything they might need to know about filmmaking, really get it, know how to apply it, and get results with each and every course.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Time Management For Filmmakers - Basic Filmmaker Ep 182



     After receiving an email from a viewer, and talking to a few other filmmakers, it occurred to me some people have a problem with time management.

     And it is a real problem.

     Filmmaking has schedules, time constraints, delivery dates, and more little gears than a futuristic robot.

     Most filmmakers know on a large production, that tight scheduling and planning shot lists, location availability lists, and so on, are crucial to meeting deadlines.

     There's an army of people before you and after you that are counting on these schedules being met, and if you muff it, the whole thing can fall apart and cost a nautical eff ton of money.

     What's never occurred to most, is that it is much better, saner, smart, and pleasurable to lay out one's day. That puts YOU in the driver seat and let's you control your life.

     There will ALWAYS be time pressures, but if you don't account for things like some personal time, family time, breakfast, lunch and dinner time, moving that sedentary editing in a chair body around time, looking at the world for 10 minutes instead of a computer screen time, well, you actually lose time under the illusion that you are saving time.

     I know this as a fact, as I've been around people who work very hard for a very long stretches, for most of my life.  I myself, work incredibly long hours.

     But there is a point where your eyeballs looking at an editing timeline need to take a break.

     If you really plan out your day, and try and get those things done you need to get done, and account for all these little things that help you be productive, you'll have a lot more fun and enjoy what you are doing.

      This video tries to address that, and possibly help a few filmmakers, or anyone for that matter, get some control back to their crazy lives.

     As long as you keep it fun, don't beat yourself up on what you DIDN'T get done, praise yourself for what you DID get done, you'll love this simple method of planning out your day.

     I am sure all sorts of people have their own methods of making sure they plan things so they can live life, and that's good.

     But for those hard working people who don't, this video is dedicated to you.

                         My Best,


                         The Basic Filmmaker

Sunday, March 20, 2016

What is an Editing Timeline? Basic Filmmaker Ep 181



     This video was made for very new filmmakers and video editors.

     I got a lot of requests from a lot of new filmmakers to explain the timeline in a video editing system

     I thought this was odd.  Surely (don't call me Shirley) there must be a ton of videos covering this.

     I didn't look at everything, but most of the tutorials I saw jumped into all the editing features and what all those little buttons and widgets do, but I couldn't find anyone who had simply explained what a timeline does, and what it's for.

     That's why I made this video, because of all the requests, and because someone will want to know this.

     I imagine a lot of people will think this video is too basic or stupid or whatever, and I don't care. 

     I don't think there is anyone who first started out in filmmaking, ran up a video editor for the first time, and didn't think or mutter the words, "Holy s**t!"

      Hopefully this video will help those who requested it, and other new filmmakers in the future who want to know what a timeline is.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saramonic SmartRig - Connect an XLR Mic to a Phone - Basic Filmmaker Ep 180



     Pretty simple video.

     I was poking around and saw this XLR adapter to an iPhone (or any smart device) and thought I would check it out.

     It's $22, and not bad for a backup in case of emergency.

     It's obviously odd, as why would you take a $600 microphone and connect it to a $22 adapter to record on your iPhone.

     Well, as I said, in case of emergency.

     There have been one or two times when everything was going really bad with sound, and I would have killed to have something like this parked in a bag somewhere.

     I'm watching these Saramonic people pretty closely.  They seem to have pretty good budget filmmaker gear and I am finding them to be really nice people.

     I also made a point in this video about doing your own research.

     I mean, really.  You watch someone do a review, then just go out and buy the thing, and then complain to the reviewer that they didn't cover some essential need you want?

     Always do your research.  Just go look at some reviews, or look at the specs on the manufacturer's web site.

     That's your best bet to get the gear you need and want.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic FIlmmaker

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tips for Gear Manufacturers, Advertisers, Angencies, Reviewers, and Viewers - Basic Filmmaker Ep 179



     Maybe I'll get a bunch of crap for his video, and I don't care.

     When I see companies do really stupid things, it pisses me off.

     Why?

     Companies hold any number of people's lives in their hands. The employees, their spouses, the employee's children and so on, all depend on the company making smart decisions and being successful.

     When I see people in companies do really stupid things, it also pisses me off.

     Why?

     People depend on a company for their wherewithal, and what they do in that company certainly DOES affect the company and people in that company.

     I don't know if this is true, but my Mom once told me there was an Indian tribe where all major decisions made by it's leaders had to take into account the effect it would have on the next THREE generations of people.

     I think that is smart, and, a way to do business and live life.

     In this video I list a couple companies and people in those companies that have done some really stupid things.

     You think this video is long?  Not by a long shot.

     It was originally twice as long as I listed company after company, and person after person in those companies doing really stupid things.

     By stupid things, I mean things that make you stand back and face palm your head.

     I am NOT anti-company by a long shot. I think people who are anti-company are basically jerks.  Companies employ lots of people, they contribute to the economy, they keep things going.

     Those companies are run by people.  Take away the people, and you've got a building that does nothing.

     So, I decided if even ONE company watched this and maybe took a look around their company, weeded out even ONE stupid thing that company or it's employees are doing, that would help the company and it's people to do better.

     Next I covered ONE ad agency.  There are many who just don't get that the same rules above apply to them too.

     Then I went on to give YouTube reviewers some tips about how to deal with all this.  It disgusts me that a few companies and ad agencies will throw mere pennies or make it look like some big deal that they are giving a $300 piece of gear to someone for a review.

     To top it off, some idiot a-holes watch these reviews and start taking pot shots at the people who do reviews as if they've committed some GIANT CRIME for spending 100 hours of their time to review something for them, which they get to watch FOR FREE.

     In a nutshell, I made this video to tell everyone to get their heads out of their behinds, quit acting snarky and entitled, and just place nice.

     Maybe no one will get the point, and that's OK. I said my piece, and now I'm moving on to more important things.

     But for the SMALL percentage of a-holes in the world who make it hard for the LARGE percentage of good people making this world go round, now I have something to send them when they crawl out of their holes and start making noise.

     Yeah, some people aren't going to like this video.

     Don't care. :)




                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sarmonic Wireless Lapel System ($89) vs Røde Wireless Lapel System ($399) - Basic Filmmaker Ep 177



     Sarmonic (never heard of them) contacted me and asked if I wanted to review their $89 wireless lapel system.

     I need more gear like I need a hole in my head, so I told them, "Don't send me crap. I won't review it, won't use it, and will throw it away."  They sent it anyway.

     When I opened the package I must admit I was kind of impressed.  It looked and felt like my higher-end Røde system, so I thought I would test it out and NOT throw it away.

     I shot this video and had no idea if this thing would work or not.  

     After the editing, I was really surprised how this thing held up to the Røde system at 5 times the cost!

     My evaluation?  Sure, you're not going to beat Røde, even if you only look at their whopping 10-year warranty!

     But, for the money? Heck yeah! 

     This Sarmonic system really delivers, and I highly suggest it as an alternative, or additional, or backup, wireless lapel mic system.

     You can get it here on Amazon: 

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

p.s....

     Just for the record, and in case someone does the "Well, you get this stuff for free so of course you're going to give it a good review!"

     First, I want to to say, "[insert bad word] you." My policy is I don't review or post videos on stuff I don't like or find useful to people watching my channel, no exceptions, and I make sure the manufacturers know this up-front.

     Second, I do not need gear, nor do I have gear envy.  Trust me, I can get my hands on just about any type of gear I want, and cost is no object.  So, "[insert bad word] you" again.

     Third, you might wonder why I still want to say "[insert bad word] you." When you accuse people (like myself) of being dishonest, it just pisses us off, and makes people like me wonder why whomever raised you didn't bitch slap you for the worse manners ever.

     Just because YOU would do that, doesn't mean the hard-working people who devote their time and effort FOR FREE on YouTube would do that.

     End of  "[insert bad word] you."

Saturday, February 6, 2016

No Wrinkle Green Screen Tensioners for Filmmaking - Basic Filmmaker Ep 176



     Some time ago, I made a VERY complete video (see below) on everything green screen.  The idea was to keep it simple, NOT have to go to After Effects, and make pulling a key a 1-click process.

     Well, I forgot to include a very simple and cost effective method of making sure the green screen is smooth - tensioners.

     I call them "tensioners" because that is exactly what they do, and, I didn't want to use the manufacturer's title which is, "Video Studio 8PC Backdrop Background Multi-functional Holder."

     These handy little things are the best and easiest solution I know to keep your green screen wrinkle-free.  Trust me, I've seen it all - duct tape, paper clips, bricks, you name it.

     They are really cheap at about $8 - $9 dollars for eight (8) of them on Amazon.  Click here to check them out.

     Sure, like a bag of clothes pins, you may get one that is broken, so buy two bags - they're cheap, and it's always a good idea to have extras on-hand in case you need them.

     Here is the 23 minute green screen video mentioned above, which should have been titled, "Everything you ever wanted to know about green screens and how to make them work, except for tensioners." :)





     My Best,


     The Basic Filmmaker

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Translate YouTube Titles and Descriptions to Reach A Global Audience - Basic Filmmaker Ep 175

     YouTube spends loads of time and money constantly developing and adding new features.


     Being a YouTube creator myself (among other things), I applaud their efforts.

     Unlike Netflix, television, movies and other visual mediums, YouTube knows it's customer is NOT the end user, but the creators that make video content and draw the users to YouTube.

     
And this is a really, really, really big audience of all races, colors, creeds, religions, ages, and pretty much everyone on Earth.

     I have some history trying to talk to the rest of the world as follows.

  About two years ago, my channel was growing, and I noticed people from non-English speaking countries were starting to watch my videos.  That's why I started close captioning (also known as subtitling) my videos.

     Here was my first attempt to show other YouTube creators how and why to do this:



      Since then, YouTube updated their captioning tool and made it easier.  A few subscribers noted this, so I made an update video showing this new method.



     More recently, a network person I know mentioned checking out the way YouTube handles translations for video titles and descriptions.  

     I took a look at this and thought no one would careMy thought was people from other countries already watch my videos, at which point a red flag shot out of my brain.

     It took me many years to train myself to have a mental red flag shoot out my brain when I do this.  In other words, to NOT think a thought and decide what I thought is now true.  

     This was one of those moments. I decided the only way to see if this has any use was to do it, which I did on my last video.

     Glad that red flag shot out of my brain!

     I got quite a few emails from foreign subscribers telling me how grateful they were to see the video titles and descriptions in their native language.

     
With those results, I decided to share it with other YouTube creators which is why I made this latest video.



     It doesn't take a lot of extra time to subtitle and close caption a video, as long as you take the few minutes to do so.  That way, when foreign language viewers hit that CC icon, they get a pretty reasonable translation of what's being said.

     After seeing the rave response to translating the video title and description of my last video, I highly suggest you look into taking this additional step on your own videos.

     The whole purpose of a filmmaker is to create things that other people enjoy and understand, and these translation features make that all the more likely.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker
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