Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How To Add More Depth With Free and Paid Music - Basic Filmmaker Ep 186

     Here I am again, working my ass off editing the 146 videos for my latest course on Basic Filmmaker University, constructing quizzes, downloadable materials and more.

     I just got done editing a piece about using music, as many have asked me about this.

     SCREEEECCCHHH!!!  The following hard right turn I took when you weren't expecting it will make sense in a minute... 

     Here's a little secret - I have this irresistible urge, when I make a video, to share it right the hell NOW!

     A lot of creators I know make enough videos MONTHS in advance to stay ahead of the game.  One guy I know always has the NEXT 6 MONTHS of videos ready for his channel! WHAT!?

     I just can't do it!  I know - I tried - and failed.  When I finish a video, it's usually in response to A LOT of requests, so I want to post it NOW, NOW, NOW!

     I'm told I should have a posting schedule based on metrics of views. Ya know, find out what day gets you get the most views when you post something on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on.  Then, post things on those days.  It's called a posting schedule.

     Yep, correct, 10-4. roger, gotcha, communication acknowledged.

     Well, not really.  MAKE IT NOW! POST IT NOW!

     I wondered why I suffer from this supposed malady, and concluded it's because someone, usually a lot of someone's, asked me a question.  And they don't want to sit around and wait for me to answer their question on the day or week or month they happen to "fit into my posting schedule."

     These people happen to have a problem they would like to solve at the given moment they ask it, and I don't like keeping them waiting, while they continue to mire around in their problem.

     Maybe a bit over dramatized, but there they are on the side of the road with a flat tire, I drive up, they ask for help, I say OK, drive off, and get back to them in a few days.

     I would feel utterly shitty about that.

     SCHREECCCH!!! Right turn executed, another, and another. Yay! We're back heading in the right direction again!

     So here I am again, saying to myself, "Ya know, a lot of people have asked me about this music thing. That's why I'm putting a whole section on music in the course.  Oh what the hell, let's also make a short version for my YouTube channel and get it posted too!"

     Yeah, it's weird huh?  

     I'm working my real filmmaking gig, a university, a gigantic course, and 40 other things that need to get done right the hell now, and right in the middle of that, I decide to shoot and edit YET ANOTHER video.

     And that's the point of the video - to help those who asked questions about music in a video.

     I guess I should have saved you some time and simply said, "I made this as I'm a sucker for someone who needs help. The End. Fade to Black." :)

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

p.s. If you wonder what all these links are, I am testing something.




Sunday, May 15, 2016

Creating Great YouTube and Social Media Titles - Basic Filmmaker Ep 185

     As I am burning the midnight oil on the last touches for the new Basic Filmmaker University, and the shooting on the first course, How To Succeed on YouTube (which is something like 146 videos!), I had some unanswered questions.

     This thing is a monster, and now I know why no one has ever created an A-Z YouTube course.  If I charged just for the time I put in this one course, it would not be affordable to most.

     It's not the amount of video time, it's the amount of quality information delivered that can be used.  For me, that just means I've pretty much nailed it, which I'm always happy with.

     Anyway, one of the last things to wrap up a course section was on titling YouTube videos.  There is a knack to this, and after much research on my part, I found there really is what you could call a good return on investment.

     In other words, good titles can be proven to get more clicks and views than those that are not titled well.

     Researched, proven, I have the data, done!

     OK, but how to do I teach someone this "knack" for good video titles. Hell, I'm still learning this myself!

     Well, out of the blue I fell across this Headline Analyzer

     Oh, and did I mention it's FREE!

     This piece of technology has scoured through zillions of posts and social media to see what the most clicked on things are.  Then, coupled with some analytics such as having certain words in the title, you end up with a working tool for creating awesome titles, which have a better chance of being clicked on.

     Of course, no computer system is going to tell us the best of anything, but it's a great place to start for someone interested in creating better titles that attract viewers, and hopefully subscribers.

     Worst case, it makes someone interested in attracting viewers to think about it, before they go off and title their video MY FIRST 2-PASS PROJECT.MP4, when it's a beautiful video filled with tips about using a drone to film weddings.

     Sure enough, my premise was correct, titles are important.  And this video shows how to get started at creating great titles for your videos.

     Of course, when they get to your video, hopefully you deliver what the title said you would. :)

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

How Good Is Good Sound (Stoney Edge) - Basic Filmmaker Ep 184

Getting good sound is not all about spending money.

Ever listen to an old radio show from the early 30's or 40's?  Wow!  Sounds really good.

The reason it sounds so good is because they used the basics - keep the mic close to the mouth for the best sound.

Although this video shows a cheap Stony Edge desktop mic, it also shows that as long as you keep the mic close to your mouth, and set the levels properly so it's not over peaking or under peaking, chances are it will sound pretty good.

And that pretty much goes for any mic, expensive or not.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

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 flops 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 - 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 and 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 around $179, but not for subscribers of my channel.  It might be lost on many that charging $79 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.


     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.


     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
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