Monday, December 30, 2013

STEPHEN - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 77

Stephen, a beginning filmmaker, really wanted to know how to shoot a YouTube episode. So, I flew across the country and showed him! :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Channel Trailer - The Basic Filmmaker

I decided to up the quality of my YouTube channel, and I am starting with my YouTube channel trailer. I'd appreciate any feedback or comments. Thanks!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


15 of the top tips and tricks for being in front of the camera. Plus, my head floats in mid air, I say "shit", break glass, look down my nose, ramble on (on purpose), talk about boogers, and so much more!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

WRITE A STORY! - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 75

Before you spend a ton of money on gear, make  sure you practice creating the BASIC FOUNDATION of a film - THE STORY!  And, I battle with a dog!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

COMMERCIAL TIPS - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 74

Creating a commercial or ad? Here's some tips and a checklist. Also, it's Halloween, so I dress like a Scotsman - MY SINCERE APOLOGIES TO ALL SCOTS! I also get crazy with a buzzer, and do the "One-Take Dance". Happy Halloween to ALL!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SCREENPLAY TIPS - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 73

What's a screenplay? What's important? What's not? Do you need one? Can you write one? How do you write dialogue? Arrrgghh! So many questions! Well, here's a few answers!!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Canon 5D Mark III Camera Settings - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 72

 I am finally responding to a TON of requests, asking me to show what my camera settings are for video. So I grabbed a 5D Mark III and R.I.P. through them all. I used the 5D Mark III as I think that would cover just about any camera setting out there. And...Harlem Shake? Let it die! Please! :)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Lens Size Focal Length - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 71

Does size really matter? For lenses it does! Also I show creepy eyeballs and try and stab a cheap lens to death.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sharp Footage - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 70

You want your footage to look CRISP, right? Cool. OK. Great. do you do that? Also, I have a total malfunction with 8 simple words I've repeated a million times.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Film Look Plus History - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 69

You want that film look, right? Well, you need to start here. Plus, a short history lesson, and I mess up wind-milling my hands!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is using Auto ISO really bad? Maybe, and maybe not! I also have a "mew" sponsor, and, I get a call from the President!

Monday, July 29, 2013

How To Sync Your Sound! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 65

Here's 3 ways to sync your separately recorded sound, some sync tips, and I have a seriously hard time talking!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Filmmaker Survey Results! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 60

The Filmmaker Survey Results are in, and I wanted to share them with you. :)



Create a YouTube Episode Series:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:

Create that YouTube Channel:


The Code of a Filmmaker:
Full Episode
Code Only Episode:

Code of a Filmmaker FREE Posters:
TIFF version to download for printing:
JPEG version to download for viewing:

Code of a Filmmaker featured on IndyMogul:

Gear or Gadget:
$0 Stabilizer:

Please like, comment and subscribe:


I post videos, short films, DIY build projects you've never seen before, After Effects tutorials, and cover cameras, gear, sliders, makeup, DSLRs, cranes, jibs, dolly's, stabilizers, shoulder rigs, rail systems, green screen tutorials, and answering any question you ask about filming.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Gear or Gadget? Konova Slider Skater Table Dolly KSD 2000 - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 59

Gear? Gadget? I do a "real" review..on a Table Dolly no less! And, I HIT A WALL. Note, any "jitter" or "shake" is NOT in the video. YouTube's doing something. I know. I checked. :)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bloopers, Outtakes, Having Fun - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 58

I was asked "What's YOUR favorite?"

Nothing to learn here except, if you mess up, have fun.

By the way, the auto CC is hilarious.

AND, this buys me time (next episode taking WAY longer than I thought). :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Filmmaker Survey and Jokes! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 57

Answer 5 shape the future! Oh yeah...Jokes!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Filmmaker Survey!

Post your feedback and shape future episodes! 

Take the Filmmaker survey here: Filmmaker Survey

Please share and re-post please. 

Thanks! :)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Filmmaking Tricks - The $0 Stabilizer - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 56

What if you need to shoot stable footage, and some dork forgot the bring the stabilizer? What if you don't even have a stabilizer?? Here's a filmmaker trick!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Record Something from Nothing! Room Tone! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 55

Why record NOTHING? Well, because you may REALLY need it! I cover the basics of Room Tone, why you need it, how you do it, and how to not do it.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sound Check! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 53

Sound Again? Yep. I show you one way to get better sound with the equipment you already have. I also "dis" a pre-amp.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Top 3 Training and Tutorial Sites - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 53

What are the top 3 BEST ever filmmaking training and tutorial sites? I also "reflect" on a near death experience. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wannabe Filmmakers and Parents - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 52

After a STAGGERING amount of "parents won't support me as a filmmaker, what do I do?" emails, this semi-rant episode will NOT make me popular. Well, whatever. :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Talk to the World! YouTube Captions! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 51

TALK TO THE WHOLE WORLD with a little extra effort.  Also, I think I've discovered a whole new language! I think I'll call it...YouTube?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Story of Continuity - The Basic Filmmaker Episode 50

You all know about continuity, right? Well, what about STORY continuity? IT'S IMPORTANT! Also, I get Meow-ed! :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The "MōVI"! WOW!


Didn't see that coming!!

Vincent Laforet shows a behind the scenes and a short shot with the "MōVI", and as he says, "a digital 3-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal. The completely silent device weighs under 3.5 pounds bare and can be operated solo, or with the help of a second "gimbal" operator with a joystick to pull off some incredible moves. To read more about it go to:

Here's the end result video:

WOW!! It really is a game changer!!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Footage Fail? Fix It! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 47 get home, and realize your footage is AWFUL! Sure, we can learn from these mistakes, but, let's FIX THE FOOTAGE!!! Also...I SHOW THE WORST MULTI-CAM EVER!!!

You get home, load your footage, and find out it sucks!

The other day, I was walking through a park.

And this thought struck me...

What if I just shot crap?

Could I fix it?

So I lifted my camera, turned it to video mode and just started shooting.

I set nothing – no focus, no aperture, I don’t even know what the ISO was.

I got back to my studio and copied the footage into my computer.

Let’s take a look.

I’m surprised I got anything.

And sure enough, the footage was bouncy, the ISO was too high, no ND filter on the lens, to name a few.

Actually it was better than I expected, but,




So I’m “ordinary guy”, just got home, and my footage sucks.

Do I throw it away?


Here’s what I did, and it took me about 5 minutes.

I added the warp stabilizer and let it do its thing.

Then I added the fast color corrector, moved the black slider a bit.

Then I added a curve effect, and tweaked the colors a bit more.

Lastly, I used an unsharp mask to sharpen the footage a bit.

Let’s take a look.

Warp Stabilizer.
Fast Color Corrector.
Unsharp Mask.


Looking at these before and after shots should tell us two things.

One: If you just got done shooting and your footage sucks,
well,that DOES NOT mean all is lost.

Two: If you take the time to set up your shots correctly, then you can REALLY make them look good in post.

I hope that helps, and, thanks for watching!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Viiewer Submitted Episodes - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 46

Viewers with guts who created their YouTube episodes after following my Create a YouTube Video series. Let's check 'em out! Also, I do my FIRST unboxing episode!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Questions and Answers! The Basic Filmmaker Ep 45

We cover video submissions, cameras, editing tools, music, bloopers, computers, training, partnerships, and what to do if you have no gas money!

NOTE: For my non-English speaking subscribers, here's the full text of the episode.

I get asked a lot questions. Let’s answer some.


I try and answer every email, YouTube comment, Facebook, Twitter, and blog post. Here’s some of the most popular and frequently asked.

Q: Can you do a video submission type thing, where we submit videos?

A: I’m trying that with my recent Create a YouTube series, where I walked viewers through the start to finish of creating a YouTube video. After the series ended, I asked viewers to submit their episode, which MUST be based on the work they did, using that series. That’ll probably be next week’s episode if I get enough valid submissions. Up until now, I haven’t found video submission successful, as if no one submits anything, you have no episode. You should however submit your videos to other channels that do this, such as IndyMogul. The link is provided below.

Q: Yo! BFM Dude! What camera should I get?

A: Take the best camera in the world and put it in the hands of someone who doesn’t know the basics of filmmaking, and it will suck. Take a low end camera, even an iPhone, and put THAT in the hands of a skilled filmmaker, and you get awesome sauce. So, get a camera YOU LIKE and can afford that shoots HD, learn the thing inside and out, learn how to shoot with IT, and go shoot a ton of video. Spend your time learning how to shoot awesomeness with what you’ve got. When you’ve got that down, THEN upgrade to the next thing, instead lining the pockets of companies who want to convince you need something better. Yeah…that should be popular.  And that’s why I don’t’ have sponsors.

Q: What format do I convert my video to so it works in my Editor? I’m using Adobe Premier CS 6.

A: None.  Premier will handle just about anything you throw at it. No conversion required.

Q: Where do you get your music?

A: I make it myself, download freely shared music, or buy it. I put an episode from Indy Mogul in the description below that covers where to get a ton of free sound effects and music.

Q: Can you make your custom thumbnail a GIF so that in the Subscriptions page it is animated?

A: (thinks, then shrugs – doesn’t know).

Q: Here’s two interesting comments: Great videos, but I have to say the bloopers at the end of your videos make me cringe. Man I love the bloopers at the end of the video. The other night I went through all of your videos again just for them!

A: OK. Viewer one, sorry about that. I would suggest not the end. Viewer two, Thanks! I put bloopers and gags in the end of my videos because I like stupid stuff that would make a 10 year old laugh. And, other people find them entertaining. For example, this Steel worker walks in to a bar…

Q: Do you always put something a bit “off” in your videos for people to find?

A: I do. Mis-spelled or mis-pronounced words, an object added to my set, something upside down, and others. Remember my 10-year old mind set. Also, I find it amazing that some viewers can actually pick these little details out. 

Q: How do I go shoot my film, when I can't afford gas to go anywhere?

OK. As a filmmaker, or a human being for that matter, you can create problems, or solve them. People who solve problems do well. People who create problems for themselves and others, don’t. Your choice.

Q: I'd like to shoot an outdoor scene and modify the look as if it's really during the night. I heard that those night shots are normally made during daylight.

A: Some are and some aren’t. There’s a LOT of videos on YouTube about this, called “NIGHT FOR DAY”. I’ve included some links below on how you can do this.

Q: What type of computer do you recommend for video editing? Why do you have a Windows and not an Apple?

A: Actually I have, and use both. The product you’re trying to achieve with a computer is:  a completed and rendered video. It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you can do that.

Q: Maybe you could make a smaller side show where you talk about tricks for more advanced filmmakers. Anyway, great stuff!

A: I’ve been thinking about this. I just haven’t worked out the time to do it yet.

Q: What editing software are you are using? Great vids btw!

A: I’ve used a ton of different editors, and settled on the Adobe CS6 products, as I like how they integrate with each other. Again, the product you’re trying to achieve with the software is: edited and rendered video. In my mind, it doesn’t matter if you use Premier Pro, Sony Vegas, HitFilm, Avid, or iMovie, as long as you can do that.

Q: Where’s the best place to get After Effects training? Luv the show!

A: There’s a LOT of After Effects training videos. My two favorite places to train people are: Andrew Kramer’s site, If you hunt around you’ll find good, basic training videos on that site. Once you’re done with those, you can move on to all the other mind-bogglingly awesome training videos on his site. Next is This is the single largest wealth of information for ANYONE doing ANYTHING in video. The people on there are “in the industry” pros, AND, they have forums where they answer your questions. Both these links are in the description below.

Q: Can you do an episode on YouTube Partnership?

A: Partnership rules have changed, and for the better, in my opinion. As you create more videos, you get more options. I just covered that in Episode 7 of my Create a YouTube Episode series, which you should watch. The link is below.

Q: Any ideas on my new channel, like how can I get more subscribers?

A: Sure, Watch these videos over here. I’ve included the links below.

Q: Question: can you use 4/5 feet instead of 3/4 feet length tubing?

A: This is talking about my Olivia Tech DIY jib episode. I’ve had a ton of questions on if this jib can be modified and made longer. Frankly, I don’t know, as I haven’t tried, but many subscribers have done so. You should head over to the video, take a look at the video submissions, and hook up with these people who have done so.

Q: What kind of quick release plate should I get for a canon 5d ii?

A: Although more expensive, I use Manfrotto quick release plates, as I like the quality and they’ve never failed.

Q: Can you tell me the render settings for YouTube?

A: Absolutely. In my last episode, I pointed viewers to a BAMMO episode on exactly how to do this. I’ve included the link below.

Q: Could you show your Adobe Audition work flow? I'm not an audio person and I can't seem to find any good tutorials for learning Audition.

A: Go for a ton of episodes on using Adobe Audition.

Q: I'd like to see over the shoulder shots.

A: I do plan on doing this in an upcoming episode.

Q: Please do a video on the amazon thing!

A: She’s referring to doing an episode on how to set up an Amazon seller account. I set one up because I wanted to see how it worked. You basically set up a seller account on Amazon, and get special links you can use to promote products, like a camera. When your viewer clicks on the camera link, it takes them to the Amazon camera listing. If that person buys that camera, you get a very small percentage of what they bought. It costs the person buying the camera nothing. If you plan on doing this so you can have a few dollars to use on Amazon, that’s cool. If you plan on doing this to make a lot of money, good luck.

Q: What lens do you use for these episodes?

A: Well, I’ve used the 28mm, the 50mm, and 28-105mm lenses.  I’ve included my amazon seller links are below (joke).

Q: How come you don’t have like a zillion views on this channel?

A: I like helping people, and I don’t have “subscriber envy”.  I don’t make anything off this channel, except knowing there may be someone who can now make better videos or films. You should watch this video, also in the description below, where I cover subscriber statistics and how that can really ruin your channel and your brains!

And that wraps up my latest Q&A episode.

Again, if you’ve been following along with the create a YouTube video series, make sure you get your episode in this week so I have time to include it in the next episode.

I hope this helps, and thanks for watching!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Seven - Finale - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 44

LET'S FINISH THIS THING!!! We upload our video to YouTube and set all the settings. I also cover monetizing your video and how YouTube determines to make you a Partner (it's not the same as it used to be). Finally, I've included the Battery Grip demo episode I've been using for this training series at the end!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Six - Editing - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 43

EDITING TIME!!! We learn BASIC stuff to give you a starting point. Also, find out why all this crap is on my walls now.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Five - Shooting - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 42

LET'S FILM THIS DANG THANG!!! We have an outline, what we'll say, what will be seen, and we're all setup for shooting. Now it's time to film the episode. We learn about teleprompters, and you get to watch me mess up again (for like the 3 millionth time)!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Four - Setup - The Basic Filmmaker Ep 41

GET A ROOM! Got your OUTLINE? WHAT you'll say? WHAT will be seen? Well, now we setup everything for our shoot! Also, I tell you ALL the things that can go wrong, and describe the oddness of spontaneously disappearing!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

OliviaTech Notes from The Limb Reaper

The Limb Reaper ( sent me this email and said I could re-post for everyone to see. Enjoy!



Hi all,

Here are some photos of the jib I built today based on the plans from Oliviatech and The Basic Filmmaker.

Of all the Jibs/Cranes/Booms I've tried this was the easiest to build with the best results right out of the box.

The fluid head is the Manfrotto 502ah and the tripod is the Vanguard Alta+ 264AP. The Vanguard tripod is pretty nice and stable considering my limited experience with expensive tripods. The Alta head that came supplied, wasn't optimal for video, but would be and is very nice for still photography.

The Manfrotto 502ah head is fantastic for video! The major drawback to this head is the cost of the mounting plates (504P long) at $64.90. Yikes!!, that's some expensive head ;-)

If considering the 502ah head then definitely plan on buying the Manfrotto 577 Rapid connect adapter with the 501P long plate.

At $49.50 for the mount and plate and $24.95 for additional plates you can't go wrong.
Then again there is always the Giottos MH621 QR mount and plate on Amazon for $30.00 and they supposedly fit some Manfrotto plates too. One thing I will be doing is tapping an additional 1/4-20 hole in the front base plate of the jib or maybe even a 3/8 inch hole instead of just using the alignment pin. I see a potential disaster in my pictures (see frame 58); daylight under the front plate.

In the photos you'll maybe notice that I'm using the Sima Quickonnect mounts (pucks) and plate at the end of the jib (which don't seem to be available recently, even from Amazon). I'm glad I bought a bunch. I don't recommend using them on lens-heavy, high-dollar cameras, but they are great for GoPro and Handy Cam type cameras and would probably be useful on lightweight lens DSLR's.

For those of you who've seen my gigantic (sort of big) jib/crane, you know I built it with a mechanical cable-controlled Pan and Tilt. I'm not bothering with this simple jib. I had to counter balance using 7.5 pounds (about 3kg?) for the Sony Handycam shown. I actually tried my NEX-VG 20 and had to use 12.5 pounds (about 6kg?). By using the fluid tilt on the Manfrotto head I can actually tilt the camera and if I feel strongly about it, I can pre pan by using the square plate of the Sima QR and simply mounting it in 90 degree increments right, left or reverse.

If the weather is good and I can get out (and find something of interest to film) I should have something up soon.


The Limb Reaper

Photos here:!615&Bsrc=SkyMail&Bpub=SDX.SkyDrive&sc=Photos&authkey=!APAkJwEy_Q7k9JM

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Three - The Shooting Plan - The Basic Fi...

We have the outline, we've decide WHAT we're going to say, now let's figure out what will be shot and SEEN! Also, meet Old Uncle Filmmaker who will tell you a nice story, and why Johnny should get a glass window installed in his stomach!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode - Part Two - The Outline - The Basic Filmmaker ...

Learn to create an Outline, what to write, what NOT to write, and we get all the words worded for our episode! Also, see the word "blah" over 20 times, AND see how not to put a battery grip on a camera!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Create a YouTube Episode Part One - The Basic Filmmaker Episode 38

The most requested request on my channel is: "How do I create a YouTube video from start to finish." So, this video kicks off that series! Plus, meet "kitty", and learn god-like powers!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Focus Part 4 - The Basic Filmmaker Episode 37

Focus - In Part Four, the final episode, we wrap up this focus series, learn how to follow a helicopter, and I almost drop a camera!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Focus Part 3 - The Basic Filmmaker Episode 36

Focus - In Part Three, we cover controlling the blurriness using the APERTURE. Cool. So what the heck does that mean? I also go on a slight rant, and try and make something fly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Want to see what a Phantom camera filming at 1200 frames per second at 60 mph looks like in the hands of a skilled person? Check this out!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Focus Part 1 - The Basic Filmmaker Episode 34

 Focus - In Part One, we cover Basic Focus. It's simple, easy, and makes you look good! Now who wouldn't want that!?

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