Sunday, December 4, 2016

Making Films and Videos - What's YOUR Pain Point? Basic Filmmaker Ep 205

We're going to learn some stuff.

But first, let's find out WHAT your pain points are.

Take the 2 question survey here: 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Smooth II Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphones from Zhiyun

I do a quick review of the Zhiyun Smooth II, a 3-Axis handheld electronic gimbal stabilizer for smart phones such as the iPhone and Android. I found this unit easy to use, extremely reliable, and very handy. #zhiyun #stabilizer #iPhone #smartphone #share

Smooth II at Amazon:
Smooth II at B and H:
Curtis Judd Review:
Blunty Review:
Geekyranjit Review:
Geranos Review:
Zhiyun Website:
Free Courses:

I was supplied with the Smooth II by Zhiyun free of charge for review. I was under no obligation to offer anything but my honest opinion.


GEAR: Using Canon, Rode, Zoom, and Adobe products.
LEGAL: All music, footage and graphics are created or licensed.

Music from licensed here:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

REMINDER: Only 3 days left to get the $20 discount!
REMINDER: Only 3 days left to get the $20 discount for the On Camera course: Your support and shares are appreciated. #share #course #online #university #filmmaking

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Guest Post - Michael Hall - What's a "Mise en scène" Infographic?

     Michael Hall over at the ShoHawk website asked if I would consider a guest post on my website where he talks about what a Mise en scene is with an infographic.

Sure! Take it away Michael!

 An Overview of Mise en Scene

      “Mise en scene” is a French word that means placements on set, by describing the various aspects of film production. If you’re a filmmaker, you’ve likely heard the term and possibly been confused as to why this may be important to your process.

     It’s is a wide term and involves the whole process of the film’s production. This process starts with story writing, arranging for actors, arranging sets, screenplay, dialogue, lights, camera, costumes and much more than one can think or imagine.

     Mise en scene is essentially the way by which everything about a picture or film is depicted to the viewer in a very simple and a strong way.

     This requires a lot of observation and detailing. It needs to be planned and then executed step by step. This means that the mise en scene needs to be coordinated and arranged properly so that there aren’t any flaws.

     A little oversight can also lead to misrepresentation of facts and the viewer can get a total wrong impression of what you’re trying to depict. Check, recheck and coordinate with your team properly and make things transparent and clear. If you make a checklist of the set, this will make it easy for you to remember things and reduce any risk of omission or flaw.

     Mise en scene is the most important part of a film - you can say that it is the heart of the whole system that supplies the most required blood to the body which helps one to live.

     I’ve put together the following infographic to help you understand what you should look for as you start putting your scenes together.

     Michael Hall runs the production company ShoHawk, with director Christopher Sakr.

How To Look and Sound Better On-Camera Ad - Basic Filmmaker Ep 204

     On Camera Course ➤
     University Courses ➤

    Maybe I'm confused about something here.

     So, I spend years offering free videos to people on YouTube, investing much of my own time and money, which could otherwise be utilized making more free time and money for myself.

     Then I start the university (which was by HUGE majority a request by people watching my channel) and offer free and paid courses, which at my current count has cost me tens of thousands of dollars I am not sure I will recoup anytime soon.

     Then I decide to post a video about my most recent course, which I jumped through hoops wheeling and dealing to get it down in price to $79, and offer a discount until November 30 of $59, a.k.a. I'm losing money on this.

     And I get a few negative comments and emails, and I also get possibly the most down votes on this video that I think I've ever gotten.

     There's something really wrong with the world when it becomes NOT OK to support yourself, and even recoup all the things you are doing, and being given crap when you're basically giving something away for free, and have been for years.

     If I ask you to mow my lawn, then complain about paying you something, then I must be an idiot, right? I think so, unless I am missing something.

     Am I missing something?

     I don't think so.

     It seems about 20% of the world seems to object to other people doing well in some way, and think they are entitled to get whatever they want when they want it, and gods forbid you actually mention something that may help YOU continue doing what you are doing to help others.

     OK, I'm ranting a bit, but, let me say this to the 20%.

     I don't care.

     I will continue to do what I do, and even if 10 people in the world want to learn something, and even if those ten people are the only ones who think maybe 4 months of my time and thousands of dollars invested are worth 10-15 double espresso shots at Star Bucks, I'll keep doing what I am doing.

     So keep up it PLEASE.

     We the people who have some sense of exchange, some idea that the things people do are worth something, are going to keep doing what we do.

     And we love that by your actions you hang a big giant sign on yourself saying "I'm one of THOSE people."

     Wait, did you think I'm upset or unsettled by these actions?


     I just got bored and decided I'd take a poke back at ya. :)

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Curtis Judd Audio Challenge Part Two - Basic Filmmaker Ep 203

     So I post a video asking Curtis Judd for sound advice (, he posts a video in response (, now I post a video showing the results. 


     Watch and learn how to make sound better. Thanks Curtis!


     Moving Blankets:
     Grommet Kit:
     Original Video:
     Curtis Judd's Response Video:
     Free Course:
     Free Course:
     Curtis on YouTube:
     Curtis Judd Sound Courses:

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Curtis Judd Audio Challenge Part One - Basic Filmmaker Ep 202

     I'm not a sound guy. 

     So I sent this RAW audio file to Curtis Judd over at, and challenged him to make it better.  

     Stay tuned for the next episode where I share the results. 

     You can download the RAW file yourself here:


                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Free Titles Course - Basic Filmmaker Ep 201

     Yep, you're seeing a whole lot of posts in a small span of time from the website, and that's because I've been very remiss in posting here.

     I've been REALLY busy getting Basic Filmmaker University and the paid and free courses up and running, and WOW - it is far more time consuming than I ever imagined.

     I am hoping to get the university going well enough with enough follows so I can move into doing YouTube and these courses full-time, as I'm really ready for a change from the commercial filmmaking world into a world where I can deliver knowledge and instruction to people who would like it.

     I plan on keeping things flowing, honest, and simple, and I an hoping the people who follow me on YouTube, various social media services, and have enrolled in the university, appreciate what I am trying to do.

     You cannot over estimate how much I care about people who are willing to learn, and will continue to offer whatever knowledge I can share as long as they do.

     Here's a few links if you are interested:

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

A Fantastic YouTuber To Follow Ash Tailor

     OK, I'll admit it publicly - I'm not really a fan boy of pretty much anything, but I REALLY like Dave Dugdale and what he has done for filmmakers and YouTube creators.

     It's not often I meet someone who is kind, honest, has a sense of values, and is willing to offer a kind word of support or encouragement, expecting nothing in return.

     He's that kind of guy, which is why I've been following his YouTube channel for years.

     When Dave posted this video, mentioning my channel, I almost missed it, as I was absolutely astounded at what this guy Ash Tailor is doing.

     Some of his videos aren't even interesting to me as far as subject matter, but WOW!  They are just really, really, good to look at, and to be frank, makes me ashamed I don't make more time to up the quality of my own videos.

     I am definitely working on a plan to make my videos of a MUCH higher quality in the near future, but many things have to occur before I am able to allot the time needed to do so.

     But I have to thank Dave for turning me and everyone else onto Ash, and Ash himself for really getting a few of us to stop for a moment, and realize the potential we wield in our hands as filmmakers to really use the tools we have to hand to provide visually stunning content to our audiences.

                    My Best,

                    The Basic Filmmaker

Dear Friends and Family, Support the Passion - Basic Filmmaker Ep 200

     FOR YEARS I've listened to people, families and friends complain about each others hobby or life interests. 

     I decided to make a statement on the subject of PASSION to them all.

     I try not to make statements like this, as it seems a bit pompous or arrogant, but sometimes I've just had ENOUGH of the complaining.

     These days the "fad" seems to be tearing people down and everyone jumping in the pool to join the party.

     I'm THAT guy standing at the edge of the pool shaking his head.
     I LOVE artists, and that includes anyone who attempts to create anything out of nothing.

     It is my opinion that the world needs more people who can create things, and these people need to be supported.

                         My Best,

                          The Basic Filmmaker

Konova SunJib 700 Professional Mini Jib - Basic Filmmaker Ep 199

     You may have noticed a bit pricier equipment being reviewed lately.

     That's because many subscribers requested it.

     This jib is absolutely fantastic, built like a tank, and portable, which makes it the best min-jib I have.

     These Konova guys are really about quality, and everything I have from them just keeps on working and gives me no problems, which is a godsend when you're filming on tight schedules.

     It may be you're not in the market for a jib, and that's OK, but if you are, AND you intend to use it a lot, this is hands down one of the best.

     You can check it out here:

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Saramonic SR-TM1 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Mic - Basic Filmmaker Ep 198

     Boy! Talk about being behind! It been almost 2 months since I updated this website and a lot has happened!

     But for now, let me catch up by adding all the videos sitting in my drafts folder starting with this one.

     Nice mic, check it out!

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Monday, September 12, 2016

Glide Gear Geranos 3-Axis Full 360 Degree FIlmmaking Stabilizer - Basic Filmmaker Ep 197

     Man, this was a long video to produce.  I ended up with over 1 1/2 hours of video, and decided I better cut it, and cut it again, and again.

     There's not much I can add to the video, it pretty much speaks for itself, but, I must say, this has changed my entire attitude when it comes to these "low cost" electronic gimbals for the basic filmmaker.

     I intend to purchase a couple more and use them in my more professional work, which says a lot.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

What Camera Should I Buy? Basic Filmmaker Ep 196

     The most asked question ever, and my answer, with a few exceptions, is in this video.

     Basically, use what you have, and learn the hell out of everything you can using it.

     When you've somewhat mastered all those things, THEN you can make a smart camera purchase, as you'll know exactly what you need for your own shooting situations.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

How To DIY A White Background For $0 - Basic Filmmaker Ep 195

     Really not much to see here - it answers a question I got after my last Q&A video, which was, "How did you do that white background?"

     It's pretty simple and pretty DIY. A white sheet, some lighting, and you're good to go!

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Monday, August 22, 2016

My Very Long and Very Overdue Q&A Video - Basic Filmmaker Ep 194

     Shame on me!

     I needed a viewer to remind me that I hadn't done a Q&A video in over four months!

     I REALLY like doing these Q&A videos.  They're fun to do, allow me to add some humor (well, at least humorous to me), and I usually take the opportunity to offer my opinion on something.

     It always reminds me of how many cool people there are out there that support what I am trying to do, and I appreciate it.

     Currently, I am working on another new course over at Basic Filmmaker University - these are SO time intensive and involved. OK, maybe they are for me as I'm really picky about the research and what I am saying to make sure it's all legit, and more importantly, that every lecture offers something to the student they can APPLY to their filmmaking.

     I am also considering making a video about gaining subscribers.This may sound self-serving, but really, I am not a "see how many subscribers I can get" kind of guy.  However, I am a "see how I can attract subscribers who may need and want these types videos and don't know the channel exists" type of guy.

     Mainly I want to do a test - if I make a "call to arms"  type video, asking all my subscribers and viewers to help me up my subscriber count, would this actually work?

     I want to see if this is a viable process for YouTube creators and if so, share it with them on my YouTube course as a successful action, or, a "don't do this" thing.

     I haven't quite figured out how to present this without coming off "subscriber" hungry, which I am most definitely not.  I've always said that as long as I have ten people interested in making their filmmaking a bit better, I'll keep making these videos.

     So it's a bit of a conundrum - how to I do this test without looking like I am hungry for subscribers?  Still figuring that one out.

     Anyway, thanks for watching, thanks for your support, and we'll talk to you next week when I (hopefully) start my series of reviews on the stabilizer I eluded to in the Q&A video.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

$28 Be Audio Lapel Mic - Basic Filmmaker Ep 193

     What can I say?

     No matter what, I continue to get questions from people who spend between $500 and $5000 on a camera asking me, "What is the cheapest microphone and audio recorder I can get?"

     I liken these questions to someone purchasing a $200,000 Lamborghini and asking where they can get the cheapest car wax at Walmart, then complaining that their Lamborghini just doesn't turn out all shiny like it's supposed to.  OK, I get it.  Well, actually, not really.

     The only thing I can figure out, is these film and video makers don't know any better - which is totally normal - it's called learning.

     That I do get. I've been around for a few years, and trust me, some of the sound I've captured (or worse, paid for) is pretty awful.

     The real thing to realize is the audio is 50%, no, 90% of your video or film.  

     Then realize that if you want your film or video to to have a half-a**ed chance in hell of being liked, you better have good, no, excellent audio.

    Then realize that if you're going to cheap out on audio gear, that you are doing so to get experience in handling and recording audio, until the day you can buy something worthy of the things you plan to create.

     Then finally completing the "how do I make my video or films awesome" by finally purchasing the proper gear you need to get good audio.

     In the meantime, purchase something like the be-Audio lapel mic, and figure out how you get the BEST sound you can out of your phone and this mic.

     When you finally have enough money to invest in a pro lapel mic and recorder, it will be a no brainer for you to get the best audio you can out of that.

     My Best,

     The Basic Filmmaker

Thursday, August 11, 2016

How To Learn About Sound and Audio - Basic Filmmaker Ep 192


     Little did I know posting this video would be received (by a very few) as a "commercial" and that I was doing this as a favor or to make some extra cash.

     Well, fine, and, don't care.

     When I find something I really like, I get excited about it, and review and post a video about it - in this case a review of Curtis Judd's sound and audio course.

     Heck! I even got everyone watching the video $20 off the course with this link:

     Some are wondering why the hell I would send people off to another course when I have my own free and paid courses at Basic Filmmaker University.

     Well, you see, when I find something I really like, I get excited about it, and review and post a video about it...

     I just can't get it across to some people that I did NOT create my new University or my YouTube channel for money, or fame, or anything else other than trying to help out other people, in this case filmmakers who want, no - NEED, to learn good fundamentals on getting good sound for their videos.

     And, when I do make money off these things, apparently that's some evil crime in YouTube land. I mean, shouldn't I spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours and not make any money?

     Apparently, some don't get basic economics and the fact that you need to make more than you spend, or, you go broke, and can't afford to make anything anymore. Or even scarier, maybe they do.  I hope not.

     And, apparently I am a terrible person for doing things like that.

     Well thank [insert deity or whatever of your choice here] that is only a few people.

     And, for those very few people that fall under the above, let me repeat a long-standing comment I've made a number times in my videos - DON'T CARE.

     For everyone else, thank you for supporting the Basic Filmmaker University and my YouTube channel.

     Really.  I couldn't be happier with all the kind people I've met doing the things that I do, and that probably includes you if you're still reading this. :)

     Thank you!

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

How To Create Multiple Titles Trick (Adobe Premier Pro) - Basic Filmmaker Ep 191

     So, there you are, dinking around with a project and realize you have 152 titles to add at certain places in your video, and, it's due tomorrow!


     Well, if you're using Premier Pro, this is a great trick to use, and a real time saver.

     Just watch the video and see the magic.

     Basically, set markers at the places you need to insert your titles, use the tool as described in the video, and voila!

     It's a real time saver when you have a lot of titles to position in your timeline.

     Hope you enjoy this tip!

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Saramonic MixMic Audio Kit Review (Part 2) - Basic Filmmaker Ep 190

     I decided once and for all, I would either get off my high horse about NOT recording audio into a DSLR, or prove myself wrong.

     Well, neither happened really.

     I can see how IF you insisted on recording your audio into your DSLR (which I still don't understand) you would absolutely want something like this audio kit to do it.  It really is the best way to pull it off, IF you also do some post processing on the sound.

     I am also of the opinion that there is no way I would do this, if the audio I was recording was important to me.

     I still think if you are going to spend $500, $1000, $2000 on a DSLR, then you should just pony up the extra cash and get a good mic and a good audio recorder. Syncing these, of which I've made MANY a video on how to do this, is really simple.

     I would usually say, "that's just my opinion" but, I think it's a fact. I have yet seen anyone able to match a good mic into a good audio recorder by recording sound to their DSLR.  I'd be OK with being wrong about this, so send me a video that shows me you can do it.

     IF you care about the audio for the video you're recording, spend the money. If you want to TRY and get decent audio and insist on recording it to your DSLR, then get one of these units.  If you don't care about getting good sound, then you're either not recording sound or I think you'll hit that brick wall of never evolving to that next step as a filmmaker.

     Sound is MORE than 50% of your video. Kind of up to you, but I would suggest if you want to create watchable videos or films, you need to develop your sound skills sooner or later.

                         My Best,

                         The Basic Filmmaker

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