About a month ago my team and I were filming at ConvertKit’s Craft + Commerce event and I was asked along with Levi Allen to give a workshop on why video is the biggest opportunity on the web right now and how to take advantage of it.
What follows is an hour long conversation about how to get more comfortable filming, why vlogging may not be the best format for you, which platform you should be focusing on, and what gear we recommend for video creation these days.
Since this is such a long video, I also made a full table of contents to help you jump around to topics that are most important to you.
Special thanks to ConvertKit for letting me film and publish this on my channel. If you’re interested in attending the event next year, check out the highlight video Levi filmed and edited here.
Table of Contents
- 2:35 — Making Casual, Less Polished Videos
- 5:18 — How Video Builds More Trust than Blogging or Podcasting
- 9:06 — The Opportunity of Growth in Video
- 10:19 — How to Create Engaging & Entertaining Videos
- 11:27 — How YouTube Algorithm is Penalizing Short, Concise Videos
- 12:49 — Why Each Video You Make Should Only Solve 1 Problem
- 14:33 — Why Vlogging is the Worst Way to Start on YouTube
- 15:54 — How to Make Instagram or Snapchat Stories People Want to Watch
- 18:00 — Getting Over the “Awkwardness” of Vlogging in Public
- 19:58 — Pretending You’re Recording for 1 Person
- 20:24 — When It Doesn’t Make Sense to Vlog
- 25:29 — How Live Video is Different
- 28:39 — Why Your Vlogs May Get Less Views Than Other Videos
- 29:57 — YouTube Trailer Strategy
- 32:47 — Authentically Asking for a Call to Action During a Video
- 34:55 — What Video Analytics To Actually Check
- 35:35 — How to Properly End a Video
- 36:56 — Put Your Videos Where Your Audience is: Private vs. Public Hosting
- 39:50 — How to Drive Traffic to Long Interviews or Audio Podcasts
- 42:41 — What You HAVE to Do to “Go to the Next Level”
- 46:49 — Audio Gear Recommendations for Vlogging & Filming Yourself
- 50:35 — Lighting Advice & Gear
- 52:42 — Camera Settings, Lenses, & Where to Place It
- 54:54 — How to Minimize Shadows & Make Your Lighting Look Natural
- 1:00:08 — How to Choose the Right Video Platform to Focus On
I got my first drone a few months ago, the DJI Mavic Pro, but I found myself not using it very much. Traveling with all the batteries and cables was a pain, daytime shots were too bright, and if I couldn’t fly it most places I went.
Thankfully I’ve found a few third party add-ons to help with all of these problems and I’ve been using it way more lately.
Here are some of my favorite accessories for the DJI Mavic Pro drone.
Items Mentioned in this Video
On PolarPro’s Website
I’ve done a few multi-camera live streaming productions over the last couple years and they are always a ton of work (and hassle) to get setup properly.
Beyond needing the proper HDMI or SDI cables run to all the cameras I needed a person switching camera angles, another person running an audio mixer board, an expensive piece of livestreaming software, everything set to the same frame rate, and more.
Now there is a better solution for running a multi-cam livestream, by yourself, without any wires, using only an iPad. It is pretty incredible and it is called SlingStudio.
Items Mentioned in this Video on B&H
As I shared in yesterday’s video, NAB is one of the big video conferences I go to each year because I get a ton of value from it.
Between meeting other filmmakers in person I’ve only known online before and getting hands-on time with some of the video gear I am wanting to test out before buying, it is definitely worth any time and money I spend to be there.
In this video I break down my top 5 favorite things I saw on Day 2 of NAB Show 2017.
- DJI Ronin 2
- Freefly Movi Pro
- Sony a9
- Lacie 2Big Thunderbolt 3 Dock
- Seagate DJI Fly Drive
Other Items Mentioned in this Video
For the last few years I’ve been going to NAB in Las Vegas. The “National Association of Broadcasters” Show is where all the television, film, and video companies come to show off the latest in camera gear, software, accessories, and live broadcasting equipment.
Now, that probably sounds like a pretty stuffy crowd (and parts of it are), but it is one of the most popular events for independent filmmakers and video creatives each year.
This is my third time going and I go to not only check out the new gear announcements and plan any future investments, but to meet YouTubers, filmmakers, and companies helping us to do our video jobs better.
In this video I break down my top 5 favorite things I saw on Day 1 of NAB Show 2017.
- SmallHD Focus
- Atomos Sumo 19” HDR Monitor
- Manfrotto Nitrotech Tripod Head
- Kinoflo Diva Lite LED
- Aputure 120D & 300D LED Lights
Items mentioned in this video:
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In my hunt for the perfect set of video lights to fly with and film my client’s videos, the next lights I tried are a set of LEDs from Fiilex.
The K412 set comes in a rolling travel case with 4 lights (two 360EX’s and two 180E’s), barn doors for each, three light stands, a softbox, and a cold shoe mount.
I’ve used these lights on different shoots over the past six months since filming this review and they’ve really helped me stay light and nimble when flying with all my video gear. (Normally I fly with a 67-pound case with two Kino-Flo Diva 401’s, which leads to paying more baggage fees too.)
For the size, these are extremely powerful lights. My two favorite features are controlling the white balance of the lights (from 3000K to 5600K) and that the hue of the lights doesn’t shift to magenta or green when using a power less than 100%. This happens with my Kino-Flo’s since they are fluorescent tubes, which means I always have them at 100% and need to use grids or diffusion in front of them.
These LED lights aren’t cheap, but when it comes to getting consistent quality light, I really think you get what you pay for. Especially when it comes to LED lights. The lack of quality control, longevity, and shifts in color hue when you start buying cheapest knock-off brand LED lights on Amazon or elsewhere is not worth the money you save in my opinion as you end up wasting time in post-production trying to get your colors right.
For the past two years I have done the majority of my lightning with Kino-Flo Divas.
The only problem is that I’m constantly flying to film for clients and need to set up and tear down quickly. I also have to light talent in a run and gun situation where the light needs to be held and moved while recording.
And while the light the Divas put off is big, so is the 67 lb case I have to lug them around in. I needed something different.
Enter the Westcott Flex LED Light. At 1’ x 1’ these lights look small but give off a ton of light. Constructed using a flexible LED panel you can easily handhold the light or mount it to pretty much anything you can think of.
Due to their versatility, I have found myself using these lights in all kinds of environments and consider them a staple to my kit.
I bought two of the Daylight balanced ones, but they also come in bi-color too if you spend a little bit more money. You can find the Westcott Flex Light on both Amazon and B&H.
This is the story of how we filmed and photographed our friend's secret wedding proposal, which was over a year in the making.
Over the next few days we will be flying to New Zealand to document the wedding (which is happening just 4 days after the proposal) and then staying for another month to travel and explore.
Follow my wife and I on Instagram for more behind the scenes.
More vlogs to come from New Zealand.