Removing the Barriers to Create Video Content on Your Blog
In today’s lesson, I’ve got some very practical and actionable information for you on how to shoot great video for your blog using your smartphone.
As I’ve mentioned a few times lately in episodes – video is becoming one of the hottest types of content online. While the written word isn’t going anywhere video content helps you to grow your reach, stand out from the crowd, make a connection with your audience and is highly shareable.
We’ve all heard about the opportunity but if you’re anything like me – you have a few questions, challenges and barriers that stop you getting into video.
- I don’t have the right gear!
- I don’t feel comfortable in front of camera?
- I don’t know the first thing about the technicalities of shooting and editing good video?
Recently at SMMW I bumped into a fellow Aussie by the name of Justin Brown who was doing a workshop on how to create great video using the camera that most of us already own – the one in our smart phone. Justin teaches how to create great online video at his site – primalvideo.com
I heard so many great things about Justin’s workshop that as soon as I got home I decided to get him on the podcast. I just finished our interview and I’m so excited by what Justin shared.
Over the next 35 minutes Justin is going to remove all of the barriers to getting into video that I just mentioned.
- He’s going to tell you what gear you need (your smartphone is #1). We talk affordable options for mics, lights, apps etc.
- He shares tips on getting comfortable on camera.
- Tips on how to set up your shot – we talk framing, lighting and more
- He gives tips on editing your videos – he suggests apps and software as well as how to approach the edit
- And we finish up by talking about how to export your video so it’s ready to be used online.
This is a highly practical interview that we designed to help you to create that first video.
Tools and Apps mentioned in this episode:
- Lavalier: BOYA BY-M1 (approximately $20)
- Shotgun: RODE VideoMicro (approximately $59)
- Wireless: RODE Wireless Filmmaker Kit (approximately $399) (not mentioned but a wireless option)
Lighting – Portable:
- YongNuo YN300 Air (approximately $40)
- Aputure Amaran AL-M9 (approximately $45)
Lighting – Studio (not mentioned but worth checking out)::
- SOFTBOX: StudioFX Lighting Kit (approximately $79)
- LED: StudioPRO S-600D Dimmable 600 LED Kit (approximately $426)
Wide Angle Lens:
- Techo Universal Professional HD Camera Lens Kit (approximately $16)
Tripods (not mentioned but worth checking out):
- SMALL: Arkon Tripod + Phone Mount (approximately $20)
- MEDIUM: Velbon EX mini (approximately $35)
- LARGE: Slik Video Sprint 2 (approximately $152)
Monitoring Software (PC/Mac)
- Reflector 2
- iOS: FiLMiC Pro
- iOS: iMovie
- iOS: Pinnacle
- Android: Cyberlink PowerDirector
Link to Justin’s site – Primal Video
Justin’s YouTube account
Join the video challenge in our Facebook group
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In today’s lesson, I’ve got some very, very practical and actionable information for you on how to shoot great video for your blog using your smartphone. As I’ve mentioned many times over in the last 100 or so episodes, video is becoming one of the hottest types of content online at the moment. Whilst we covered in episode 187 the written word isn’t going away anywhere soon, video content really does help you to grow your reach, to stand out from the crowd, to make a connection with your audience, and to create content that is shareable.
We’ve all heard about this opportunity of video but if you’re anything like me, you probably have either some questions or some challenges or barriers that stop you from getting into video. Things like I don’t have the right gear, or I don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera, or I don’t know the first thing about the technicalities of shooting and editing good video. They’re the questions I hear a lot, they’re the questions that I have, the barriers that I have myself to creating video.
Recently, I was over in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World and I bumped into a fellow Australian on the first night, a guy by the name of Justin Brown. Justin was one of the speakers at the event. He was doing a workshop at that event on creating great video using the camera that most of us already own, the one in our smartphone. Justin teaches how to do that and he has some great teaching on creating online video at his site, primalvideo.com. I heard so many great things about that particular workshop that as soon as I got home, I decided to get him on the podcast because I think he’s got some really good information for the ProBlogger audience. I literally just finished our interview. I’m so excited by what we covered for about 35 minutes.
Over the next 35 or so minutes, you are going to hear Justin remove all of those barriers that I just mentioned for getting into video. He’s going to tell you exactly what gear you need. The number one thing is your smartphone but we talked also about things like microphones, lights, apps, attachable lenses, and just how essential those things are. He really does suggest some very affordable options in each of those categories if you do have a little bit to invest.
He also talks about how the smartphone itself is creating good enough videos, that you don’t need a lot of that stuff as well. He also shares some tips about getting comfortable in front of a camera. We talked about some different types of videos that you could create, that don’t necessarily mean you need to get in front of that camera. He shared some tips on how to set up your shot. We talked about framing, lighting, and sound. He gives tips on editing videos including which apps and software might be best to use.
We finished up talking about how to export that video so that it’s ready to be used online. This is probably the most practical interview that I’ve ever done. You’re probably going to want to have something to take some notes on or you want to head over to the shownotes where I do list all of the pieces of gear that he mentions as well as the apps and software as well.
At the end of this interview, I issue you with a challenge. Be warned, I’m going to ask you to create a video. I really would love it if you would share it on our Facebook group. If you go to ProBlogger.com/group, you will find the ProBlogger Facebook group. In that group, that’s a safe place where you can share the videos you created as a result of this particular interview. You may not share it anywhere on else on the web but the challenge today is to create a video because by creating that video, it might be your first, you are going to learn so much. You may not share it but you’re going to learn a lot that will help you to create a better second video and a better third one. Take the challenge today.
If you want to head over to the shownotes to be able to follow through some of the tools and apps that Justin mentions, head over to ProBlogger.com/podcast/189, where there’s also a full transcript.
Let’s get into today’s interview.
Justin, I spoke in my recent episode 187 about how different types of content have almost like superpowers, different strengths, I guess. Written content is really great for being found in search engines, visual content is great because it gets shared a lot and grabs people’s attention, audio is good for building intimacy with your audience. I’d be interested to hear what you think video’s super power is.
Justin: I think it’s a hybrid of all of them. These days, you can get some really good optimized SEO for your videos. YouTube is the second biggest search engine followed by Google. What we do with our YouTube channel is we tailor or we optimize our videos for Google rankings. A lot search terms these days when you search for a problem or search on Google, you’ll actually be served up a video first before you actually get to the web pages themselves.
I think video is really a hybrid because you get a different level of connection than just audio or just text with your audience a well. I think it’s a bit of a hybrid of both.
Darren: Maybe you could just give our audience a little bit of your back story. How did you first get into video and why do you major on it today?
Justin: I’ve pretty much worked in video production my entire professional career for as far back as I can remember. I’ve been able to work on some really crazy projects with some really amazing people. I followed the big wave surfer Mark Visser, Australian guy, around the world for a few years following his big waves. I think he’s the guy that surfed Jaws in Maui at 2:00AM and was throwing jet skis out of planes and all sorts of stuff.
I’ve worked with guys that have 22 minute breath holds. Some really crazy people but also some really inspirational people like UN Women. I’ve had opportunities to work on some really top level documentaries as well in the health and wellness space.
From that, I’ve started a company with my brother Mike called Primal Video. We really just help people get better results with their videos faster. Essentially, removing all the barriers that we have and that we create to creating video content. That’s what we’re up to these days.
Darren: That’s a great introduction to what I really want to cover in today’s episode because every time I talk to bloggers about using video in their content creation, I get these recurring objections that people have or barriers that they have into getting into video. I even asked about it in our Facebook group just a few minutes ago and already I can see seven or eight people with questions but they’re all to do with these common objections I get. Do you get a lot of those objections? What are the main ones that you get?
Justin: I guess the fear of being on camera is a big one and actually sort of stepping out. From someone who’s always been behind cameras, a camera man, producer, or director, to step in front of the camera, it’s a freaky thing. It’s not normal for most people.
Some people love it. Some people have that gift but I can guarantee you that most of us don’t have that. It’s something that I don’t necessarily struggle with but it’s still not something I’m really comfortable with. It’s definitely something that everyone should practice and I think that everyone should be doing but it’s normal to have these fears.
It’s the fear of being on camera but also the fear of the technology or the technology, using it as an excuse like, “Next week I’ll have a different camera so I’ll hold off creating the content until then.” Or “My audio is going to be bad because it’s noisy outside.” All these little things that we can talk ourselves out of creating the content. I guess the key is actually starting and doing it, you can always grow from there but it’s also the hardest part.
Darren: The first objection I wanted to talk about was pretty much related to that. I don’t have a good enough camera. It’s too expensive. I can’t afford to buy it. The reason I wanted to get you on is your session at Social Media Marketing World this year was about creating video with smartphones which most of us have in our pockets. I guess the first question is do you really think a smartphone is good enough if you want to create video for your business?
Justin: 100%. As you said, I had that session at Social Media Marketing World which was purely based on that. We have these awesome cameras now in our pockets, in our hands. The cameras on them are actually really phenomenal. As long as you set them up right and get your lighting right, and all these sorts of simple things really, once you hear them, then you can actually get some really good results with them.
It’s always a case of using the gear that you’ve got instead of delaying until future gear, until you’ve got that new camera. It’s not needed. Use simple things like a plugin microphone to get better results. We can dive into that if you’d like.
Darren: Yeah, for sure. What other gear would you recommend people investing in? Maybe, if you could put it in a priority, what would you get first to take it to the next level?
Justin: First off, 100% would be a microphone, an aftermarket microphone. If you don’t have one, then I’m still big advocate for start now. Don’t say, “Justin said I need to have a microphone so I’m not going to create a video.” Use your phone to still create videos, but if you’re going to spend money.
If you’ve got bad video and good audio, you can replace the video and use slides or images or animations, anything. You can still use your video. If your audio is bad, then your whole video is going to look and sound bad. Audio would be by far the number one.
Darren: Do you have a first mic recommendation? Like for an actual microphone that people should look at?
Justin: There are three that I would recommend. There’s a $20 US microphone called the BOYA BY-M1. It’s a wired lapel or lavalier microphone. It’s got a huge cable, it’s like a six meter cable on it. You’re then connected to your phone but the audio that you would get through that is phenomenal.
If you don’t want to be tied or tethered to your phone or to your camera—that microphone lets you work on both your phone and your camera, both DSLRs and smartphone so that’s pretty cool—then you can get Shotgun Microphone, something like the RODE VideoMicro. I think this sells in Australia for around the $79 mark. It’s a little Shotgun Microphone so you can move away from your phone a little bit but the closer you are to it, the better the sound.
All these things aren’t going to be breaking the bank account but they will make a huge difference to the quality of your videos.
Darren: Great. What would you be looking at next? We’ve got microphone, lights.
Justin: Tripod, I would go tripod or some sort of stabilizer over lights. Lights would probably be number three. Getting the phone out of your hands or getting it stable is the next important step I would say to creating professional looking videos. If you had a production team coming out to do your videos for you, they’re not going to handhold the cameras, they’re going to be stable.
Whether it’s a selfie stick even if you’re going to be walking around, it’s going to be so much more stable in a selfie stick and out of your hand. If you’re going to be sitting down on a desk, then get a desktop tripod. If you’re going to be standing up, then get a tripod that’s going to go up to your eye level of where you’re going to be standing.
It sounds so simple, really, it essentially is simple, it’s just to get it out of your hands. Mimic what a production team would do if they showed up at your place to film.
Darren: That’s right. There are so many great tools now like this custom made things for live streamers and all kinds of little tools that you can use. It’s probably worth looking.
Justin: The little desktop tripods are awesome and you can use them again for Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Periscope from your mobile. That’s something I think that everyone should grab. You can pick them up for $10, $15 as well.
Darren: Yeah, okay. Lights, you mentioned there’s another option.
Justin: With your lighting, there’s a heap of options. If you look on places like Amazon, you could waste the part of half a day looking at all different lighting options. The ones that I like at the moment, that are relatively new ones, there’s a brand called Yongnuo. It’s $40. It’s essentially an LED light panel. You can power them from you 240 volt or from your wall socket as well. These are awesome little LED light panels.
I guess with your lighting, you want to make sure that you’re lighting up yourself first as the priority. You are the focus, you’re the one that’s delivering the content, you want your audience to be able to see you well and connect with you. Lighting up your background and the rest of your scene or your studio should be secondary. If you’ve only got one light, then make sure it’s lighting yourself up.
Another really good portable light is by a company Apache. This is a smaller one. It’s the ILM 9. Another one, I think it’s $45. We’re not talking lots of money but these are great little portable lights that even if you’re going to be out and walking around and want to set up at a park bench to create some content or go live, these are fantastic little lights.
Darren: That’s great. I just actually got asked in the Facebook group I run to ask about lighting but also the value of some of those mounted lenses, the wide angle lenses that you can clip on to the front of your phone. Do you put much sway into that type of thing?
Justin: I think it’s the kind of thing if you’ve got it or you’re happy to spend the money to get one, again, it’s not a lot of money, then do it. They’re always handy. I always carry one with me. They’re fantastic if you’re going to have more than one person in your video or in your livestream because you get so much more room, but also it helps your phone camera mimic more what a professional camera would.
It’s going to be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. It’s going to be more matching what we’re used to seeing on TV and these sorts of things. I think you could pick them for under $20 price point.
TECHO is a brand that we use. It’s a bigger lens and it will fit on the front end, the rear camera for most smartphones that’s why it’s a good, safe bet. Definitely, I think it’s an awesome tool to have with you. I wouldn’t rank it as high as a microphone or as a tripod or as lighting but the more of these things that you can tick off, the better the end result.
Darren: In terms of shooting the video, do you generally shoot in the native camera app or do you recommend looking at some of the other apps that are in app stores?
Justin: We really come down to the individual. Definitely, you can get great results using the inbuilt camera apps in either iPhone or Android. These days, it’s so easy to manually lock down the exposure and the focus so that you’re not going to have those changes while you’re filming. It’s just a matter of pressing and holding on the screen itself and it will lock down the focus point and the exposure, the brightness so it’s not going to change as you move in the shot or if the cloud comes over or those sorts of things. That’s really important if you’re going to be using the stock camera app.
If you want to take things up a notch and really get professional with it and really get the most out of your front cameras, then there’s a great app called FiLMiC Pro. I think it sells for around $14 Australian, $11 US. That would give you full manual control. Essentially, all the settings that you would find on a DSLR or video camera, you will be able to mimic those on your smartphone. Things like your white balance or your color changing throughout the shot. A lot more settings around your exposure and your shutter speed.
We’ve got a few videos on our YouTube channel as walkthrough. It’s taking you through how to set those up. I personally think they’re definitely worth using but don’t use that as a barrier. Like, “I’ve installed this app and I’m not sure how to use it. I’m not going to make a video today. I was going to keep coming back to it.” Just create the video as the priority and then grow as you’re comfortable or as you can.
Darren: I think that’s a great advice and that’s what we advice people on digital photography school with some of the apps on iPhone as well. Start on your camera, learn the basics there, and then once you start seeing the limitations of the camera and start noticing those limitations, then start looking for some of those other apps which really can take it up a notch but it’s kind of 1% of stuff for the average eye.
Justin: If you did a video on each, I would pretty much guarantee that your audience isn’t going to know, “Oh, he used FiLMiC Pro for this one.” Or “This one was the in built camera app.” I guess it’s more peace of mind for yourself, knowing that nothing is going to change and removing the chance that something is going to go wrong because the last thing you ever want to have to do is to re-record content that you’ve already recorded. It’s not only a pain but it’s a mental drain as well. You’re already past and you’re done with it. Try to eliminate that wherever possible.
Darren: Great advice. Objection number two that I get is pretty much what you mentioned before, I’m not confident enough to present on video. Do you have any tips for people who don’t have that experience of appearing on video or the confidence?
Justin: Once again, that’s something that I struggled with big time. Even moving from behind the camera to in front of it, it’s something that I’m still not 100% comfortable with but the key really, it’s going to be obvious, is to practice and to start now.
Even if you’re creating videos and not releasing them, just show your friends and family and get some feedback. Get used to really seeing yourself on camera and seeing yourself in the end video product. Most of the practice of talking to a little camera lens which is a weird thing, it’s a daunting thing if you haven’t done it before and when you’re first starting out.
The other things you can do are to put a picture behind your camera, or your webcam, or your phone, whatever you’re using of either a friend, a family member, or your ideal audience or client and just talk to them behind the camera. It sounds simple, it sounds silly but it makes a huge difference when you’re just starting out because you still then get some sort of human connection.
A lot of people, they just run out and lock themselves to the room and start recording. There’s no connection. You’re not talking to anyone. It’s a strange thing. Getting used to it and practicing, even if you’re driving along, press record on your phone and don’t crash while driving. Just get used to saying what am I doing today? What am I doing right now? Where am I going? These sorts of things just to get you used to talking on points. It’s amazing how fast you grow from there.
Darren: I find the same even with public speaking. The more I practice, the more I run through it, the more confident I am with what I’m saying but also visualizing that person that I’ll be speaking to is really important. We actually advice our readers when they’re writing content to have a picture of someone in front of them as well. I think that that would really work very well.
I guess the other thing that comes to mind is that there are other types of video that you could be creating where you don’t have to stand in front of the camera. Do you have any advice on other types of videos that people could be experimenting with as their first video?
Justin: I guess we’ll come down to the type of videos that you want to be creating. If you’re going to be doing sort of how to videos, then the obvious one is to do a screen recording and talk through something or even do a screen recording of a PowerPoint presentation or a slide show so that way you don’t have to be on camera, you’re just talking through your presentation. That’s a really simple way to get started with video. You can also use animations, or graphics, or animated text on screen so that you don’t have to be in front.
What I would really suggest is that you practice and learn to do it because even just from the personal brand building and the deeper level of connection when people see your face, they can then associate that with the content and with the information you’re sharing. It’s a deeper level of connection.
Even if you’re going to do a screen recording, I would say turn your webcam on and put yourself in the bottom corner of the screen recording. Even if you don’t use it as the end video, you can remove it in the editing software. Start now and get used to it because I think this is where everything is going. The quicker you can learn, the quicker you can get used to it, the more you’ll be able to leverage the power of video.
Darren: One of the questions that have been asked in the Facebook group by Susan is whether to use a script or whether to use bullet points and talk a little bit more off the curve. There may not be an answer to this question, it might come down to personality but what do you recommend people do?
Justin: I think it does come down to personality but I think it also comes down more so to the type of videos you’re creating. If you’re creating a sales video or a video for the front page of your website where you need to be very specific on what you’re saying especially in a sales video, in the offering, and you don’t want to miss any point, then I would say use a script if you can, use a teleprompter, or read through the paragraph first and then present it back to the camera. You can chunk it down.
You don’t need to worry about doing your videos in one take. Focus paragraph by paragraph and just focus on getting that paragraph right or how you like it and then move onto the next one. You can chunk it down and that’s a much easier way to create the content.
As for dot points, that’s another way to do it as well. For all of our videos I started out scripting them all but I think you actually get more personality through if you’re just able to use dot points because then they become more of a conversation instead of a teaching or a lesson. That’s again where you’ll get more personality through and the deeper connection with your audience.
Again, it’s practice. Try both and see which one works for you. The easiest way for most people is to write it out and present a paragraph at a time or if you have to do a sentence at a time because next time you might be able to move to a paragraph and then progress through the dot points.
Darren: I found the same with this podcast. I used to have a script and it was pretty much read. These days it’s dot points, it comes across in a much more conversational tone as well.
Justin: I think to be reading from a script, same as using a teleprompter, there is an art and a skill to using a teleprompter so that people don’t know that you’re reading. If they can tell that you’re reading, then there’s that big level of disconnect. It’s not authentic so it can have a big negative effect if you’re not able to present without looking like you’re reading. That’s where the end goal should be, dot points, in my opinion.
Again, don’t let that freak you out. Start now with paragraphs and I guess probably all the sales videos and things that we do and products and all those sorts of things, I definitely have them scripted out and sometimes I will use a teleprompter if I have to be so specific on the words that I’m using.
Darren: Great advice. Are there any teleprompter tips, skipping back to gear, I guess if someone does want an affordable option, what would you recommend them?
Justin: The one that I use and the one I recommend is by a company called Prompt-it. I’m pretty sure it’s actually an Australian company. It sells for around the $300 mark but it lets you put your iPod or iPhone and use that as the display to send the text up. It’s really easy to use and it just sits in front of your camera.
As for tips to make it look like you’re not reading, again, if you can use dot points so that you can see what you have to talk about next. But I guess the biggest way to remove that obvious part where you can tell people are reading is with your eyes. If you look outside of where the camera lens is, then it’s so obvious that you’re reading because you’re not then making the eye contact with the camera lens so you’re not making the eye contact with your viewers.
You can shrink the font size down so that all the text is in line with the camera lens. That way, even if you’re reading from left to right, as long as the text doesn’t go outside the camera lens, then you’re not breaking that eye contact with the viewer so it’ll be less likely for them to see that you’re reading.
Darren: Objection number three that I get is around the shooting of the video, things like I don’t know anything about framing shots, or lighting. We’ve already talked about some of the gear but do you have any tips on shooting the video. How do you light the subject with those lights you recommended? Any tips on the actual shooting process?
Justin: I guess the first one is an obvious one. This applies whether you’re using a smartphone or really any camera is to clean your camera lens first. It sounds so obvious but no one does it. Especially with our phones, that’s up against your face when you have makeup, dirt, grime, or fingerprints on it.
It’s about getting the fundamentals right first. You’ve got to create a checklist; clean the lens, use your microphone, then adjust your exposure and your focus. You really want to lock those down. You don’t want to have your cameras on automatic so that if something changes, your camera is going to make that adjustment. You want to know that it’s all set and it’s all sorted. It’s going to look good and sound good so you can focus on delivering the content.
In regards to the framing of the shot, you want to make sure that your entire head is in the shot. A lot of the times, you’ll see on videos, especially people doing it themselves, they don’t check the shot first so they might then move around in front of the camera and they’ve chopped off part of their head. Simple things like that. Do a test.
Get everything set up until you think it’s right or perfect but before you start, do a 15 to 20 second video. Go back and watch it, plug in headphones if you can so you can really listen to the audio and make sure that that is how you want it before you actually start shooting.
Specifically, in regards to framing, if you have to, put yourself in the middle of the frame. Ideally, if you had yourself slightly off to one side, left or right but not way off to the side, just a little bit off center, you’ll get a much more aesthetically pleasing shot. If you think of a documentary that you might have seen, no one is sitting smack in the middle of your shot. They’re always off to the side a little bit.
Maintaining eye contact with the camera lens is probably the most important thing you can do because you’re talking, you’re sharing your knowledge, your story, your message you want to be sharing with a person. If you’re having a conversation with someone face to face, you’re going to be making eye contact with them so you need to do that with your videos as well.
Darren: That’s great advice. Louise in the Facebook group just asked, do you suggest using the front facing camera or the back facing camera? If you’re using the one where you can’t see yourself, do you set up in front of a mirror so you can see how you’re framed or anything along those lines?
Justin: Great question. That’s a big one. I think the obvious answer is the easiest way to do it is use the front facing camera because you can monitor everything and see what’s going on. The front facing camera is more than enough for most people. We have a video on our YouTube channel that’s filmed with a front facing camera on an iPhone 5 and people are still blown away with the quality of it. That was just with the built in camera app, without FiLMiC Pro or any of these things.
The front facing cameras on any of the newer phones as well, newer than the iPhone 5 is going to be really good. Wherever possible I would say to use the rear facing camera because it is much higher quality. Obviously as you said, the logistics of doing that, in framing and making sure that you’re actually are recording well and you can’t see what’s going on makes that a little bit difficult.
Mirror is one way but what you can actually do, there’s a piece of software called Reflector 2. I think it sells for just under $15. You can install that on your Mac or PC. Whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android device, you can screen share over Wi-Fi your phone screen to your computer so that you can sit in front of your phone and use your phone for the recording but next to the phone on a computer you can see exactly what’s going on with your phone. That is an awesome app for monitoring what’s going on. That would be the ideal setup if you don’t have anyone there to monitor all of that for you.
Darren: That’s sounds like a very useful piece of software because I’ve shot numerous videos and then at the end I realize that I had chopped off the top half of my head which isn’t a bad thing when you’re bald. It can work.
Justin: It happens all the time. Back to our core message, we really want to remove these barriers and these bad experiences that people have creating content. Reflector 2 is an awesome piece of software that will hopefully eliminate you from having to reshoot because you’ve chopped off your head or something.
Darren: That’s great. We will link to all of these tools, apps, and softwares in today’s show notes. Objection number four, literally, as I’m saying I can say Vanessa has just asked in the Facebook group about editing. She said, “I technically get how to do it but I don’t feel like I’ve got a sense of style. What is the video equivalent of avoiding comic sense?” I think that’s a great way of asking it. “Do you have any tips on editing? What software should we be using? Should we be doing it in camera, in phone, or putting it into our computer? Any tips on getting a nice edit?”
Justin: Where I would start with is you’re always going to have more power and more control if you’re editing on a computer but it’s not always practical, you definitely can edit well using your phones or your iPads.
On iOS, I would recommend iMovie. If you want to take things up a notch, then you can get Pinnacle. It’s a great app. Pinnacle will really replicate what you can do on a system, on a computer. Those are two great places to start with editing on iOS.
On Android, check out PowerDirector. That’s a fantastic app that gives you pretty much the same functionality as you would again, on your desktop. The limitations on those pieces of software when you really want to get creative with effects and those sorts of things which aren’t really necessary for most videos, they’ll either just trim the start off, move your clips around, do color correction, those sorts of things, all the important stuff and save it out in a high quality format for YouTube or for Vimeo, wherever your videos are going.
You definitely can edit on your device and those are the apps I would recommend to check out. Obviously, moving onto a computer, your process is longer because you’ve got to get the files off of your phone or off of your device or the camera.
The key focus should be around, with any editing, first and foremost, edit your content down or chunk it down into the content itself. So many people would jump in and get to the fun stuff, the color correction, the audio, and the music, do all of that first but there may be actually be something wrong with your content or your might’ve missed something. It actually delays the entire editing process if you don’t get your content down first because by adding all these color effects and things, you’re actually putting more load on your computer or on your phone to actually edit the video down.
It’s another obvious one but get your content down first and then worry about the music and then worry about the audio and then the color correction. Probably the most important thing with any editing and any video is that your editing actually starts in your filming. If you’ve planned out your video and you have a set structure that’s already defined, or you’re working through when you’re filming, then your editing will become much faster.
If you only move on from one paragraph to the next paragraph or from one dot point to the next dot point once you’re happy with it so that your last take is always the best one, then when you’re editing the video, you can edit backwards. Instead of starting left to right as you normally would, if you start at the end, you’re always going to hit the best take first. You’re editing actually becomes much, much faster if you edit backwards, right to left, because you’re always going to hit the best takes first.
Be aware when you’re filming that you’re going to be editing so the least amount of takes or the least amount of stuffing around that you have will make your editing process faster as well.
Darren: The last objection that I hear a lot is around what to do with the video once you’ve got it and a common question again being asked in the Facebook group is how do I export my video in a way that doesn’t leave me with a massive file that is too hard to do anything with or that’s so low of quality that it’s not really viewable? Do you have any tips on what settings or export settings to set?
Justin: I guess the ideal scenario if your end goal is to upload your video to somewhere, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, you should be uploading the highest quality video that you can. It’s easy to say if you’ve got a really good internet connection which probably most people don’t. That’s why you would want to compress or reduce the size of your videos. It really is a chicken and the egg kind of thing. There is no set perfect solution because it comes down to how long your video goes for that you can then apply a different level of quality to reduce the file size of the video.
Where I would suggest everyone start is with the video preset that are built in or the exporting preset that are built in to all editing software. Whether you’re on your desktop or you’re on your phone, they’ll all have a preset for YouTube. Whether you’re going to export to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, use the YouTube ones because they’re the ones that are normally the best optimized in my opinion. Use those and see how the files size comes out from there. But you always want to be exporting on the highest quality possible.
These days, I think no one should be uploading videos online that’s less than 1080p. If you’re uploading at 720p, they should be only because you have to. Your quality these days and even with some people’s bad internet connection, you should still be able to produce a high quality 1080p video. That’s where I would start with.
The setting to look for if you need to tweak this is called the bit rate. It’s the number of megabits per second without getting too technical here, we’re taking 25 photos every second to make up our video so it’s the compression that’s applied to those. The higher the number, the bigger the file size, the better the quality, the lower the number, the more compression is going to be applied. If you need to tweak the preset, again, without going too technical, the bit rate is the setting that you want to adjust.
Darren: Sonia, actually, just asked in the Facebook group about using multiple cameras which was something that I hadn’t thought to ask you but do you think that’s going to add much to the video, to have different cameras? Are there any other advantages of shooting from different angles or does that get too hard in the editing process?
Justin: That definitely adds a step or adds a couple of steps to your editing process but it can also give you greater flexibility when you’re editing. For any high end videos that we will create, we’ll always use two cameras. The beauty of that is you can cut people’s sentences in half and switch to the other camera angle and it will then still look seamless. If they’re having a really good run and they’re halfway through a sentence and stop for some reason, you could switch camera and pick it up on the next take. The viewer watching doesn’t realize that that’s happened, still looks like a seamless take.
In saying that, you’re also going to need a second camera, second batteries, second memory cards, your storage is going to go up and then you got to sync the two cameras together to make sure that they’re perfectly lined up. Logistically, there’s definitely a lot more involved and for most people’s content videos, I would say that is way too much overkill unless you’re going to be recording in your computer with multiple webcams. That could be the easiest way to do it.
If you’re going to use software OBS or Wirecast for maybe a Livestream or a screen recording, then that would be the easiest way to get going with multi camera.
Darren: Second to the last question is around the most common mistakes that you see people making. I get the sense probably the biggest one is not making videos at all and letting the obstacles stop you making the videos, but any other mistakes that you think people really do need to just be aware off as they’re creating those first videos?
Justin: I think the planning is really the key and getting really precise on who you want to be targeting or who you want to be talking to. The more specific you can be with your avatar or with your target market and knowing directly who you’re talking to is really the key, especially if you’re looking to do things like to grow an audience on YouTube or something like that. You want to be talking directly to those people so you’re not talking to the masses.
For example, our audience on YouTube, we don’t ever tell them a free option unless it is the best option because we don’t want to be targeting people that are only there for the free answer. Essentially, that’s our lead generator. We want to be bringing in customers and clients through our YouTube channel. We know who are our ideal customer is for our courses and products and we target all of our video and all of our messaging to that. That’s probably the first point that a lot of people miss. They’ll create videos for the masses and hope they rank. It’s actually a lot harder to rank a video that is designed for everyone.
Same with SEO in general, you want to get specific on who you’re talking to but also around the content that you’re delivering. If you can get it down to dot points and get a structure around it, and follow that structure, then there’s no thinking why you’re creating the videos. You know that you’re going to hit every mark and create the content that you want.
Darren: Great advice. Last question, if you had a little bit more to spend on your setup, would you be looking at upgrading your camera or do you think it’s better to invest your money into something else in the process?
Justin: I guess it really depends on what you’ve already got. I would recommend at this day and age is that if you’re going to spend some money, get a camera that can shoot in 4k, that’s higher than 1080p. If you’re going to release your videos in 4k, there is some advantage. YouTube has a 4k section and features 4k videos, as far as we know, higher.
But also if you’re only going to be releasing your videos at the 1080p resolution and you’re recording in the higher quality, 4k, then you’ve got so much more flexibility in your editing. You’ll essentially get a wide shot and a tight shot from the one piece of footage. It definitely gives you more flexibility and more creative control in your editing but also you can hit a different market or get more attraction on your videos if you’re going to release them at the highest quality.
A lot of people still think 4k is too far away and it’s not worth doing it. I beg to differ and say that if you can and a lot of smartphones even these days will have the 4k option. You will need more storage because the files are going to be bigger, you will need a slightly more powerful computer because it’s going to be more load on your computer but if you can and if it’s feasible for you, then I would recommend shooting in 4k.
Darren: Where can people learn more about what you do and your business and learn how to take the video shooting to the next level?
Justin: Our website is primalvideo.com and our YouTube channel is youtube.com/primalvideo.
Darren: Excellent. We will link to that in the shownotes today as well as all of the other tools, apps, and suggestions that you’ve made. Any last advice for the ProBlogger audience? On video?
Justin: You can already guess what it’s going to be. Start now. Use what you’ve got. Practice, practice even if you don’t release your first video, it’s always the case of everyone that we’ve helped, they always wished that they’d started earlier. A lot of the barriers and things that we have, they’re in our head. We’ve got the gear. If you’ve got a phone, you’ve got enough. If you’ve got a DSLR, even better but don’t wait for the technology and just start now.
Darren: Great advice. I’m actually going to issue a ProBlogger challenge to our audience. Those of you listening now, I want you to go and shoot a video in the next week if you can, don’t delay. You could probably do it faster than that. I want you to share it in our Facebook group. It’s just a small group of 3,500 of your closest blogging friends are going to see it. It’s not going to go any further than that. We’d love to see what you create there and give you some encouragement as well. Maybe we can give each other some suggestions on how we’d improve things as well. That would be pretty cool. If you are listening to this, head over to the ProBlogger Facebook group and share your videos there. That would be great.
Thank you so much, Justin. I really do appreciate this. It was nice to meet you in San Diego, another Aussie in another part of the world.
Justin: There was a few of us there.
Darren: There was. There were a lot of us there. I actually heard a lot of really positive feedback about your sessions. You’d have a lot of value today for our audience. I appreciate your time.
Justin: Thank you very much. It was awesome to meet you too. Thank you for having me on the podcast.
Darren: No problem. Thanks a lot.
I just listened to that again and there is some really good information there. Thank you so much to Justin Brown. You can check out more from Justin over at primalvideo.com where you’ll also find links to his YouTube channel which has some really good quality videos on how to create great video online.
You can check out our show notes over at ProBlogger.com/podcast/189 where we do have links to all of the tools and apps mentioned today. Also, please do head over to the ProBlogger Facebook group. I really loved doing that interview and seeing the questions come up as I was interviewing Justin from the group. I would love to see the videos you create there. I will set up a thread. Once this podcast has gone live there will be a thread over in that Facebook group for you to share the videos you created. I might even invite Justin over to the group as well so he can see some of the things that he inspired today.
Really looking forward to looking at some of those videos and connecting with you further in the Facebook group or on the shownotes in the comment section. Thanks for listening today. Happy shooting with your videos and I’ll chat with you next week in episode 190 of the ProBlogger podcast.
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