Welcome to Lesson 4
In this lesson we will be learning about production elements and types of equipment used in making YouTube videos. We are learning this because successful participation in communities relies on understanding systems of communication.
We will also continue to explore some of your ideas for the YouTube style channel that you will be making.
Our subject specific vocabulary will also expand.
By the end of the lesson you will know more about production elements and equipment. In addition to an expanded vocabulary, you will have a developing understanding of the relationship between your ideas and the equipment needed to make them a reality.
Remember – because of our deal with Adobe, you can download Photoshop for 12 months for only $11.00. Contact Mrs Ortlipp to organize this. If you need her email address, message me!
Have a word document open, or a notepad. When you hear good ideas, or if inspiration suddenly strikes you, jot them down for later use!
When you see this image it means that there are questions that you must answer and send to me!
Most of us don’t have access to super fancy camera’s and studio lighting. Luckily for us though, our phone camera’s offer a pretty decent alternative. The secret to making great video’s comes down to understanding what the gear you have access to can do well. Lets listen to some tips from YouTuber Maya Washington.
Some types of equipment include:
- Point-and-shoot cameras are simple, all-in-one devices that are great for frequent vlogging in almost any setting. Some models have a reversible LCD screen so you can see your shot. These no-fuss cameras (around $500 US) can deliver full HD (1080) image quality, and many creators use them in their everyday videos.
- DSLR cameras can deliver a more cinematic look, but may require a learning curve to operate. They use interchangeable lenses, are much heavier, and are sometimes trickier to focus. These cameras cost more ($500-$2,500 US), and they are typically used by creators who want a more artistic or professional look.
- Phone Camera’s. Explore your phone camera’s manual functions – you will be surprised at how advanced some of these phone have become!
In your word document answer these questions.
Make a list of the equipment that you have access to. Don’t forget the great tradition of Australian DIY film-making. If you can make a reflector from a car’s silver window shade’s than that is great!Understanding the strengths and weakness of your equipment is really important. There are many very successful YouTube stars who use just basic gear in creative ways.
Some tips on getting the most out of your phones camera.
Sound & Lighting
Good sound is a must. Viewers often don’t mind imperfect lighting, but they usually can’t stand poor sound. We’ll go over some mic options here and share tips to improve the sound quality of your videos.
First, if you’re using your camera’s onboard mic, you may need to stay within a metre and a half from the camera for the best audio. If you opt for an external mic, your setup will depend on your location and other factors.
Many creators use a “two-point” lighting system. This involves lighting your main subject from two light sources at opposing directions. In this setup, the “key light” provides the primary lighting, while the “fill light” balances out the shadows.
Another option would be “soft lights,” which sometimes cost less, consume less power, and are more flattering. A single soft light can be great for close-up shots. You can add lights to illuminate the background or other parts of the scene, as needed.
Don’t forget about one of the brightest lights in existence—the sun! Try recording outside or using natural daylight through a window. Some creators even choose to shoot at certain times of day because they prefer using natural light. Plus, it’s a lot easier and cheaper!
Simple lighting techniques
A few easy tools can create intriguing moods and change the whole feel of the scene. Experiment with decreasing or increasing the light intensity:
Shine the light through a white diffusion sheet, or obscure part of the light with a shade. Diffused lighting provides a softer look for your subjects. Just never put materials too close to a hot light to avoid a fire hazard.
Use a bounce card to give your subjects a highlighted glow or even out the quality of light.
Intensify your backlight to put a glowing “edge” on your onscreen talent, for a professional look.
Don’t forget: when working with lighting equipment, take the time to read the instructions and prepare a safe environment.
Finally, the sun can be a great (and free) source of light. The best sunlight typically happens during the early morning and late afternoon, so avoid shooting between 11am and 3pm as sometimes the overhead sunlight can produce an unflattering effect.
From the above passage on Sound and Lighting, add the terms in yellow to your Vocabulary list.
Good sound is a must! What can you do to ensure that your audio recording is the best it can be? Write down the steps you can take within your setting to minimize disruption.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Read the section below on Locations. Scout your location. Make a list of places with good light and at what time of day they are at their absolute best. Consider the backgrounds. Are there distracting elements? Write these down with a plan to minimize their distraction.
Select your location
Looking for that perfect place to record? Many creators shoot their videos at home. This can be great for gameplay, unboxings, beauty tutorials, and a bunch of other topics. Whichever the category, and if you have the extra space, it’s often helpful to have a dedicated room or office that you use for recording videos.
Other videos are shot outside. For example, if you’re doing a travel vlog, you probably capture most of your footage on the go. And in some cases, you’ll want to find a specific location that corresponds with your overall trip.
For all locations, it’s important to think about the lighting and sound to ensure you can control the conditions. Also consider the safety of everyone involved. If you’re outside, remember to plan around other factors such as the weather forecast, transport of equipment, access to power outlets, etc.
It’s your responsibility to know when you might need permission to record—from a business, property owner, or even a bystander in the background. Keep in mind that some places may not allow any recording, such as inside a court or government building. Rules differ around the world.
One last piece of advice: be sensitive to people’s privacy, including your own. If you shoot at home, avoid showing your address. In all locations, respect the privacy of other people (don’t include their image, voice, or personal information without their consent).
Design your look
In addition to the location itself, you can establish a visual style through set design, what you wear, and how you look. Think about how everything shown on camera will reflect your personality and brand. Many creators use consistent design elements so that the audience instantly recognizes their channel. Here are a few pointers:
Backgrounds. Try choosing backgrounds that exemplify the types of videos you’re making. For example, if you produce comedy videos, you may use bright colored backgrounds, whereas for more dramatic videos you may choose a darker or muted palette. You can use contrast or texture in the background to make subjects stand out. Try to remove things from the background that are overly distracting.
Clothing. Similarly, you can be creative with what you wear, as it says a lot about you. To save money, many creators who need vintage clothing look in thrift stores or classified ads. Accessories—such as hats, jewelry, or handbags—often can be found in online auctions.
Brand. In addition, consider how your look reflects your brand. For example, a gaming channel might have a more casual look, while a business channel might be more formal. You may wish to experiment with various elements to find out what works for your personal style.
Don’t underestimate how gorgeous soft window light can look. These experts on lighting have massive budgets and studio toys to play with. Experiment with what you can do, don’t focus on what you can’t do!
You now have enough information about creating a channel concept, pre-planning your shoot and some of the things that you can do to get the most out of your phone’s camera. What is needed now is practise!! Spend some time recording with your camera or phone camera. Interview a sibling or carer. Experiement with lighting, audio, backgrounds. Just go nuts with trying different ideas. Your recordings will soon start to show you the strengths and weaknesses of your equipment.
For those who want more!
Shoot a time-lapse sequence such as sunrise or sunset with your phone. Time-lapse can be a great way to transition from one part of your video to another. Many phones have this as a setting. If your phone does not, record the sunrise or sunset and then speed it up using software.
TIP!! – Time-lapse can take a long time. If you need to be using your phone – perhaps did up an old phone that you may not use anymore and use it for the recording.
TIP!!! Your camera will need to be stable for the duration of the time-lapse. So set it up in a secure spot where it wont move!
Submit your time-lapse to OneDrive and send me the link.