So once you have your equipment, you’re ready to start creating your footage and uploading it to YouTube!
So what is the average day like for a YouTuber? How do you go from start to finish and save yourself as much time as possible? Well, everyone works differently but it’s certainly worth coming up with a workflow to minimize the amount of time and effort that will go into making videos. It’s very important that your content be uploaded regularly in order to avoid losing your subscribers and with that in mind, you’ll need to be able to rely on a simple process to keep making more videos.
To start with, you should try to keep an area in your home or studio ready for filming at all times. Designate a corner of an office or somewhere else to recording your footage and that way, you won’t have to get everything out and set everything up each time you want to film – it will be there ready for you to go right away. This also means that you can create a ‘set’ for yourself and a backdrop.
This is very important because it will once again greatly improve your professionalism. You don’t want to record footage of yourself talking in front of an untidy bedroom with clothes strewn everywhere! Nor do you want to record in an untidy office or any other part of the home that just looks like someone’s house. Rather, your aim is to make a professional looking set where you can film that will look professional and that will help to reinforce the lifestyle that you’re trying to promote.
This might mean that you set up an area in your home to reflect what you’re trying to say about yourself. That could be a very clean and modern looking desk set-up for example, or it could be lots of comics and film merchandise. Another option is to use a completely white background (achievable with your lighting equipment and a white wall – or even a bedsheet pulled taut) or to print out a large canvas or poster that you can use for your backdrop.
A good tip is to write yourself something of a script before you start but to be generally quite relaxed in the way you stick to this script – it’s fine to work from it rather than reading it out verbatim.
Another tip is to break your script down into lots of smaller pages. This way, you can glance at the next section, perform it and then move to the next part. If you have a big enough storage card, then you can record everything in one take and then subsequently edit it into a video that people will want to watch. But to do this, you also need to make sure that you make it as easy as possible for yourself. You can do that by moving slightly each time you perform the next page.
This will not only help you to see when you got the take right when looking at the footage in the editor (you’ll know that the take just before you moved was the right one) but it will also make for a much more dynamic video as you’ll be moving position on the camera as you speak. This makes it easier to edit in cuts too – as when you cut you need to either keep your position the exact same or make it purposefully very different (you can’t just move slightly, as this will look like an awkward twitch).
Another tip is to clap at the start of each new take of a section. Why? Because that will make it easier for you to see the audio spike in the editor.
One more: when recording your footage, always leave long spaces before and after each take and generally record much more than you think you’re going to need. This will give you more to work with in editing. You should also set up your mic separately remember. If you’re using a lapel mic, then you just need to plug in your phone and slip it in a pocket while you perform your shots. You can do this all in one take as well.
Collecting Extra Footage
Now, depending on the nature of your video, you might need to record some extra footage as well that you can use as inserts. A long video of someone talking is not normally very engaging, which is why you’ll want to switch it up often with clips of other video, or with images. One way to do this is by collecting ‘B-Roll’. This is insert footage of the product you’re reviewing, of your location or of anything else that is related to your subject matter.
The way you’ll then use this is to have your audio running continuously in the background and then to switch the footage of you speaking for footage of your products or the environment.
Collecting B-Roll is a definite skill and will involve using the tracking head and tripod as discussed earlier. Try checking out technology videos from the likes of Android Authority, Techno Buffalo, The Verge etc. and you’ll find they always include shots of phones and computers next to pens and paper, or by running water, or in the middle of grass and plants.
In any case, the environment helps to showcase the beauty of the design and engineering and makes the shot more interesting than just a simple shot of a phone in someone’s hands. This shows off that ‘lifestyle’ again and makes everything look attractive and desirable. Once again, always record more than you think you’re going to need.
You would be surprised just how quickly you can run out of b-roll while talking so get as many shots as you can possibly think of! You can also use other types of insert footage. For example, you might want to use footage of yourself working out while talking about fitness, or you might want to use clips from other YouTube videos (being very careful about copyright of course!).
The latter you can accomplish by using various tools that allow you to download YouTube videos.A good choice is Hyper for YouTube which you can download from the Windows Store.
There are all manner of other ways to collect fun footage too. How about using a timelapse for example? Timelapse Pro is an app for Android, iOS and Windows that is perfect for creating timelapses of all kinds of things!
Once everything is done, you’re ready to edit your video. Open it up in your chosen video editing software and import it along with all the additional graphics, sound and other materials you intend to use. You now want to sync up your audio to your video and most programs offer easy ways for you to do this. In Adobe Premiere for example, it’s a simple matter of right clicking on both and then selecting ‘synchronise > by audio track’. Now the audio will be in-sync and you can just put the video on mute so that it is replaced by the high quality audio you recorded separately.
Now just link the audio and the footage so that any edits you make will affect both, as though they were recorded at the same time right from the start. You’ll want to line this all up so that you have your footage all in order and so that there are no awkward pauses. It’s important to keep things moving and to keep things dynamic all the way through.
If you using lots of b-roll, then you should make sure you move from panning shot to panning shot – it should never be motionless or you’ll lose focus. So make sure that you record lots of footage so you have lots to work with but then edit heavily too so that you’re losing lots of it.
Once everything is in order and the sound is lined up, you can then start to insert your extra footage and lay this over the top, intersperse it.
Normally, you’ll keep the audio going continuously and just cut back to your video as you do this. If you watch the aforementioned Android Authority videos, then you’ll notice that they tend not to have much of themselves talking at all – they have a clip at the start and the end and perhaps one or two in the middle and the rest is all b-roll! Finally, try adding the video opener, any bottom thirds, your logo and your music.
Make sure that you get the audio balance right with the music and consider including a small introduction before the opener. These final touches will give your video a real air of professionalism while helping to really drive home your branding.
Uploading and Finalizing
Now you just need save your video in a format the YouTube likes (such as .mp4) and then start to upload it to your YouTube account. All this can take a fair bit of time, so be sure to leave yourself time unless you have a very fast connection. This will be even truer if you are using 4K footage!
A tip is to use Chrome to upload. Google made Chrome and they own YouTube, so the two play nicely together. If your upload is interrupted and you’re using Chrome, then you’ll be able to resume it from where you left off later on – even if the computer turned off. While your video uploads, you can use the time to fill out a few of the extra details YouTube required from you.
YouTube will ask if you want to monetize your video with ads for example and of course the answer is yes – as long as you aren’t overtly selling anything in it.
Likewise, you’ll be able to write your title, your description and your keywords. Make sure that your title is descriptive of your video, while also being something that people will want to search for and something that people will be tempted to click when they see it. We’ll go into this in more detail in a subsequent article.
Finally, make yourself a thumbnail to act as the image that people will see before they click on your video. If you don’t do this, then YouTube will select a still from the video itself and while this can work, it will often look a little Derpy. The right thumbnail image can make a huge difference by making your video that much more appealing and impressive looking when it appears in the feed.
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