Even more when you add sound and action.
Nothing quite connects you to your audience like video. It draws them in, engages their senses, and creates a personal, lasting bond.
It also drives experts crazy.
When I launched JasonGracia.com, video was always part of the plan. So I set out to learn what I needed to know. 13,242 hour later, I was more confused than when I began.
The software, the hardware, the lighting, the settings, the dos, the don’ts…I was swimming in an ocean of information. Even better, one half of the material contradicted the other.
I’m a persistent little bugger, so I kept at it. I hired experts, tested software and setups, read manuals and poured over posts, all the while turning even more of my hair gray…or “salt and pepper” as I like to call it.
Though far from perfect, I finally hit on a combination that worked.
If you’re getting started with online video and want to skip the headaches and frustrations, it might just work for you too.
Below is everything you need to get started…
My setup is quite simple, just four pieces of equipment. (All of the links are non-affiliate–just regular links to the product.)
1. Canon 60D
Up first, the camera. There are many high-quality cameras available that will produce high-quality videos. Personally, I use and love Canon’s 60D DSLR with a 50 mm lens. This camera does everything I need it to do and more.
2. Zoom H4N
To record all of my audio, I use the Zoom H4N handheld recorder with a lapel mic (included). This piece of equipment was easy to set up and even easier to use. Since purchase, I haven’t had a single issue with it.
3. PBL Studio Light Boxes
I use three lights: two light boxes and a clamp light (below). Lighting is a science. After countless boxes and bulbs, I settled on these lights. They do the trick nicely.
4. Clamp Light
In addition to the light boxes, I use a $7 clamp light with a florescent bulb.
My software setup is simple as well, just two programs. (I like simple.) Once again, I’ve offered regular, non-affiliate links for you to follow and learn more.
I use ScreenFlow for Mac to edit the video and audio tracks as well as add transitions, graphics, etc. I also use ScreenFlow’s screen-recording option to add screenshots to my videos. On a PC, Camtasia is often used in ScreenFlow’s place. I started with a PC, but found the software dragged through editing.
To create and record slides, I use Mac’s Keynote presentation program. I love the ability to “Record Slideshow” within the program, no extra software needed. On a PC, PowerPoint is the comparable program.
3. MacBook Pro
I’ve been a PC guy for life, and still am for the most part, but when it comes to editing and exporting video, Macs are hard to beat. I run both of the programs above on my 15” MacBook Pro.
Below is a rough sketch of my lighting and camera setup. I use basic three-point lighting. The key light serves as the main light source; the fill light fills in the shadows; and the back light adds the halo effect.
For more information, visit http://www.mediacollege.com/lighting/three-point.
I begin with an outline, putting down the major points I need to cover in each episode. Once reviewed, I turn on the lights, camera, and microphone.
I set the camera to manual, 1.8 aperture, 100 iso, 50 shutter speed, 30 frames per second, sound off. I set the Zoom to stereo, 48mhz. I start with an audio spike to sync audio and video and shoot the episode.
After the content is captured (many takes!), I import the video and audio into ScreenFlow, sync the audio and video, make cuts and additions (slides from Keynote), and export as an MP4. All that’s left is uploading to YouTube and embedding on the blog.
Below is an example of the final product, my last episode.
Now that you know the basics behind online video, what questions do you have? Ask away in the comments below and, as always, I’ll answer every one in detail.