YouTube Experiment

I am starting an experiment where I try to upload 50 videos to YouTube (fingers crossed all within 2021). Why? Learn more here.

With each video, I am trying to learn at least one thing about making videos. The following is every video, in order, along with some stats and some lesson(s) learned.

  1. Take small steps towards your goals. This video took me an hour to write the script, 30 minutes to record, and 3 hours to edit. There were so many issues that I didn't want to spend too long on the edit (plus I am trying to make this habit stick). Currently at 33 subscribers. Lessons learned:
    • Turn out the room light to help separate the background
    • Annunciate better
    • Deliver larger chunks, don't restart in the middle of a section
    • When starting over with a section, give a 3 second break to make an easier cut point
    • When there was a good take - do three claps to easily find it during editing (or stop recording)
    • Don't move back and forth in the chair, make sure each take is in consistent position or intentionally different (e.g. left or right)
    • Pick a better shirt (make sure there isn't cat hair on it)
    • Put 8% more energy into it
    • Do audio adjustments before cutting clips
  2. Powerbeats Pro Review. I spent 3h 50m on this video. This week I learned a lot of the Final Cut Pro (FCP) shortcuts which really helped with the rough cut. I also learned about keyframing so I was able to improve the visuals/broll. I used a lavalier mic this time which helped with the audio. Three claps did not help. Things for next time:
    • Add some background music
    • Remember to smile at the camera for a few seconds to grab a thumbnail
    • Learn to get comfortable with talking to the camera (spend more time practicing delivering lines without recording)
    • Always double check frame rate and white balance (basically all of your settings)
  3. Reviewing PARA. This video took me 3h 30m. I shot it pretty quickly since I spent some of my recording time working on another video. I am now at 34 subscribers! I attempted to add music but I didn't have enough time to find the right mood with it so I cut it. This video is also going up a couple days late (still within the week!) since I needed to do a little more work on my real job. Oh, and I started using TubeBuddy, description defaults, and added an end card. Lessons learned:
    • Read through notes and practice once before recording
    • Attempt to record two or three good takes on camera (get multiple options)
    • Use zebras on camera to check exposure
    • Manual focus doesn't stay as sharp
    • Watch out for too many umms
    • Leave more time for the end card
  4. Cookie Review. This was a fun video, attempting to do a Daniel Schiffer style commercial. It was a lot of work to get my cheap lights set up and to go through multiple shots. And at the end of the day I still didn't have enough shots. I forgot to record how much time I spent seting things up and recording, but I estimate I spent a total of 7h on this video. Lessons learned
    • Should have used 4K in order to fix alignment issuesr
    • Should have used slow motion for some of the movement shots to better control overall flow
    • When doing a montage like this, you need a lot more variations of shots
    • When doing a talking head and reviewing something (like cookies), having more close ups (of me and the cookies) for b-roll would have been helpful
  5. Chocolate Mousse. This was a last minute video that I put together for valentines. I think the shooting itself took an hour but the edit took closer to three hours. Without any planned shots/story it didn't turn out that great as a video, but it gave me a lot of practice with speed ramping (so much speed ramping) and slide edits. I didn't have enough time (or resources) for finding a good sound track. I ended up using YT's free music library (as I have for everything so far).
    • Plan out a video before hand
    • Figure out the story and what narriative should go with it
    • When doing locked off videos, the transitions have to be based on movement
    • Music takes a long time to pick out