Welcome to AidanBooth.com, and my 22nd monthly update!
On the 1st day of each month (this one is coming to you ONE day early), I write an article sharing insights into how I run my business, the idea being that you’ll be able to use my experiences, to help grow your business.
As always on AidanBooth.com, this is a “promo-free zone”!
The topic for today’s update is “Video Production Secrets”, and I’m excited to share this content with you because it’s something I haven’t really spoken much about before.
I’ve been “tinkering” with video production for about 7 years now, and while I’m the first to admit that I’m NOT an expert, I have managed to simplify video production into an easy 3 step process which seems to work pretty well.
Although my videos aren’t always perfect, and while I’m not naturally someone who enjoys getting on camera and standing in the limelight, my videos have been watched by over 487,000 people in the last 12 months (and this doesn’t include YouTube views), so it goes to show that if you just get on camera, regardless of your expertise or if you actually like doing it, the exposure for YOU and YOUR BRAND can be enormous.
By the way, THANKS to my FB friends who participated in voting for today’s topic!!!
If we’re not connected yet, head over to my page (http://facebook.com/aidanboothonline) and click the LIKE button now!
I’ll now dive deep into how this all works, the things I’ve learned, and the equipment I use. Remember to leave me a comment below if you’ve got a question or comment!
To make things nice and easy, I split up my video production into three parts
The video below walks you through each part in more detail, and further down the page I’ve included a list of the equipment I use.
Watch this first:
Here’s a quick breakdown of the essentials of each of the three steps…
Step 1 is to film your video.
Here’s the equipment I use, as well as some tips about why I use this equipment:
Note: All links provided to products on Amazon.com below are Affiliate links. This means that if anyone buys something through those links, I’ll earn a small commission of about 4%!
The Camera: Canon EOS t4i Rebel
I use the Canon EOS t4i Rebel for all my filming, it can do everything I need and MUCH more.
The main thing when choosing a camera is that it can film HD quality video, and that it has a place to plug in an external microphone. Being able to use an external microphone is ESSENTIAL.
The first 5 minutes of the video above was filmed WITHOUT an external mic, and the audio quality isn’t great as a result.
When choosing a camera, make sure you also check how many minutes can be filmed without splitting the film file. With many Digital SLR cameras, you’re limited slightly on the length of video you can film. My Canon is able to film in 20 minute chunks. This doesn’t mean I can only film videos 20 minutes long, all it means is that if my videos run longer than 20 minutes, they’ll be broken into different files which I can piece together later using Camtasia.
Other Camera Options
You don’t need to use a camera as expensive as the one I’m using. In fact, Steve Clayton and I used GoPro cameras when we filmed this video to announce our business merger last year (clicking the image below will open the video in a new window):
Again, all the really matters is that you can film in HD, and plug in an external mic.
The Microphone: Audio Technica Lav Mic
This baby cost me a whopping $18 and it’s PERFECT for 99.9% of what I do.
Other Mic Options
Steve likes to use a Sennheiser wireless mic when he’s filming.
In my opinion, the audio quality of Steve’s wireless mic is virtually the SAME as the Audio Technica Lav Mic that I use, the main advantage of Steve’s mic is that you can move around more without worrying about being connected to the camera.
Wireless mics are MUCH more expensive, in fact Steve’s mic costs around $600.
The Lens: 18-55mm
This is the lens I use for most of my filming. It’s a “good all round” lens that’s convenient for not only filming videos, but also everyday photography.
Other Lens Options
The other lens I use from time to time is my 50mm lens.
This lens is great for creating a blurred background, as shown in the photo below:
I won’t get into the technical details of how it does this, but it’s handy when you want the camera for focus intently on YOU, and not on the things behind you.
Pretty much any tripod will do. The main things to watch out for are the stability of the tripod, the height of the tripod (ideally it should be able to extend to head height), and the handle used for swiveling the camera.
The one thing I don’t like about my tripod is that it’s quite bulky, which makes it uncomfortably big to lug around when traveling. My wife and I recently travelled 5-6 weeks through Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, and we had this tripod in our luggage the whole time. We could have saved a LOT of space, but getting something that compacts down more, like this:
The Memory Card
This is the one thing I FORGOT to mention in the video, and obviously it’s an essential component of filming.
I use a 32GB memory card from SanDisk.
Make sure you ensure that the memory card you buy is a 45MB/s card (this means it can read/write at 45MB/s) AND that it has the little “10” circled on it (this means the card is a “Class 10” which exceeds High Definition video recording requirements). Do NOT buy the standard blue 32GB card shown above.
The First 5 Minutes of Todays Video
I couldn’t use my Canon, my mic, or my tripod for filming the start of today’s video, because I needed to have all that equipment with me so that I could show it to you.
What I ended up doing was the following:
I filmed using my compact Nikon Coolpix P310 (click here to see it on Amazon) and my “Gorilla Grip” tripod attached to the top of a chair!
The video quality is full HD, so there’s no problem with that, but the audio isn’t great because I couldn’t use an External Mic (my Nikon, like most compact cameras, doesn’t have a jack for an external mic). If you watch the video again, see if you can notice how the audio isn’t quite as good (even though I did all I could to improve it when editing!).
That wraps up the first step, Filming, lets now take a closer look at how to Edit your videos.
The best affordable tool for editing videos is Camtasia.
Camtasia is available for PC ($299) and Mac ($99) and allows you to quickly and easily edit and enhance your videos.
I use Camtasia for all my editing, and at this point in time, it’s al I really need.
If you’re on a budget, you’ll be able to do basic editing with the likes of Windows Movie Maker (PC) and iMovie (Mac), however in the long run, it absolutely makes sense to invest in Camtasia.
The main things to take care of when editing your videos are:
The Canvas Size
I reduce the canvas size (the dimensions) of all my videos by about 50% to a width of about 900px wide. This massively reduces the size (in MB) of the video, and makes it faster to load.
The Render Quality
I also render my videos at about 50% quality. This does reduce the quality of the video, but only slightly, and it massively reduces the video file size (for faster loading).
By reducing the Canvas Size and the Render Quality, a high quality video that’s about 25-30 minutes long which would normally 2-3GB in size, can be reduced to about 250-300MB, which makes it load MUCH faster.
The final step is to publish your video.
There are a few ways you can do this, but in most cases I use one of two options:
Today’s video demonstration is published using Easy Video Suite, it’s looks professional, and is easy to set up.
The advantage that YouTube gives you is exposure. By listing your video in YouTube, you’ll make it available to the masses who search using YouTube and your video will be seen my more people.
The downside of using YouTube, is that you won’t be able to control as many of the video settings, things “Auto Play”, display of controls, in-video HTML elements such as Optin Forms, and your video will also always be linked back to YouTube.
To learn about YouTube best practices, check out my extensive YouTube Marketing Blueprint here:
Another popular video player, similar to Easy Video Suite, is Lead Player. I haven’t used Lead Player, but it’s a cheaper option that Easy Video Suite, and it has many of the same functions. Lead Player is currently closed to the public, but will most likely re-open it’s door soon.
The LAST thing I want to mention today is a Virtual Workshop we’re holding on February 10th…if you haven’t signed up for it yet, do it right now using this link:
The GoToWebinar software we use limits us to 1000 attendees, as you can see below, the spaces are almost all gone. Reserve your name on the attendee list now to avoid disappointment!
Got a Question or a Comment?
If you’ve got a question or comment about anything discussed today, or if you just want to say ‘Hi’, leave it in the comment box below! I read ALL comments and will personally reply to anything you ask!
Awesome post Aidan! I’m amazed at how simple you make this sound!! I actually have a camera that can film in HD and it has an external mic, so I might give it a go!
Great post! I’ve signed up to your Workshop on February 10th and am looking forward to it!
Nicely done Aidan. I’ve been making more and more videos lately and these tips are very helpful for the stage I’m at. Fortunately I have most of the software tools already but I really could use a tripod and that gorilla grip thingy 🙂
Hi Aidan, thanks once again for going the extra mile, I certainly appreciate it! Do you think this kind of video production can be used for affiliate marketing in non-IM niches? Thanks
I think this is great information although I don’t picture myself being on camera too often. What I would love to learn is how people do over the shoulder teaching videos. That I can imagine doing…learning anything about video at this stage is really important in my opinion so I thank you for this great post. Paul
Hi Paul, “over the shoulder” videos are just step two of the process really, it’s all done with Camtasia 🙂
Nice work, Aidan. I have a camera and don’t mind getting in front of it. There are a few videos that have accumulated quite a few hits and some modest revenue.
The thing that deters me from using it more is the editing process. It takes me too long to edit it and ready it for upload to YouTube. Part of my problem is patience, I’ll admit, but I can kill the better part of an afternoon fooling around with editing. Maybe Camtasia is the answer.
Although, if I invest in that I’d really have to step up my game to pay for it with Youtube income. 🙂
Thanks for the tips. Your method of file size reduction sounds like something to try. Most likely no one is watching on their 72in TV now are they? 😉
Haha, I think you’re right 🙂 Normally 800px – 900px wide is absolutely fine!
Truly generous of you to do this… always knew you were that way. However, how can I hold this information without loosing it while I try to scrape up the money to buy this equipment. Now won’t that be funny… me making a movie of myself trying to sell something. Actually, I have made a movie going forward with my Fuji S1500 however, it was of me walking and talking… describing my property and cat.
Maybe I should have tried a little harder to stay with your program of last, (Your First $500 Online). Now however, it’s almost impossible to follow anything as it’s taken me 26 minutes just to write this e-mail.
Still a fan,
You don’t need to start making videos now…just know this post is here waiting for you when you’re ready to do it…and as for the First $500 program, people are still doing really well with that, so I strongly encourage you dive back into it and get a site up!
Aidan, this is GREAT information! Thanks for sharing it. As one of your TC students I’ve learnt sooo much already. This will help me reach my business goals set for 2014!
I have to admit, Whenever I receive mail from you or TC, I always read it immidiately! Why? Because I know it will be great advice/sharing/food for thought/training/content….!
Kind Regards, Maggie
Great to hear Maggie!!! Thanks for commenting 🙂
Thanks Aidan. Great video that really simplifies the process. Does Easy Video Suite host your finished video? Seems like a great alternative to YouTube should you want a more private solution. Keep up the great work!
Hi Jeff, I host my videos with Amazon S3 to host my videos, extremely cheap, and easy to use. It connects up nicely with Easy Video Suite.
Excellent information, Aidan. Thank you so much.
One other thing that is pretty important:
It makes heaps of difference in the quality of a video.
A diffuse natural light, say from a window with a thin transparent
curtain over it is much better than a hard light shining directly
on the subject (i.e. us filming ourselves). And the maybe even
bouncing the light from the window with a relatively reflective
object just out of frame is a good idea as well.
Also, thinking in terms of 45* angles instead of 90* angles
with lighting is helpful.
Could go on, but will save it for another time.
Wonderful stuff you do!
Hi Eric, excellent points regarding lighting!!! I couldn’t agree more, it can really make of break your video!!
I’ve considered making videos and the tips on the camera to use is helpful. I checked out LeadPlayer last year and thought it was great but didn’t get it. I’m waiting for it to come out this year. I’m also wanting to make some sports videos and need a camera capable of filming high speed. Do you have a suggestion on a camera to use/
Most cameras, even compacts, have a sports function which takes care of all the settings for you.
Ha, more informative than the local camera course I took (and forgot) a couple years ago!
When shopping for my first DSLR a couple years ago, I was amazed that absolutely none had a video setting. The salesman said that “professional photographers” don’t use video (yeah, I thought it BS too.) I bought the Nikon D60 online, a very good camera, and have taken about 3K pics of my kids 😉 … of course, a year after buying it, EVERY new high-end camera model had a video function, grrr! Oh well, I can sell both camera and camcorder and buy a new model.
Oh, for wireless mics, I use the Azden WM-Pro – an excellent mic for about $150.
Hey Chris, thanks for the mic tip!!! Glad you enjoyed this post, you’ll see my setup in action in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks time 🙂
Nice to hear there are low priced wireless mics out there too, I’ll look into it more when I start to really need one. Thanks
Hi there excellent post as usual. I used to do quite a bit of video creation and editing as a hobbie. I went through a number of editors before settling on Sony Vegas, as it has the advanced features but with a very visual and intuitive interface (at least for me) without hiding everything in a 1000 menu… (adobe). Still for most web video probably not necessary unless you want to do something special 😉
Now starting to get back into it for site promotion and branding, going to be a challenge to keep my self from wanting to complicate the editing process and turn out videos in quantity to a schedule lol
By the way there does exist software to take youtube videos and remove the controls, youtube branding, on/off auto play etc plus insert banners/html over the top, I use YT Simple Player, but it was given to me as a bonus and I’m not sure if it’s available now, but I’m sure there’s others.
The advantage I see is that you can use it to naturally increase your yt video views through the video plays on your site and in turn help your video in the SE and inside youtube itself.