I have learned a lot by working to help people make videos. Most of the time they are too concerned with getting it technically “right” on their first time out. They end up spending a lot more time, money and energy on gear and learning how to make videos than they do actually making videos.
Seriously, shooting something on a smart phone with available light will teach you more about making a video than spending $2000 on an online video production course. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just may keep you from making videos because of the overwhelming amount of stuff you “need to know” before making a “good” video.
Experience trumps knowledge
The truth is that you will learn more and make better videos by actually making videos than you will learn by going to film school. I know what I am talking about, I‘ve hired people who graduated from film school. Most of them (with a few notable exceptions…Ryan Z…you know who you are) are almost worthless on a video shoot. Knowledge does not even come close to experience in value.
How I learned
I first learned how to shoot by listening to a director yell at me through Telex headphones on live block programing at a public access television station in Tucson, Arizona. That instant feedback may have been a little harsh at the time, however, it was effective. I know really well what a “slow pull out” is, whether or not I am “in focus” and what it means to “match a Medium Close Up with camera 1.”
Most of what I know about shooting I learned by editing what I shot and by editing other people’s raw footage. I figured out what shots are needed to get on location when sitting, frustrated, in front of a monitor, gritting my teeth, thinking…if only! If only I had a 2 second shot of something other than that guy talking to cut away to…If only I had some quiet audio from the microphone in the room we shot that interview in…if only I had set the white balance to tungsten when I walked inside…the list of “if only”s goes on and on.
Messing up makes you better
You can read about video production all you want (I am a big advocate of study and education), however, the only thing that prepares you for the unexpected is to do the routine over and over again. Making mistakes is what teaches you how to avoid them.
For example: shoot something with the audio gain turned up way too high and listen to horrifying distorted sound for 30 minutes of video, believe me, you will check your levels the next time…before you press the “record” button. Or lock down a shot with the background (instead of the subject) in focus for a two hour recital once and, mark my words, you will check those “safety shots” twice before walking away from the tripod. And, there is a big difference between “record” and “pause record”…can a get witness?
Just shoot it
My point is this: shoot. The worst that can happen is that you don’t use the footage. You most likely will not win an Emmy with your first video, however, you don’t have to, you just have to learn something from making it.
Show me what you are working on, I can help you get better by looking at what you’ve done and giving you my feedback. All you have to do is ask.
Who I am:
I’m Philip Quintas and I make it easier for customers to trust you before and after they buy from you by creating simple videos that help you help more people.
If you want one-to-one help with making better videos, I can answer your questions and even write, shoot, edit, upload and promote videos for you or any combination of these services. Sign up using the Email Address* and First Name* form on this website to get direct access to me, my experience and offerings.