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1 Simple Live Streaming Hack that will make you right with the world

I’m going to talk about something that’s really been bugging me. I’ve been watching a lot of people go live, and do live streaming, and there’s been this one thing that is just not right about your live streams.

I’m doing it at the start of this video, and I’m wondering if you can take a look at what I’m doing and tell me what’s wrong with this picture?

If you can tell what’s wrong, put it in the comments below…
(Hint: can you read the words on my T shirt?)

Here’s the deal.

A lot of people go live on Facebook and they’re using the selfie-facing camera, which is the one that’s aimed at yourself, and when you do that, that default settings for that camera is to have everything flipped around backwards.

You’re backwards!!

This is especially disorienting when someone is going live while they’re driving because it looks like they’ve moved to the U.K. and now they’re driving from the right side of their car…

And if you have writing on your shirt, or if you want to hold up a sign, or if you have a big logo behind you – all of that is going to be backwards.

Here’s the solution…

Live Streaming HackWhen you’re getting ready to go live with the Facebook app and you open up the app – you can see a little tiny ‘wand’ icon in the top corner of your screen. Press on the wand and you open a narrow menu which has four icons. The top menu icon is a little wrench. Press on that and you’ll open a second menu which has ‘horizontal flip’ as the top choice. Press on ‘horizontal flip’ and your image will right itself!!

The next time you go live make sure you press on the wand and then press on the wrench and then press on ‘horizontal flip’ and you will not be in the land of backwards.

If you’d like to find out what other mistakes you can easily avoid (and if you never want to miss one of my very simple video hacks), then

Join my Videomaking Mastermind Facebook Group >

Interview Videos
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How to shoot 2-person interview videos with your phone

Here’s a very simple solution to a really common problem. The problem is that when you are shooting 2-person interview videos with your phone – and you’re about arm’s length away from your phone – and you’re holding your phone, selfie-style – and you’re wanting to talk to your guest who’s right next to you. And the trouble is that you’re trying to get them in the shot and trying to get yourself in the shot – and when you get yourself in the shot, you loose them – and when you get them in the shot, you loose yourself.
And this is the problem.

So, how do you solve this problem?

interview videosWell, I use this very simple and really cool tool – the Techo universal HD lens – a wide angle lens for your phone. What you do is just clip the lens right onto your smartphone and it will give a really wide angle shot.

The lens gives a much wider view so that you can still be an arms length from your phone and still hold it selfie-style and now you’ll have lots of space in the shot for both you and your guest to talk to each other.

If you’re walking around with your phone and you’re wanting to give your viewers a tour of what’s going on around you, the wide angle lens is a great tool for showing everything around you. It’s particularly good for indoor spaces because it can help show an entire room. The video above was shot at Workbar, which is the shared workspace that I work in, and I can give you a view of the entire room once I have the wide angle lens attached.

If you like to learn this kind of video hack for making videos with your smartphone then join my Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook. Other people are posting their videos and their experimentations and you can learn from what everyone else is doing as well as post your own stuff – and I’ll take a look at it and I’ll critique it and I’ll give you suggestions of how to make it even better. So please join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

Video Script
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2 Hidden Secrets to Reading Your Video Script without Looking Awkward

One of the biggest challenges when you’re doing a live video is that you need to talk for a pretty long time. Live videos are often 15 – 20 minutes long or more. What’s the secret to remembering what it is that you want to say in your live video, and not look awkward when you’re looking off camera to try and read your video script that you have pasted on the wall? How are you going to remember all the things you want to say in your video during the time that you’re talking? It’s all too easy to forget some very important thing that you want to share.

Here’s my live video cheat sheet for accessing your notes and looking cool while you do it.

First of all, don’t do a script. If you try to read from a script it will sound forced. It will not sound natural. A better technique is to create an outline with your major points. And then you can take that outline and put it on your tablet. Hold the tablet up with you in front of the camera and use it to refer to your notes.

This looks very natural. A lot of very successful video people doing this. One of the most well known is Marie Forleo. She will sit with her tablet and she’ll be interviewing someone or she’ll be just talking to the camera and she’ll have her tablet visibly in her hand so she can look at it whenever she needs to.

Another technique is to use a table and your laptop in front of you and you can have your notes on the laptop for easy reference.

Try this out. Make an outline. Use a tablet. Post a video to my Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook and show me how you’re using this technique.

And if you’d like to learn more of this kind of techniques for live video, check out my free 5-day mini course: Live Stream Rockstar http://livestreamrockstar.com

Steady Video
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How to shoot steady video without a tripod

Here are my favorite smartphone steadycam hacks that will create remarkably steady video when your shooting with your smartphone, iphone or android. When you’re away from home and have an idea for shooting video with your smartphone, you probably aren’t carrying your tripod with you everywhere you go. So how do you get a really steady shot, of yourself or someone else, when you’re just holding your phone in your hands?

The first thing a lot of people do is that they hold their phone in the vertical position – as though they are going to take a picture.

And you don’t want to do this.

Turn your phone sideways and shoot in the horizontal mode. Everything is wide screen and so your video will look a lot better when you post it on social media in wide screen format.

When you’re holding your phone at arms length, it tends to move around – creating shaky video that’s hard to watch. So grab a hold of your phone with one hand (as shown in the video above) and bring your elbow into your chest which creates a very steady support for your camera.

You can use this when you’re interviewing someone and it’s solid as a rock and basically turns you into a human tripod.

A great tool for keeping your video steady is the Stayblcam which acts as a counter weight and allows you to move your phone to follow action shots – and keeps the camera steady and smooth throughout your shooting.

I’d love to see you try these techniques in your next video – and post your video in our Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook

Send Video Email
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How to Send Video Email to Anyone

Want to get someone’s attention? Here’s a great hack that will help you stand out in someone’s inbox…

Let’s say you want to connect with someone special. You could contact them via their email address, their twitter handle, their Facebook ID, their linked profile – but which route will get their attention?

We all know how well we respond to email from perfect strangers. We don’t open those emails.

But imagine if someone took the time to record a video with a personal message just for you – wouldn’t you be a little intrigued? Hmmm…?

Welcome to video email.

Send a standard email to a new contact and you’ll likely get no response. But send video email (that is personalized to the person your approaching) and you’re much more likely to receive a reply.

If you have a list of potential clients – send them a video email.

If you want to touch base with a current client (or former client) to keep yourself top of mind – send them a personal video.

If you need to reply to a client query – send them a video answer and catch them by surprise.

If you have a long list of emails to do – try sending a series of video emails instead – it’s more fun!!

If your email open rates or click-thru rates are not going so well – try video emails

You can learn how to send video email for FREE and in the next five minutes. Here’s how:

All you need are three things:

1. A relatively new computer with a webcam. Late model Apple imac, macbook or even ipad mini will work fine.

2. A good location. Quiet. Distraction-free background. Well lit with natural light. (Find a location where you can sit facing a window so that you are evenly lit from the front)

3. Recording software: I record messages using Zoom.us – You can get a free account and zoom will give you the best quality webcam video.

Make Your Video Email Short and Personal

Don’t talk for more than 60 seconds. Be personable and conversational. Smile. Thank the person your talking to.

Upload to Youtube

Upload your video to Youtube and save it as ‘unlisted’ so it will not show up in the Youtube search or public display.

Take the url of the video and paste it into the text of your email. Once you send your message, the thumbnail of your video will appear in the email and your recipient will be able to click on the image to watch.

Here’s a screen shot example of a short video email message. Note how you can see the video thumbnail at the foot of the message below:

Live Video Hacks
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Three Live Video Hacks You Can Do Anywhere

In getting ready to lead the Live Stream Rockstar Video Challenge – I made this bonus video with three live video hacks showing how you can easily make beautiful looking video – using minimal equipment and available light.

If you haven’t yet joined, this is a free 5-day training where you can learn things like:
  • How easy Live Video is to produce.
  • How to be more confident on camera.
  • How to get viewers to do what you want.

…you can learn more and sign up right here >>

Here’s a couple of my favorite live video hacks to make it as simple as possible for you to make awesome videos – and use Facebook Live. I’m not going to get into fancy equipment or fancy set-ups. I’d like you to be feeling very empowered and that you can do this easily, anywhere and any time.

1. Use Natural Light
The first thing to notice (in the video above) is that I am using available (natural) light. There’s no artificial light in the room. I have three great big windows off to one side – two windows slightly in front of me and one slightly behind me offering some backlighting. In addition, I have a neutral colored, plain wall as my background – so it’s non-distracting.

You’ll see that I have beautiful light coming down on one side which provides great contrast across my face. And I’m about five or six feet away from the wall so no matter what I do or no matter how I move, there’s no shadow cast on the wall.

What I’m going to suggest is that you look for locations that are like this – that have a neutral, non distracting background and have a lot of natural light. Note that the sunlight shouldn’t be direct – you’re going to want reflected light coming in through your window – and it’s really beautiful and really natural.

live video hacks
2. Use a small tripod and phone mount
A really simple camera setup for you phone uses a small flexible tripod and a mount that clips onto your phone. The cool thing about these is that you can mount it just about anywhere. (note: make sure you mount your phone horizontally)

3. Use an office chair
In the video above I’m showing how to mount your tripod on the back of an office chair. The nice thing about using an office chair is that by swiveling the chair, you can do cool little pan shots – or by rolling the chair across the floor, you can get a really nice, smooth, dolly shot.

I carry my little, bendy tripod and phone mount with me all the time – wherever I go. I always have it. So, any time I want to take a video, I can. And in my world, I know where some of the coolest, natural light rooms happen to be – and those are the places that I shoot a lot of video.

I hope these live video hacks are helpful and I’d love to see how you put these into practice.

And you can get started right away – by joining my (free) 5-Day Live Stream Challenge where you’ll learn things like how easy Facebook live video is to produce and how to make video that gets people to do what you want.

Join the Live Stream Rockstar Challenge >

Jump Cuts
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How to use jump cuts to make your videos awesome

When are jump cuts good and when are they bad?

The video above, made with my daughter, fully embraces jump cuts (yes, we’re jumping!) The camera angle is fixed and the goal was to shorten the sequence of us moving up the stairs. I wanted to use this video on Instagram – only 15 seconds – which meant the original footage of the two of us jumping up the entire flight of stairs was far too long.

But, jump cuts can be abrupt. They can be jarring. They can be obnoxious.

Wondering just exactly what a jump cut is?

As the video below demonstrates, shot by the Vimeo Video School, they are not always a good thing.


“A jump cut is a cut in film editing in which two sequential shots of the same subject are taken from camera positions that vary only slightly.” (Thank you Wikipedia!)

You create jump cuts when you cut between two sections of footage shot from the same exact camera angle – for example in a live interview with a talking head. And when they come across as too abrupt and jarring they call attention to your video making process and draw your viewer away from the story you’re telling which is very, (very) bad.

You can easily avoid a (bad) jump cut. The easiest method is to cut between close-ups, medium, and wide shots. Or cut back and forth between your interview subject and B-roll footage – or shoot your subject from two angles and cut back and forth between the two viewpoints.

But what if you love jump cuts?

I may be dating myself, but who can forget that jump cut from the start of 2001 A Space Oddyssey when the ape throws a bone in the air and the scene jumps to a shot of a (bone shaped) space station orbiting the earth? Or the rivetting jump cuts from Run Lola Run? (OK, I’ll admit it, I really liked watching actress Franka Potente run down the streets of Berlin.)

When should you use jump cuts?

Jump cuts are great for showing the passing of time, or to speed up a sequence or to add comedy.

A great example is this ‘Coasting’ video, below, produced for Brahma by videographer Allen Martinez, which uses jump cuts to great effect. (also shot on stairs)

Note the rider’s-eye view sequence (that starts 10 seconds in) once the subject on the scooter descends a long flight of stairs in one of Rio’s favelas.

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

If you’re online and you’re reading this, then you must be serious about video marketing, so you’re probably going to want to take a look at the Awesome Videomakers FREE six-part video marketing course >>

Learn how to attract clients with Awesome Videos even if you have
No Time,
No Money,
No Script,
No Lighting.

The Awesome Videomakers Course is FREE >