Posts

The 4 Super Cheap Tools I Use to Create All My Videos (Total Budget $82.88)

When most people think about making videos they think that they’re going to need a lot of fancy equipment and that it’s going to be expensive.  And this is where many folks get hung up. It just seems all too daunting to figure out what equipment to buy and then learn how to use all that gear.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

In the past 15 years I’ve made a lot of videos and i have fancy cameras and lots of gear. But these days I shoot everything on my iphone and I use the four basic tools that I’m sharing with you in this guide. The total budget, (assuming you already have a smartphone), is just $82.88!!

That’s it.

And it all fits easily in my messenger bag so I’m ready to shoot wherever I go.

Here’s my keep-it-simple video gear list to get you shooting awesome video without spending a ton of money:

1. Tripod + Smartphone Mount – Cost: $13.99
smartphone video tripod

This bendy little tripod can attach onto almost anything (the back of a swivel office chair is especially useful) It’s super compact so You can just throw it in your bag with your phone and keep it with you at all times.

2. Movo Lavalier Microphone – Cost: $39.95

super cheap video tools

Using a good external microphone is essential to creating good video. Your sound is as important as your image! This simple lav microphone plugs right into your phone and lets you get great sound when you’re positioned away from your camera. The kit comes with two microphones which will allow you to do interviews with a guest.  It even comes with a separate plugin for earbuds so you can monitor your sound and make sure the audio is working.

3. Extension Cord – Cost $12.95

super cheap tools

You can attach this cord between your microphone and your smartphone which will let you (and your interview guest) sit well away from your phone without feeling crowded. This is really helpful if you want to move at all while you’re shooting and really gives you plenty of freedom.

4. Wide Angle Lens – Cost $15.99

smartphone video

This wide angle lens is super helpful when you’re shooting in a tight space and you need to show more, or when you’re interviewing a guest and you want to easily get the two of you in the same shot.  You just clip the lens right onto your smartphone and it will give you a really wide angle shot.

When you’re doing an interview, the lens gives such a wide view so that you can still be an arms-length from your phone, and hold it selfie-style, but 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 in your background. It’s particularly good for indoor spaces because it can help show an entire room.

I made a video showing how to use this wide angle lens for doing interviews right here >

And that’s it! Total Budget: $82.88 (*recent prices on Amazon)

With these four tools – plus your smart phone – you’re ready to shoot any time & anywhere – and all for less than $100!

Once you get yourself equipped with these simple tools, join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook where you can post your smartphone videos, see what others are posting and give and receive positive feedback.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

 

Interview Videos
,

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
,

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 on my Videomaking Mastermind group on Facebook and show me how you’re using this technique.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/videomakingmastermind/

Steady Video
,

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

How to make inspiring action videos (with minimal gear)

The making of a good action video: Wheelchair Skateboarder, Erik Kondo

I’ve never thought of producing action videos. But recently the chance to make something really inspiring changed how I look at action videos. And the project turned out to be one of the most popular videos I’ve ever made.

A short time ago I was riding along the bike trail when I caught site of something impossible. It was my first view of wheelchair skateboarder, Erik Kondo – flying along on his home-made electric skateboard – while balancing in his wheelchair.

I had to check this out.

There’s a lot of things that can be done out there that people just never think of.

So, I chased Erik down and while we were riding along together he began telling me the story of how he came up with the idea to fit his wheelchair onto a skateboard.

My first question I asked was how did it feel?

“I’ve been using a wheelchair for about 30 years and when you use a wheelchair you face forward. When you get on a skateboard you still face forward in the chair – but you go sideways.

It’s a completely different feeling.

Your steering is based on front-to-back balance. It feels really different. That’s what I like about it because I still have my chair with me all the time, but as soon as I jump onto that thing (the skateboard) it completely transforms my mobility experience.”

Next, I asked him how the skateboard was put together.

“I started with a regular longboard, but what it has that’s different is a set of wheel rails. The wheel rails lock the wheels on my chair and prevent them from rolling – while I hold a wheelie. The bottom of the longboard has a motor and a drive train. And the motor is wired to a box that contains all the electrical components – batteries, an electrical speed controller and a receiver. I hold a transmitter in my hand.”

I noted the feat that it takes to hold a wheelie – balance his chair on just two wheels – in order to stay on the skateboard. Erik’s reply was pretty modest.

“Now I’m really trying to work my balance so that I can go over more rough terrain. Right now I’m just limited by my skill. I never really skateboarded before. I don’t have that much experience, but the more I do it the better I get.”

I had to ask him how he was able to figure out such a challenging task: how he came to be riding a skateboard without the use of his legs?

“There’s a lot of things that can be done out there that people just never think of.”

Check out Erik’s Wheelchairboarding page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wheelchairboarding

How to shoot an action video (with minimal tools)

action videosThis video was shot entirely hand held. I tend to favor using hand held – especially for action video footage. For the interview section I had a microphone attached to the camera and shot close enough so that you can still hear Erik’s responses. For al the footage on the skateboard park I was holding the camera with two hands and moving in sync with Erik. When we moved to the bike trail, I followed Eric on my bicycle to get the moving shots – one hand on the handle bar and one hand on the camera. A GoPro camera would make these shots a lot easier to capture.

The audio on all the movement footage was not critical because I planned to use Erik’s voice and/or music as the soundtrack.

One thing that really helped this video is the inspiring subject – a guy riding a skateboard on his wheelchair. This video received over five thousand views on Youtube and another thousand views on Facebook simply because wheelchair skateboarding is so unusual.

Want to learn more and share some of the videos you’re making? Join my FREE Videomaking Mastermind Group on Facebook