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Friday, 13 June 2014

My film studio... and how authors can easily create video

Video is big news. YouTube is one the most popular sites on the internet and that means that, as writers, we should be there to connect with our audience.

So what kind of video content does a writer put out there? This is the big question that stumps a lot of us and stops us from venturing into this medium. The good news is that coming up with content ideas isn't that hard. Here's a few ideas to get you started:
  • Book video trailers
  • Behind the scenes clips showing the creative process from idea to finished product
  • Author interviews
  • Book reviews
  • Product reviews
  • Announcements and info about upcoming events
  • Summary and feedback about events you've taken part in
  • Quotes or other things that inspire you
  • Webinars and how to
  • On the go stuff live from events
  • Panel discussions with other authors
These are just a few off the top of my head but as you can see it's quite easy to find things to talk about. Video's don't need to be super long either. In fact, short 1 minute clips go down well.

The next problem that commonly pops up is how to film. Of course you want to look professional but not everyone has their own private film studio. Good news is that you don't need one.

This is my film studio A.K.A. the corner of my bedroom:



Nothing fancy. Just a little corner with good light and little clutter. 

My bedroom window is directly opposite the white wall and so I get the perfect light in that area. I try to keep that corner clutter free so even when the rest of the house gets turned upside down (I have two young boys. Upside down is a huge understatement!), I still have my space for filming. 

I usually use large plastic storage boxes that I have on shelves in my bedroom to place my laptop on. Yep no fancy video camera. I just use the webcam on my laptop. The reason I place my laptop on top of boxes is so that the angle of the camera looks slightly down on me. It's a more flattering angle than directly facing or from below ;) It means I have to look slightly upwards and that helps to keep eye contact with the camera too.

I either upload the video directly to YouTube or, if needed, I add in some graphics. I usually make these as slides using Adobe Illustrator and then insert them as images. Again no fancy software. I just use Windows Movie Maker. It's simple but does the job. 

Google+ hangouts make creating video content even easier. You just live stream to your YouTube channel.

As YouTube has built in editing features you can always tweak your video right there on site to adjust lighting etc...

So, what video content would you like to see from me? What's your filming studio like? Any tips to share for creating good video content? Leave a comment below and chip in your 2 cents.

3 comments:

  1. I agree. It isn't just for kids the demograpic figures are amazing...

    ReplyDelete
  2. here is a link to my promo day video with more tips on the subject

    http://brandypotterbooks.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/video-content-for-authors-promo-day-2014-may-31-2014/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Brandy. Thanks for dropping by. I know you totally agree with me when it comes to using video content and you did a great presentation on the subject at this years Promo Day event. Glad to see "Written by...." up and running again too ;)

    ReplyDelete