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Discussion Starter #21
We like faces. We communicate through faces and human actions. The best visual stories are ones with humans doing the showing, not telling.
All great thoughts.

With this point I was going to do a post on it soon. Its 'easy' to get right but easier to get wrong. One of my all time favourite documentary filmmakers David Attenborough has changed from "showing" us the world to "telling" us we are responsible for killing it.

How can such a great man make such a fundamental (IMHO) mistake?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Yep, Vernons video is a great, wonderful cruising video. The empathy ooooozes out of him. He is just being honest in front of camera. Great to see and works so well for his 'story'.

Yes, it was a tough voyage for him but he has kept up the filming, kept up the video diary.
We can immediately feel for him and that carries right through to his 'victory' of arriving in port.

Great stuff!

If you do that every week you will win YouTube LOL


https://youtu.be/3imRRf6EIbk

Mark
 

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Interesting stuff on the on the different shots, I guess I do it, but didn't have words for what I was doing. Having words to describe the type of shot should make it easier for me to structure my shots.


However, I am somewhat limited on what I can do, because all my shooting is done with a waterproof action cam. Everything else I have tried has broken. My sailing style is hard on camera equipment.


The action cam also makes sound really difficult, especially at high speeds or in high wind and when the mic is wet. I do a lot of experimentation with sound, I often fail to achieve desired results, but its worth it for the sake of experimentation for me.

I don't use music, I have tried it out, but have never been happy with the results, I feel like it masks the natural sounds. On the other hand wind noise sucks.


Really, I don't have that many tricks, but here is what I do have. When filming at high velocity or in high wind speeds or in rapids, I put gaffer tape over the mics on my action cam. Ever since discovering this trick, my sound has improved immensely. The down side to the gaffer tape is it muffles voices. If I have a free hand and want to talk to the camera, I will peel the tape back to talk, but often I am using fixed mounts and using both my hands to sail the boat so it comes down to a choice between muffled voice or wind noise, I usually go with muffled voice over wind noise. Gaffer tape will also keep spray out of the mic provided the camera doesn't become fully submerged. Water in a mic is almost as bad as excessive wind noise.


The other trick is obvious, don't film into the wind. I try to set up all sailing shots so the wind is at the back of the camera. The downside to this is you never get to see waves breaking from the front, but I have never been able to get waves to look impressive any way. They always look smaller on camera. Sometimes this can be a bit tricky if the sun is low and you have to make a choice between filming into the sun or filming into the wind.

So those are my sound tricks. Gaffer tape over the mic on windy days and never film into the wind.

Here is a short 1 minute clip where I am sailing a beach cat at a good 10 knots into about a 20 knot wind, so figure 25 knots of relative wind with lots of spray but I managed to get almost no wind noise by mounting the camera on the windward hull, angled slightly inboard so the wind is at the cameras back. I simply taped the camera to the hull with gaffer tape (with a lanyard in case the tape failed). Both mics are also covered with tape, so you can hear the natural sounds pretty well, but as I noted, our voices are pretty muffled. I was controlling the camera via blue tooth with my cell phone which was in the front pocket of my PFD.

 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Sound is kinda a lesson in the future. Its very important. and actually why American TV shows rate very well internationally is their attention to sound. Watch a Mexican daily serial tv show and all you hear is noise. watch a USA show and all you hear are the voices.

An outdoor TV camera mic is 90% foam filter and 10% actual microphone.
So try sticking a bit of open cell foam over the mic hole on your camera.

As we are all cruisers I dont ever advocate spending money!!!!!!!! but if you do want to please check the foam idea first... and then look at a pretty high quality shotgun (directional) mic.
For a Shure or Sennheiser shotgun mic you will be looking at USD$200. very well worth it but only if you can trade in a child or 2.

I dont know about cheaper mics, or new brands from the past 20 years. Sorry :)

Other pints...
Keep the mic low to the ground unless it has a pop filter, then go up over the head of the person.

Get better editing software so you can turn the sound down except when youre talking.
Use music under and turn sound down.
if going upwind baffle the mic by keeping it low in the cockpit and shooting up.
Hold the camera closer to your face instead of a real CU do a ECU.

In your video with the camera on the bow the boat noise is integral to the excitement of the video so don't diminish that. It can be a hard balance. :)
 

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I don't know a thing about making videos. But I spend too much time watching youtube, so I can tell you why I bail on watching most

Wind noise - nothing makes me click off a video faster than hearing that awful sound of wind across a mike

Get to the point, don't think you're Cecil B. DeMille and play a 20 seconds or more intro with special effects and music

Music - limit it, and for gosh sakes don't play some free elevator music over and over the entire video

Humor - a little goes a long ways

Sponsors - I understand wanting to make a buck, but be careful. I'm watching less of a couple of my favorites because of accepting sponsors
 

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What about optimal clip length?

Here is a scenario. I am working on editing a "speed trial" vid for one of my boats. My reaching speed varies from about 2.3-4.8 knots depending on gust or lull. I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4. Something like that, havent worked out the details. I am trying to decide on a clip length for each speed category. Was kind of thinking 20-30 seconds. How long does someone watch a single clip for before they start thinking about something else?

I know this subject is not as exciting as babes in bikinis, but thats my channel, lots of focus on the sailing machine, places and tech, not so much on me or cruising lifestyle type stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
What about optimal clip length?

... I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4. Something like that, havent worked out the details. I am trying to decide on a clip length for each speed category. Was kind of thinking 20-30 seconds.

not as exciting as babes in bikinis
"Today we are trying to rescue a girl in a bikini at 2.5 knots...." Works for me! (Sorry, ladies, I wuz being sexist :( )


Will finish this later :)
 

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Not sure how I missed this thread when it started ...

I've been making youtube videos for almost 2 years, but I've only started to get serious about making good videos in the last few months. As part of this, I joined a number of videography groups on Facebook and Reddit. And I've watched a _LOT_ of youtube videos ... stuff that I wouldn't normally watch, like poorly done beginner and amateur videos.

While I'm certainly no expert, I extracted some common mistakes that newcomers make (including myself) and made a video outlining them: https://youtu.be/EsCtnKZF_qw

The target audience for that video was the people I saw struggling to build an audience on youtube. But it also served as an excellent learning tool for me, both in the creation of the video and in the discussion that was generated!
 

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While I'm certainly no expert, I extracted some common mistakes that newcomers make (including myself) and made a video outlining them:
I watched your video and agree with many of the things you are saying. In my mind, I wonder how long sailing videos in general will keep viewership?

I watched a few of the "big name" sailing video's and found that after a few episodes I was bored and went on to something else. Maybe it's because I've actually been out sailing and cruising around myself.......... You know, like having dolphins around the boat, happens quite frequently. Not really interesting to me to watch.

One thing you mentioned is about the sidebar pulling views away from the main video. Many people, me included, rarely watch YouTube on my computer. It's streamed through my Roku and watched directly on TV. When done this way there is no sidebar. The main video fills the screen completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
What about optimal clip length?

... I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4. Something like that, havent worked out the details. I am trying to decide on a clip length for each speed category. Was kind of thinking 20-30 seconds.

not as exciting as babes in bikinis
We need to work hard but we can make anything as exciting as a Bikini Girl. (almost)

Clip length is a great question and your scenario is so excellent as an example it will help us all.

Shot Duration

My thought is the whole segment is 4 minutes or less and an absolute maximum of 6 minutes. If its longer segment it one segment per week.

4 minutes seems short! No it doesn't.

A teenagers 'angst' TV soap opera, late afternoon/early evening thing will have scenes running about 1.5 minutes. in each scene is a zillion cuts but still our 4 shots (Est, WS, CU, ECU). The longest shot will be 10 seconds. The interminably long gazing into each others eyes shots will, surprisingly, only be 5 seconds when they felt 55 seconds.

I believe the normal, 'standard' shot should be 10 seconds. Intro's 20 seconds; outros 20 seconds; interviews 20 seconds before a cutaway, noddy etc unless the person is compelling.
If you look back on the example video in my first post, if you can bare watching it again :) I know you'll say they are not 'shots' but they are. The intro and Outro are both exactly 20 seconds. VHF radio was 8 seconds; instruments was about the same; dinghy 8 seconds; The ship shot (if you remember that one!) is a total of 8 seconds... look at how much theres packed into that 8 seconds: Est of ship. Identification of it. And an "in joke" set up; then punchline to make you all have a snigger. in 8 seconds. If we watched the ship for 20 seconds the whole thing would have fallen flat… the joke just wasn’t that good for 20 seconds.

A 20 second shot of any of those bits would have bored the daylights out of anyone watching.

So back to Arcb's question "I am trying to decide on a clip length for each speed category....Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4."
The difficulty here is the camera won’t show any difference between 2.5 and 3. Maybe no difference between 2 and 4. So we gotta cheat :) (We’ll do that in the next episode)
Watching each of 5 categories is hard work anyway. When we watch cat 3 for 20 seconds our eye/brain has forgotten what Cat1 looked like. So we need to keep the shots short. Say 10 seconds.
5 shots of 10 seconds = 50 seconds + 20 second Intro + 20 second Outro = 1:30 sconds sounds like stacks of time but wiat! You need to repeat them, probably, near the end to reinforce your lesson, but say 5 seconds each +25 seconds = 1:55
Plus you need to show your sail changes, 10 seconds each +50 seconds = Total 2:50
A couple of quick bits of you babbling 3 x 10 secs = 3:20

Total so far: 3:20 of a 4 minute video so you have 40 seconds that will disappear no matter how careful you are.

OK so that’s the shots we need and the total duration. If you go over that you are boring the **** out of your audience. If professionals can’t do it nor can you!

Next post is how we make those speed shots slow or fast. They are camera and editing CHEATS!!

[That last line is called a pre-promote. You need to finish each video with a ‘teaser’ for your next exciting instalment. “Next week we rescue the Bikini Girl and does she get angry!!!”]


Mark :)
PS Its a creative art... my 'rules' and my ideas, even my terminology will differ from others. If you get the rules right first then you can break them - if you know what you're doing :)
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)

Shots / Terminology / You’re right / You’re Wrong

Just digressing a moment…

Last line of my last post I wrote a ‘disclaimer’ saying some rules and terminology might be different. So I just clicked on a page to make sure some of my terminology is the same as American movie terminology.
Whislt basically the same… the rest of the world doesn’t have a Cowboy Shot, nor does it use some other words like “choke shot”.
Theres lots of words that professionals might use especially when they work with each other constantly.
So please don't yell at me for not using words youve used before, just amalgamate your terms.
For us its better to be totally simple and use as few words as we can.

I like Est, WS, CU, ECU. Many folks might want to call the Est a WS and use MS (medium Shot) in place of WS. No matter what you call them, we are trying to keep to 4 easy to remember and shoot shots. If you bring in a 5th shot, fine, but don’t overload your creative brain.

Remember… this creativity stuff is all about art. Before you paint the Mona Lisa you must learn to draw Micky Mouse. (ummm not sure this is necessary nowadays)

The design of each shot comes from within you, dont be restricted to what I or anyone says, give it a go your way... better, give it a go several ways and then see which works best when you are in edit.

Heres a website with a few shots I’ve never heard of…. Have a look

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/tips-and-solutions/filmmaking-101-camera-shot-types
 

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Discussion Starter #33 (Edited)
Cheats!



In Arcbs upcoming shoot “I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4 knots”

We know theres somethings impossible to shoot: Big waves look flat and calm. A raceboat surfing at 22 knots looks like old ladies slowly sailing a dinghy on a Sunday afternoon.

To show the difference in 5 speed categories we are *really* gunna have to work hard and cheat a bit or no one will see any difference at all.
This is an excellent exercise to do for your video making.

On your boat without looking at the speed instrument how do you determine boat speed?
Primarily the speed of bubbles going backwards as we go forwards. At 2 knots they are slow and gentle; 4 knots they zip backwards (in a dinghy)… at 20 knots they're too fast to see.

What other action can we see speed, but not really be able to determain the the speed in knots?
Spray between the genoa and water;
Heeling
Wake
Lower speeds: Clear sunny weather, no waves, no ripples
Faster speeds: waves, bouncing, spray, crew moves faster.

What do we want in our shots?
under 2.5 knots: CU Bubble without the boat in shot… Pan with the bubble. It makes the bubble look like its lazily moving. Lack of boat in shot means theres no reference to speed. Slow action. Dissolves instead of cuts, placid. Lazy. Crew looking at flying duck, scenery etc.
2.5 to 3: Same shot, slower pan so the bubbles exit the frame left.
3.5 Wider shot so you see the side of the boat as well as the bubbles thus you see the boat moving more in relation to the bubbles.
3.5 to 4 knots same shot as 3.5 but add an action like winding a winch. Pan against the bubble making them look faster.
Over 4 knots. Put camera lower, further back, in the line of the gunwale, looking forward, action of winching (pulling in sheets – whatever happens in a dinghy ), crew moving quickly, cutaways shot of water under the genoa with spray, splashing. Quick cuts! Fast! Action!

You could shoot all this in the same wind conditions. For the slow speed shots head downwind, furl the jib etc (don’t show it furled, obviously!). For the fast shots head upwind maybe pinch too much so you get more spray and more wave action.
Yes, these are “cheats” but you are not lying to your audience, you are just trying to get around the technical difficulties of cameras on boats.

In Edit: Slow is one, lazy long 10 second shot, music soft, slow, dreamy. Fast is 10 seconds full of fast cut 1 second shots, louder faster music.

Without using "cheats" its more difficult but you can try: Lock the camera onto the gunwale afft where it can see the water up to the jib/genoa. Shoot all different speeds. In edit jump cut between them all just 1 second or less each and see if that shows the speed difference. It might but I think it will be so small you still need to use a cheat. Maybe try 1/2 second cuts. I doubt longer than 1 second would work. but, hey, its art - go experiment :)


Next time I will do @SanderO s question about Equipment.
 

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Okay, nice answer. Working on this vid again today. I have it down to 10 minutes, down from about 90 minutes worth of footage. Going to see if I can shave some more off and still cover what I want to cover.

This one isnt part of my cruising series, its one of my technical vids, which is where my views come from. My technical vids tend to be a bit longer because I try to get into how and why things work. My analytics show my technical vids getting over 10 times the watch time of my cruising type videos.

So while I do try to get my technical vids as short as I can, I feel like the gritty details and longer lengths of those vids arent necessarily hurting me.

Time to go out to a freezing boat cabin and talk at my camera :)
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Okay, nice answer. Working on this vid again today. I have it down to 10 minutes, down from about 90 minutes worth of footage.
OK, so that means you already have your shots, so my ideas wont work as they were shooting tips.

At some later stage we ought to talk about scripts so you dont end up with 90 minutes of vieo to drag through finding the bits you really need :)

But furst fings forst.

BTW, I wouldn't be too worried about analytics at this stage. Its probably where the news media have fallen off the rails... they so want the Clicks they have started to tell lies. Make a good story and your viewers will come.

:)

Yes, technical videos are different, all genres are different from each other... we must know the style of video we are doing and keep in that genre. John Wayne wearing six-guns looks stupid on the bridge of Captain Kirks Enterprise!

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I extracted some common mistakes that newcomers make (including myself) and made a video outlining them: https://youtu.be/EsCtnKZF_qw
Hi Bill,

Yes, good video. :)

When you started talking about how long a video should be I had just started to clean my teeth. I had a look and it was at 5:00 and you just said any longer than 5 minutes is too long… then yours kept going to 12:29. Why break your own rule?

I like the energy and you've sustained that energy throughout the video. Very good. :)


Mark
 

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I watched your video and agree with many of the things you are saying. In my mind, I wonder how long sailing videos in general will keep viewership?
My opinion on the matter is that the ones who do it well will always have an audience. Consider the fact that sitcoms are mostly recycling the same jokes, and yet they continue to be popular. You can point out that most entertainment media are repetitive and that doesn't stop people from consuming it. That being said, only time will tell.

I watched a few of the "big name" sailing video's and found that after a few episodes I was bored and went on to something else. Maybe it's because I've actually been out sailing and cruising around myself.......... You know, like having dolphins around the boat, happens quite frequently. Not really interesting to me to watch.
I've been having a similar issue. Also, after forcing myself to watch so many sub-par videos, I think it's burned me out even on the good ones. I think the creators need to figure out how to mix up what they're doing a bit.

One thing you mentioned is about the sidebar pulling views away from the main video. Many people, me included, rarely watch YouTube on my computer. It's streamed through my Roku and watched directly on TV. When done this way there is no sidebar. The main video fills the screen completely.
According to youtube statistics, only 12% of my video views are from a TV or game console (I'm pretty sure both of those platforms lack the sidebar). As a result, the advice about being easily drawn away applies to 88% of viewers. While that's not everyone, it's a statically significant portion of the viewers.
 

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Hi Bill,
When you started talking about how long a video should be I had just started to clean my teeth. I had a look and it was at 5:00 and you just said any longer than 5 minutes is too long… then yours kept going to 12:29. Why break your own rule?
Like I said, I'm no pro. I tried and tried to get that video shorter. I also shot multiple takes. I threw away a bunch of information (I originally had 10 things) etc, etc, etc.

In the end, I felt like it was time to move on to the next project as it wasn't working out and I was spending a lot of time on it. Then I had a discussion with someone on one of the Facebook groups and he expressed interest in seeing the video. After a bit of thought, I decided that I was falling into the trap of not doing anything just because I couldn't get it perfect. So I made one last editing pass and published the video.

I think the important lesson here is that getting all these things right takes time and practice. Understanding what we should be achieving is only the first step, but acquiring the skill to achieve it takes far longer. However, falling into that trap of "I won't do anything until I can do it perfectly" isn't quite productive.

I like the energy and you've sustained that energy throughout the video. Very good. :)

Mark
Thanks!
 

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What about optimal clip length?

Here is a scenario. I am working on editing a "speed trial" vid for one of my boats. My reaching speed varies from about 2.3-4.8 knots depending on gust or lull. I want to do clips of the boat moving through the water at some different speed categories. Under 2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4, over 4. ...
NOTE: Arcb, I started writing this response before I saw the more informed ones by Mark. My only useful experience is to know who your audience really is, and given them what they want and need.

***

Well, I’ll take a stab at this Arcb. I don’t know what the optimal length is, but I can say it will vary depending on the audience and the purpose of the presentation.

What you describe sounds like fairly dry technical stuff. It’s not going to be of much interest to anyone other than those already keenly engaged in the topic. So your audience is fairly narrow.

But this is good b/c a focused, pre-engaged audience is one you don’t have to baby or spoon feed. You can take greater liberties with an audience that is already sold on the subject.

So in this case, you could run your clips longer than if you’re aiming at a more general audience. How long? In this case, as long as is required to demonstrate the technical difference you’re showing.

As long — but no longer. Technical folk will want the information (or want to see the difference), and then move on. All this said, my sense and, limited vid experience, is that 30 seconds of the same thing is loooong clip. I’d aim for shorter.
 

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What you describe sounds like fairly dry technical stuff.
Thats exactly what makes it interesting. Cruising dinghies are fringe to start with. Raid boats are even more out there. My current focus, sailing Kayaks set up for cruising is really out there. I only know one other guy putting out videos on the topic right now. I didnt even know the sport existed a year ago. Its my niche.

My vid I have been working on is done btw, I have incorporated some of both your ideas and Marks, I like the results. Went with 20 seconds or less for my speed clips and reduced it to 3 categories; slow (0-3 knots), cruisin (3-4 knots) and fast (over 4 knots). Mark was right, there wasnt enough granularity in the images to distinguish more than a few speed categories. Also gave myself more facetime explaning the results, which I think you mentioned.
 
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