How I film overhead shots of my writing for YouTube
Sometimes lack of technical knowledge can put us off pursuing a project or an avenue of interest. It can also put us off following our dreams of being a writer, photographer or filmmaker.
I was put off making films on YouTube for a long time. Not just because of the fear of the ‘thumb down’ and my creative outputs being judged by faceless people but also because I had no clue where to start in terms of technical kit.
So below I am detailing some of the kit I have used. This is to be read in conjunction with the video where I explain what camera and tripod set up I use for filming me talking to camera and for overhead ‘top down’ table videos.
Some links below are affiliate links which means I earn a few pennies for linking them if you make a purchase through them. This does not cost you any extra but does help me in the running of this blog.
Watch YouTube for ideas & inspiration
The kit I use now is kit I discovered other YouTubers used. So my first tip for you if you want to go the YouTube route is to watch videos. Don’t just stick to your own area of interest either. So, for me, at one point or another I’ve watched ‘mummy vloggers’, ‘book vloggers’, writers, artists, and YouTube famous vloggers such as Zoe Sugg and Alfie Deyes.
It was by watching the latter that I discovered the camera they all use and the small tripod that doubles as a stick to hold the camera with.
But watching these YouTubers also gives you tips on editing or creating narratives using B-roll footage (B-roll is other images you can cut away to that will add dimension to your story.)
For example in one of my videos I placed the camera inside the chicken coop, pressed record and then closed the coop back up. I then opened the coop, removed the eggs and closed it back up again. This section was my ‘official shot’. Then I opened the coop door once more to remove the camera. This gave me a shot for a ‘morning routine’ type video.
But a shot like that wouldn’t have occurred to me if I hadn’t seen Zoe Sugg walking her dog into the distance and leaving her camera behind (obviously she would have returned for the camera but not included that footage in the final video).
iMovie or Final Cut Pro
I’ve used both of these. I started with iMovie which is free with your Mac and then invested in Final Cut Pro because I wanted to take my editing up to the next level.
There is also Adobe Premier Pro if you don’t want to go the Apple route.
There are numerous tutorials on these on YouTube and I’ll be creating a basics of iMovie very soon.
Do not be afraid of them. Having said that I was for a long time but once I explored it and followed some tutorials I was editing videos very quickly.
For me music is a must in my videos. I love the extra layer it provides and how it can add drama or brightness - essentially I use it to demonstrate my feelings. There are a number of royalty free music sites you can use. One that many people start with is YouTube’s own royalty free music library. However it does mean that your music can sound like everyone else’s. I’d certainly start with this but, if you want to take YouTube seriously, think about investing in either Soundstripe or Epidemic Sound.
I use Soundstripe and love it. I’ve tried Epidemic Sound but found it a little overwhelming. Soundstripe has a simple system, a huge variety of songs and a range of emotions to search under.
[The link I’ve used for Soundstripe is an affiliate link and will give you 10% off a one month or one year membership if you use the code HELENREDFERN).
Microphone & Software
The microphone is brilliant. I plug it straight into my computer, open up Quick Time Player, click File, the New Audio Recording. Then I record into the microphone, save the voice over and drag it into the editing software. Simple and quick to use.
External hard drive
If you want to create videos you must use an external hard drive as your computer storage will fill up extremely quickly. I use a Seagate 1 TB Backup which is suitable for Mac and PC.
Camera and Tripod
The kit I use in terms of camera and tripod is demonstrated in this video (scroll down to see the linked products):
Any questions do ask on YouTube, here on the blog or DM me on Instagram.