Being a YouTube producer…

Recently I was asked what it takes to be a YouTube producer. The answer is quite simple… DEPENDS. It depends on the type of channel you want to have. You can simply record a video and upload it to YouTube. OR you can unleash the power of YouTube and create awesome content that you can actually make money off of.

First a little history… I used to work in Hollywood as an assistant editor for a small production company. I have always enjoyed the art of film and photography and when I moved away from California I always had the drive to keep doing something that used ALL of my skills to create cool content for the world to see.

So this isn’t the typical “norm” of producing YouTube content but it is how my OCD/perfectionist side of me likes to do it and I continue to learn new skills as the YouTube world evolves. So let’s break it down on how I edit for YouTube.

FIRST. Getting the “raw” content (Video cameras, Smart Phone videos, Video game captures, Screen Casts, etc.) Obviously story telling is the key here, a video on you walking down the street showing your shoes probably won’t get the views you want, but showing a skunk walking next to you may. GREAT CONTENT IS KEY!


Videos, videos and more videos…

SECOND. Editing the videos. Editing allows you to help tell the story and this is where the “art” of editing comes into play. This is also the opportunity to add transitions (fades in/fades out), fix lighting, adjusting colors and levels of the video. Keeping it clear, concise and direct is the best approach as “dead space” is usually when you lose your viewers… I like to keep most videos under 5 minutes unless I have a specialized video that is teaching something. Tools used: Adobe Premiere Pro


Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing

THIRD. Editing/enhancing sound. This is probably the most important part because people need to hear and understand what is being said. So cutting out wind noise or distracting background noises is important. We try to do this while recording but obviously not always avoidable. So we do it in “post production”. Tools used: Adobe Audition


Adobe Audition for Sound Editing

FOURTH. Creating motion graphics (IF NEEDED) – Like Lower Thirds (Titles, information, etc.), Intros, Outros and other motion graphic overlays. Tools used: Adobe After Effects, Adobe PhotoShop, Adobe Illustrator


Adobe After Effects for all my motion graphics work.


Adobe Photoshop to create YouTube thumbnails.

FIFTH. Music. Music can be an integral part of story telling. I use a few “STOCK Music” type sites to provide me with royalty free music and sounds (Means I can use the music without having to pay royalties to the music creator). I use music more for Intros and Outros and sometimes as an overlay to the video. But it all depends on the content. Music choice is CRITICAL in video production as you want to evoke the proper feeling in your video. Sometimes, NO music is the best choice.

AND FINALLY. Producing the video to upload to YouTube and sharing it with the world. This is where the magic is. To setting proper titles, to key words for search engines. Then sharing your video on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and WordPress to name a few.

But it doesn’t stop there. You have to find that happy medium to sharing your content in a manner that is not overwhelming. I am constantly learning and as the social world changes, I have to adapt to it accordingly. But if you find the right niche and you produce great content, you can build a very successful channel.

Thanks and happy YouTubing!


Thinking about new perspectives…


So as I sit here thinking and planning my adventures in downtown Chicago, I remind myself how difficult it can be to continuously head to the loop to capture photos and not photograph the same thing over and over again. I get asked all the time, “How much can you really get?”. The answer is simple, CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE. This goes for ANY location. Instead of standing up to take your photos, lie down, change your angle and try a new perspective. If your color photo doesn’t look great, change it to Black and White.

Living in a town that I consider one of the most photographed places on earth is a great challenge to find new things to photograph. Expand your mind into new realms of creativity. Get down, get dirty and find that new perspective. You just might be amazed at what you capture.

If you get bored, add an element to make it fun. Your brain will love you for it!

But do the most important thing to do is… JUST GET OUT AND PHOTOGRAPH THE WORLD! You never know what you will see and capture.

So, what do you do to break that monotony? Share your ideas!