DIY Video Production: How to Create a Compelling Introduction Video | Lee Cohen | Skillshare

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DIY Video Production: How to Create a Compelling Introduction Video

teacher avatar Lee Cohen, Educator & Producer based in Brooklyn

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (59m)
    • 1. The Introduction Video!

      2:01
    • 2. How to Take this Class

      3:00
    • 3. Compelling Introduction Videos

      5:47
    • 4. Planning Your Intro Video

      2:34
    • 5. Choosing Your Equipment

      8:01
    • 6. Creating Your Set

      5:02
    • 7. What’s B-roll?

      5:43
    • 8. Filming Your Video

      4:20
    • 9. Crafting the Edit

      11:40
    • 10. Choosing Your Music

      6:57
    • 11. Making Final Touch Ups

      2:53
    • 12. Conclusion

      1:13
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About This Class

Want to learn how to create your very own introduction video for your Youtube channel, social media platform, or Skillshare class? 

Join filmmaker and Skillshare editor, Lee Cohen, to learn how to create compelling introduction videos. This class is a crash course in planning, filming, and producing an intro video for your next Skillshare class, YouTube channel, or social media post. You’ll learn everything from:

  • What the structure of a successful intro video is
  • How to outline your talking points
  • What gear you’ll need
  • How to set up a film shoot
  • What to keep in mind as you film
  • How to bring it all together in the edit

This class is for absolute beginners--all you need is an idea for a class or video, and I’ll walk you through the process step by step, ensuring you follow along with basic student assignments that ensure you don’t get overwhelmed. All you need to start is the phone in your pocket! 

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lee Cohen

Educator & Producer based in Brooklyn

Teacher

Lee Cohen is an educator and video producer based in Brooklyn. He started his career as a teacher in the Bronx, moved on to working on education in international contexts, and founded Local Story in 2015. Local Story works with organizations around the world to produce great stories about the work they do. As President of Local Story, Lee has worked across the US as well as the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa producing videos. 

For the past two years Lee has worked with Skillshare on producing, filming, and editing videos: everything from teaching creativity with Esteban Gast to writing sci-fi stories with Lincoln Michel. 

Lee is currently a Senior Video Producer with Foundr Magazine. 

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. The Introduction Video!: I'm a teacher, so for the next hour or so, this box around my head is going to be our classroom. Yes, it's too obvious. My name is Lee Cohen and I'm a producer, storyteller, and educator. As the founder and president of Local Story, I've worked with organizations around the world, helping them tell stories about the work they do and the people they serve. I filmed everyone from youth in Miami, to farmers in Haiti, to children in Tanzania, and Uganda. In the last couple of years, I've been working directly with teachers to help produce their Skillshare classes. It is so joyful working with teachers to bring their vision to life. Whether you have a story you want to tell, a class you want to teach, or a passion you want to share, this class will show you precisely how to do it. In this class, you're going to learn the most important part of any video series, the introduction, whatever your introduction video is about, the goal here is to captivate your audience and inspire them to watch more. Whether you're teaching online, making a Kick-starter video, or starting a YouTube channel. This class will walk you through all the steps to making a compelling, authentic intro video. In this class, we're going to cover how to outline your video, script it, and plan for your shoot, what gear you're going to need, and how to set it up. At the end, I'm going to show you how to put it all together in the editing room, including choosing the right music and adding finishing touches. For your class project, you're going to be making your own intro video. You have plenty of opportunities to show me your work so I can give you feedback. You're here because you're passionate about something you want to share with the world and my job is to help you do precisely that. I am so excited to teach this class and show you the magic of making intro videos. Let's go. 2. How to Take this Class: In this class, I'm going to walk you step-by-step on how to make a great introduction video. It really doesn't matter what the videos for. I've helped people make Kickstarter videos, Skillshare classes, and YouTube channels. The commonality among all these types of videos is that you're introducing something new to an audience. You want to get their attention, keep them interested, and leave them wanting more. For your class project, you're going to be making your own introduction video. I'm going to show you different ways of going about it. Because the last thing we want is for every video we see online, to look and sound the same. I think the best intro videos are heartfelt and authentic to the person making it. The video should really sound like you in your voice and style. Before we get started, you need to know what your video is about. If you already have a class you want to teach or a video you want to make, then great, you're all set to dive in. If you haven't decided yet, start with what you're passionate about. Audiences really respond to passion and expertise. Try to avoid topics you don't know a lot about or that aren't super interesting to you. You may know a lot about spreadsheets, but if you don't find them energizing and creative, we'll all be able to tell. We're going to cover a lot in this class. Make sure you follow the assignment for each video. That way you won't get overwhelmed and it'll give you a lot of opportunities to share your progress with me for feedback. Making videos can be overwhelming for newcomers, especially if you're doing it alone. Some people really like having a friend around to help out. Other people prefer to have some privacy. You should do whatever works for you. If you go through this class methodically and complete the assignments, your final product will be so much stronger. I'll have specific assignments for you at the end of most videos to keep you learning. Because we learn by doing, not by watching people on screens. For your first assignment, figure out what your video is going to be about. It's important you settle on an idea before going further. Because after this, we're really going to get into the details of how to make your video. If you have an idea for a class, but you've never made a video before or aren't super comfortable with gear, this class is going to be super-helpful, showing you the ropes. Alternatively, maybe you have a lot of experience with filmmaking, but you're feeling a little stuck with how to make a Skillshare video. This class will really help you flesh out your ideas and put it all together structurally. Once you've decided, we can start with what makes a compelling introduction video. I can't wait to see what you've come up with. Share your ideas in the comments section below. I'll see you in the next video. 3. Compelling Introduction Videos: There aren't any 100 percent rules for intro videos, but there are some things I've seen over and over that really work. In this video, I'll walk you through some of the basic building blocks of an intro video and show you some examples of what I'm talking about. First, let's talk timing. For most mediums these days, whether it's a Skillshare class, or a YouTube video, or anything else, it's best to aim for under two minutes. People's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. When you're introducing something new, it's best to keep it short and sweet. Think of your intro video as a movie trailer, we want to see the best bits. But after we finish, we also want to see the whole movie. What are the key building blocks of an intro video? We start with a hook. A hook is a creative, inspirational, thought-provoking or just plain funny way to start the video. Here is my hook in intro video to this class. I'm a teacher. For the next hour or so, this box around my head, it's going to be our classroom. Yes, you are great. Here's another example of a great hook. I have this little kiddie pool. No, we got her, we're all good. Camera is rolling. I love nature and being outside is such a joy and such a peaceful part of my life. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to laugh. Today, I'm really happy to be here because I have been- I've shown you two examples of great hooks. Think a little bit about what you liked about those hooks and try to replicate it in your own video. Next, introduce yourself. We need to know your name and a bit of your background. Are you an expert on what you're talking about? Tell us about that. Are you passionate about what you're talking about? Tell us about that too. Your audience wants to know why I should listen to you so tell them. Maybe you've been painting for your whole life, or love cooking, or work in an urban garden. Make sure you tell us what it is that connects you as a person to the thing you're talking about? Remember, if you show me that you care, I'll care too. Hi, my name is Zak Mulligan. I'm a cinematographer working in film and television. You may know some of my work from HBO's, The Outsider or from my Sundance film, We the Animals, which was there in 2018. My journey in art and nature have always been intertwined. It started with my dad. He taught me everything he knows about plants, mostly from the garden, but really ventured into being outside and exploring nature together. Happy to be here because I have been a student of Skillshare so many years and I learned so much from different creators. Today, I'm happy to share my knowledge with you. Hello, my name is Masho Margishvili. I'm an artist, designer, and creator of visual brand called Masholand. You've introduced yourself. Now, it's time to set your audience's expectations. Tell viewers what they can expect to learn in your videos. If this is an introduction, what exactly are you introducing them to? Try to connect your videos to something bigger. For example, if you're teaching people how to use Photoshop, it's good to show that you're not just learning the software and the keystrokes, but also how to look at images and how to think about graphic design. Cinematography really is all about lighting. Today, I'd like to really break down how I like to think about lighting and how I like to approach it on set. Or in this case, learning how to make an intro video is really about thinking through the structure of stories. Try to connect to your class or videos to a larger value proposition for the audience. Basically, you want to answer the question, so what? Who cares? Your video isn't just about making lasagna, it's about understanding how flavors work together. I want this class to be about putting your inspiration into action and about activating your ideas. Because when we shoot with art as the goal of photography, we need to hone those ideas and we need to make sure that the images reflect with that original idea was in the first place. Connecting your class to the bigger picture helps students understand why it's relevant and how it fits in a larger creative journey or context? Finally, if you're teaching something in subsequent videos, make sure you include a project of some kind. You want your audience to be responsible for their own learning and the best way for them to learn is by doing. Last but not least, sign-off. End your video with an inspirational message that's encouraging to your audience. Make them feel good. You want people excited to learn more and to immediately click from your intro video to video number 2. Below this video, you'll see a tab called ''Class Resources.'' There you'll find some links to some great intro videos on the web. For your assignment, I want you to watch the videos and take notice of how they hit the beats I've talked about. They probably do it all a bit differently, which is what makes them so great. I'll see you in the next video where I'll start helping you plan out your intro with an outline or a script. 4. Planning Your Intro Video: Having a basic script is important so that you make sure you cover everything you want to say. It's also helpful to keep some of us from going on and on. This is my outline that I used for this class. I like to break an intro down by the moments I know I absolutely have to have. While this will vary depending on what your intro is for, I'm going to use an example for a Skillshare intro class. For Skillshare intro videos, I know I have to capture a hook, a bio, setting the stage, and signing off. I'm a teacher, so for the next hour or so, this box around my head is going to be our classroom. My name is Lee Cohen and I'm a producer, storyteller, and educator. As the Founder and president of Local Story, I've worked with organizations around the world, helping them tell stories about the work they do and the people they serve. I filmed everyone from youth in Miami to farmers in Haiti, to children in Tanzania and Uganda. In the last couple of years, I've been working directly with teachers to help produce their Skillshare classes. In this class, we're going to cover how to outline your video, script it, and plan for your shoot, what gear you're going to need, and how to set it up. At the end, I'm going to show you how to put it all together in the editing room, including choosing the right music and adding finishing touches. Now that I have a broad outline of what I'm going to talk about. I like to drill down a little further into each bullet point, a few key ideas for each moment that I like to have in front of me. I've seen some teachers write out a script word for word of everything they're going to say, and I've seen other teachers go totally off their memory. Ultimately, it's up to you, but my personal style is somewhere in between. Let's create a basic script for your intro video using these points as your guide, hook, bio, setting the stage, and signing off. For each point, I want you to write down 2-3 bullet points of things you absolutely want to say. Create your intro plan using our outline below. I'll see you in the next video where we'll cover, equipment you're going to need. 5. Choosing Your Equipment: The best equipment is gear you feel comfortable using. Practice using your gear ahead of time so that on the day of your shoot it's the least stressful part of your job. I know there's some of you out there that really aren't that interested in gear or maybe don't have a lot of experience using gear. So I'll just say this, I always think about gear as a means to an end. The gear that I have helps me tell great stories. It helps me keep properly lit, it makes me sound well, it makes me look nice. So think about it as a means to an end. Some people get really excited about gear, about trying the latest stuff and really pushing the limits of what your gear can do, and I have to admit, I probably fall into that category. But you don't have to be a gear ahead. The point of all of this is to facilitate your storytelling not get in the way. When you're shopping around for gear, the rule of thumb is, what can I buy that will stay out of my way? What can I buy that I can set up and forget about it? Because that's what we're really after when we're thinking about great gear, we're thinking about gear that works seamlessly. We don't want to have to be checking it all the time and fiddling with different settings, we want to be able to set it up and forget about it. If you buy a new piece of gear and you find that you're constantly having to fiddle with things or that it's not intuitive how it works, return it and try something new. There's so much gear out there for pretty much everybody in the world. So find what works for you and then stick with it. Let's break down what you'll need into four categories; camera, camera holder, microphone, and light. I'll give you two options for each category so that you get a general idea, but remember, whatever you end up choosing, practice, practice, practice. Buy stuff that's easy to return, and if it's not easy to use, return it. The best gear isn't complicated, it's simple. In the Class Resources tab, you'll find links to everything I'm about to discuss. Open it up now so that you can follow along. Let's start with your camera. This one is easy. For most of you, it's your phone these days and that's great. If your phone was made in the past five years or so, it's honestly more powerful than we'll even need. If you'd like to have a bit more control over the video you take with your phone, one app that I use that is amazing is called FiLMiC Pro. It's expensive for an app, about $15, but it will transform the camera on your phone from a hobby camera to a professional one. Entire movies have actually been shot on iPhones using this app. But honestly, if you're not going to be making movies, the standard camera app should be just fine. If you'd like to invest in a camera, there are a bunch of options out there. Maybe you plan on making lots of videos, pretty much every company makes a camera specifically for people who are going to be vlogging. Unless you want to make professional movie quality videos, you should be able to find plenty of options for under $1,000 and some good used options for under 500. The key thing to look for is a screen that flips out and rotates 360 degrees. That way you can see yourself while you're recording to make sure things look the way you want them to. The next thing you're going to need is a camera holder called a tripod. This is probably the easiest part of your setup. Because your phone is so light, you really don't need anything fancy. What we're looking for is a smartphone tripod. Plastic is fine. Here's a good one for 25 bucks. If you're using a fancier camera that weighs more than a smartphone, it's probably worth investing a little bit more. You spend hundreds of dollars on the camera, it's worth spending 50 or $75 on something sturdy. Here's a good basic tripod for a nicer camera. Time for some real talk. Almost nobody will know if you shot your video on your phone or your $2,000 camera. Nobody will know if your tripod cost $50 or 500, but everyone will know if you haven't invested in a microphone, and I mean everyone. That doesn't mean you have to spend a lot, just a small investment makes such a huge difference. If your phone has a microphone port, then this Lapel microphone for $40 is an easy choice. If you have an iPhone that just has a charging port, buy a $9 headphone adapter. In theory, you could just buy a mic that goes right into your charging port, but when you record video, you're going to want to keep it plugged in so it doesn't run out of battery. With a headphone adapter, you can keep the phone charged and connect that Lapel mic at the same time. If you really intend to make this a professional career, maybe you're starting a YouTube channel, Rode makes a $75 Lav mic that sounds great. Finally, let's talk lights. Your best light is natural light. We don't want to record in a basement, we want to record in your windows that are big, natural, beautiful light. If it's too bright, you can always lower the window shade. But sometimes having an extra light can be nice. Always think about the light you buy as something to complement natural light, not replace it. There's a lot of lights out there that are fully controllable with your smartphone. I don't recommend them if you're going to be using your phone to video yourself as well. It can be annoying switching between apps when you're just trying to record yourself. Remember, keep it simple. This is a cheap option for $40 and a nicer option for 70. The nicer option has a bigger battery, the buttons are a bit easier to use and it's built a bit sturdier and will probably last longer. There's definitely a lot of options out there., so the two things to keep in mind when you're searching is battery size and whether it's dimmable. Having a built-in battery can make things easy, but just make sure it's big enough so that you don't have to stop recording halfway through to recharge it. Always make sure your light is dimmable sometimes you want to be able to turn it down a little. There you go. For about 100, maybe $120, you've got yourself a good setup that will keep your cameras table, get you good audio and nice flattering light. Remember to always test everything you buy multiple times. There's nothing worse than getting into a good flow only to have a battery die or to find out you didn't push record. Finally, some people like to rent their equipment. That way they don't have to spend a lot of money and they always get to use the best gear out there. I love renting gear because I get to try out the latest stuff. But remember one thing, gear is only great if it's easy to use. Trying to learn how to use a brand new camera that you've rented can be stressful if you don't have a lot of time. For your next assignment, I want you to make a gear list. Break out your four categories of gear; camera, stability, audio, and light, and under each category, list which you're going to need. If you don't own any of this stuff yet, consider this your budget too. In the Class Resources tab below, you'll find a simple spreadsheet you can use to keep track of what you own, what you need, and most importantly, what you can afford. As you're filling out the spreadsheet, if you find yourself having some trouble with a specific piece of gear, let us know. We're here to help each other and support each other. Conversely, if you stumble onto a great piece of gear, I want to know about it, so leave that in the comments below as well. We're almost ready to start shooting, but before we do, we need to build your set in the next video. I'll see you there. 6. Creating Your Set: So now that you have a solid outline of what you want to say and your gear, it's time to plan your set. Use your windows as your guide. You want to be close enough to windows that you get to use all that beautiful natural light, but not too close so that the light is overwhelming. The biggest question you have to answer for yourself when you start to think about your set is, where is the natural light? You want nice, even bright light. However, if you're filming in an apartment like I am, that's not always possible. Natural light often comes in at an angle, which is why you have a nice cheap light that you can use to balance things out. If the main source of natural light is coming at an angle from the left, you want to balance that out on the right. You won't be able to match the brightness of the sun, and that's okay. We're adding a light that will help reduce distracting shadows. Once you know where the natural light is coming from, you can balance that light out with an artificial light source. When you're trying to place yourself in the frame, try to divide the frame up into a grid. I'll actually put a grid over my body right now is that you can see what I mean. My body is in the middle of the frame but there's still a lot of room above my head. We call that headspace. You want to try and make sure that there's enough headspace above your head so it doesn't look like you're about to get cut off or have your head chopped off by the video. There's no one size fits all solution. But keep in mind the following things. It can be nice to show a little bit of your environment. You don't have to fill up the entire screen with your face. Your face and your body should take up about a quarter of the screen, which will leave room in case you want to put text on the video later. Try different angles and see what looks best. It's a lot easier to experiment before you've started making an entire video rather than halfway through. Personal touches in the background maybe a painting on the wall or a plant goes a long way. Having a plain white background can feel impersonal and cold like a PowerPoint presentation. As you get all of your lights set up in your room that you're going to film in. You want to keep in mind highlights and shadows. Shadows can be really distracting and are often caused by something in the way of the natural light. Do you see the difference there? It really casts a dark shadow on my face that's distracting to the viewer. Highlights are the opposite of shadows. They're incredibly bright. If you were to go out in the summertime, in the noonday sun, the sun really casts an unflattering highlight onto your face, especially if you have light skin like I do. It's funny because we often think of the best light as a bright blue sunny day. But in fact, the best light is when it's cloudy outside because the clouds naturally diffuse the light and make it less strong and more flattering. That's what we want to try to recreate in your room. If you've got big bright windows like I do, filming on an overcast day can actually work really well. Conversely, if you're filming and it's really sunny out and you're getting a lot of direct sun. Try using a window shade or even a piece of paper to diffuse the light and make it a little less intense. It really will depend on your individual apartment or set. But in some cases, having a symmetry in the frame can be really pleasing. However, just as often, having things be a bit asymmetrical and less obvious can also be really interesting and inviting for the viewer. In either case, when you're putting yourself in your frame, the most important thing is to not take attention away from yourself. You want to be the most important part of the set. You don't want something else distracting the viewer's eye. I really can't wait to see what you guys come up with. I find that a set is often like a person's personality. Everyone said is different and they all reflect the person in the video. Don't be afraid to be creative and express yourself. Now it's your turn. Try a few different setups, moving the camera around different angles. If you want to experiment with the light as well, feel free. Upload a photo of your favorite one to two setups so that we can all learn from each other and see what works best. I'll give you feedback on which setup I think looks best. But remember this is pretty subjective. In the next video we're going to start filming. I'll see you there. 7. What’s B-roll?: Of all the videos, I've looked forward to this one the most. Why? Because capturing good B-roll will be the difference between a good video and a great one. I could go on and on about B-roll, but instead of describing it for you, let me show you the difference. Here's a clip of my intro video. Pay close attention to the B-roll and how it relates to what I'm talking about. As the founder and president of local story, I've worked with organizations around the world, helping them tell stories about the work they do and the people they serve. I filmed everyone from youth in Miami to farmers in Haiti, to children in Tanzania and Uganda. In the last couple of years, I've been working directly with teachers to help produce their Skillshare classes. Now here's that same clip with all of the B-roll removed. As the founder and president of local story, I've worked with organizations around the world, helping them tell stories about the work they do and the people they serve. I filmed everyone from youth in Miami to farmers in Haiti, to children in Tanzania and Uganda. In the last couple of years, I've been working directly with teachers to help produce their Skillshare classes. Pretty big difference. When you take away the B-roll, the whole video feels like a boring PowerPoint presentation. It's not visually interesting. Because this is a video, keeping things visually interesting is really important. I'll be honest with you. Making videos can sometimes get a little repetitive. But the B-roll is really my opportunity to be creative as an artist. It's where I feel like I can break out of the mode of whatever my video is about and really find beautiful shots that my audience will respond to and now so can you. Before I tell you the main rules to follow for B-roll, there's one thing you absolutely positively must remember. You can never have too much B-roll. It is so much easier to have hours of B-roll that you can pick the best thirty-seconds from, rather than not having enough. Remember that each shot of B-roll will only be on screen for 45 seconds. Here's a pro tip. Capture more, a lot more B-roll than you think you'll need. How can you make B-roll that fits with your video? Follow these key key. Relevant. If your video is about illustrating, capture some view of you drawing. If it's about learning the violin, show us some video of you playing. Whatever your intro video is about, make sure you have some B-roll of you doing that thing. This way it's not just you telling, it's you showing. This class is for anyone who has ever wanted to start a garden, in a container on your balcony, in a big and lot in the city or in your backyard. In this class I will cover plant propagation, some basic gardening concepts. Creative. Think outside the box when it comes to B-roll. If your camera can capture slow-motion footage, that can be a creative way of showing rather than telling. We're going to start off with sourcing, organizing your collages. Then we're going move on to photo collages, which you'll be able to show different worlds through different portals, different universes within different worlds. One way I like to think about B-roll is through sequencing. Let's say you're making a video about drawing with color pencils. You can have a shot of you opening up your pencil case, then a shot of you sharpening your pencils, then a shot of you taking out drawing paper, then a shot of you doing the actual drawing. Then finally a shot of you showing your drawing to the camera. Sounds like a lot. What to keep things snappy, we're only showing each shot for three or four seconds. That's five shots. All of this bureau will only be on screen for 15 or 20 seconds max. I'm going to take you through my process of choosing a simple photograph, concepting and sketching, illustrating and adding color and ending up with a final finished photo illustration. Variety. Depending on what your class is about, finding a variety of B-roll can sometimes be hard. That's why creativity is so important. Try to mix up the kind of B-roll you capture to keep your audience interested. I will help you to tear paper, cut paper, store it appropriately, and then find the perfect specimens to create your print from. I'm so excited to help you learn how to create that perfect Prussian blue print. Okay, now it's your turn. I want you to take out your class outline that you did for Video 4. Remember, we included a hook, a bio, setting the stage, and signing off. For each of those points, I want you to think of 2 - 3 B-roll shots you can film. Don't worry about the sign off. This is just brainstorming, but try to only include shots you can actually film. When you're done, upload your ideas to the class project tab below so we can take a look and give each other feedback. Try to use the guiding principles of relevant, creative, sequence, and variety. We're ready to actually start filming. In the next video, we're going to do just that. Make sure you have a solid plan for your video before moving forward. It'll make the day of your shoot a lot less stressful. I'll see you there. 8. Filming Your Video: If you're watching this, it means you're ready to actually sit down and start recording. Congratulations, honestly, this is the best part of the whole process. You've already done all of the hard work. You've got an outline you can follow, including a list of B-roll, a camera, a camera holder, a microphone, and a light, and everything set up where it should be. Here's a quick checklist before you hit "Record" just to make sure you're ready to go. Is your camera battery charged or plugged into a power source? Is your camera holder on a stable surface? Is your microphone turned on, attached to your clothing? Is your natural light bright, and is your artificial light powered on and balanced with each other? Have you tested everything already? Remember this last point, please. Don't wait until you're filming your video to test out everything. The more comfortable you are with your class outline and your gear, the less stressful this will be. Something I've learned from experience is to go slow. I don't know about you, but I have a tendency to try to get set up and start filming as quickly as possible. I'm always worried that there won't be enough time or that the light is going to change or that I'm going to forget what I want to say. Go slow. Take your time. You'll make fewer mistakes and when you do make a mistake, you'll catch it in time to correct it. It's when we try to speed through the process that we make the most mistakes. But also we don't even have time to have fun. Remember to enjoy the process. Take joy in setting up the gear and creating your set and using all of your hard work up until this point to really make a great video. So you've set everything up. You have your outline nearby to consult. What are some things you should check right before you push "Record'? For me here are a couple of things. I always double-check the lighting. I want to make sure it's not too bright and that I'm not being blinded from the light and not too dark. You don't want any part of your frame to be blacked out so that you can't see it. You want a nice even light, what we call mid-tones, from one side of the frame to the other. Later in the editing room, we can tweak the light a little bit to make it more stylized. But when you're filming, we want to go for even light. Then finally, I always test the sound. You want to be loud enough so that you're coming through nice and clear, but not too loud that you're blowing out the mics. A good rule of thumb on most cameras is to aim for around minus four, minus six db. I won't get into what all of the dbs mean. But just keep in mind that zero is the maximum db. So you want to go a little bit lower than the maximum. So you're all set up and you've double-checked everything. Here's one last thing you can do. Record yourself for about 10 seconds, maybe recording yourself doing the hook or introducing yourself. It doesn't matter. Then stop. Take out your memory card or your phone and watch yourself, preferably on a bigger screen, like a laptop. You'll be amazed at what you notice on a big screen. Maybe there's a tiny little piece of paper in your background that you hadn't noticed, or maybe you're a little too loud on the microphone. Whatever it is, watching yourself for a few seconds on a bigger screen can make a world of a difference. Now it's your turn. Go film. Remember to keep these tips in mind. Practice. Go slow. Check your video and audio to make sure the lighting looks good and the audio sounds good. Experiment with different ways of saying what you want to say and shooting what you want to shoot. Finally, have fun. I know it can be hard to remember but the more fun you have the more fun your audience will have watching you. So enjoy yourself. Don't take it too seriously, and I'll see you in the next video when we get into editing. 9. Crafting the Edit: You've just finished filming and it's time to turn all of that video and hard work into a quick, tightly edited 90-second intro video. First things first, don't delete anything. It can be tempting to try and delete stuff. Maybe you forgot what to say or you tripped up on a word or something. Maybe your microphone wasn't turned on. Whatever happened, don't delete it. I've lost count of the number of times I've used something from a mistake in a final edit. It happens all of the time. Now, I'm not going to teach you how to use editing software, we don't have the time, but I want you to think about software the same way you think about your gear. The best software to use is the one you know the best. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be and the better the final edit will come out. The next thing to do is watch all of your footage. I know you think you already know which footage is the best, after all you were there. But trust me, you never know until you watch it all from beginning to end. For every video I edit, the first thing I do is watch all of the footage from beginning to end. Sometimes it takes several days to get through it all, but it's always worth it. Then I go through it all again. What I'd like to do is keep a Word document open as I watch. Whenever I see a clip that I really like, I write down the name, the time, and the category B-roll or talking head. This is called logging and it might seem like a lot of work, but honestly it always ends up saving me time in the end. If you go to the Student Resources tab below, you'll see I've uploaded a basic log worksheet you can use. The goal of login is to find the best clips you shot for each of the main points. Hook, bio, setting the stage, and signing off. You'll often see videos that have multiple camera angles. This can make the video look more interesting and a bit more professional, but it's also done to cover up edit points. Look at this quick clip from my intro. Whenever you see the cameras switch from one angle to another, it's because I messed up. But by switching angles, I can cover up my edit points. Here's a quick tutorial on how to cover up your edit points. Now, an edit point is when one of your clips ends and another clip begins. If you look at my timeline here, on the very bottom is my music track in green, and then above that is my audio of my dialogue, and then above that, two different clips of me speaking. Now, whenever we get to an edit point, it's an opportunity to make a choice. To keep things simple, I'm going to break down that choice into three different options. Option one is to do nothing. Let me just show you what I mean. We have one talking head clip and we immediately just cut to another talking head clip without anything changing. I'll show you. We'll show you precisely how to do it. We're going to start with perhaps. That actually looks pretty good. If that were the case, you could definitely get away with a cut like that. Often times, when you cut from one clip to another with you facing the exact same way, the exact same talking head, it can look a little awkward because maybe your hands up are in one clip and they're down in another or maybe you're sitting up straight in one clip and you're slouched in another, but it'll look off to the audience, which is why option one is usually my least favorite thing to do at an edit point and really something you should try to do as little as possible. Let's think about the other two options that I think are much better. Option two is cutting from a talking head to some B-roll. Now, let me show you what that looks like. If I can handle them, I can handle you. Everyone has a story they want to tell, or a class they want to teach, or a passion they want to share. What did we just see there? I was talking in my living room and at this edit point here, instead of editing it to another clip of me speaking, I kept the audio of me speaking, but on top of it, I put first a video of me on my laptop editing some video, then me taking some notes, and then me doing some more editing from a different angle. I'm showing you what I'm talking about rather than just telling you. This is why in the previous video I really emphasized getting as much B-roll as you can because the more B-roll you have, whenever you get to one of these edit points, you can really use it to really make the transitions from one clip to another much much smoother. I would say for most of us it's probably the best option because the third option is also great. The third option is when we go from one clip of you speaking to another clip of you speaking from a different angle. Let me show you what that looks like. In this class we'll show you precisely how to do it. We're going to start with perhaps the most. There's something about shifting angles that almost always makes the transition from one clip to another a bit more professional-looking. Rather than going from one clip to another of you in the same position, it just gives it a bit more of a professional look. It's why if I'm filming myself or if I'm filling someone else, I'll almost always use two cameras just to make my life a little bit easier. This way I know if I don't have quite enough B-roll which inevitably you never have enough B-roll, I can use the two different camera angles as a way to cut from one clip to another. But let's say you don't have two cameras. A lot of us are filming on phones. You've got your phone on a tripod, what's another way of making that cut? Let me show you a very quick tip. If you only have one camera, some people will record themselves multiple times from multiple angles. Another thing you can do is fake the audience into thinking you're using two cameras. You can do this by scaling video. Let me show you a really quick way to do that. In pretty much every editing program, there's a way to manipulate what's called the scale of a video clip. By manipulating the scale of a video clip, you can pretend like you have two different cameras. Let me show you what I mean. I haven't done any scaling yet, and this is what it looks like when you go from one clip to another. Class we'll show you precisely how to do it. We're going to start with perhaps. Not terrible, not bad, but right now, this clip that's playing is at 60 scale. I always think of that as 60 percent. It's not at 100 percent which would look like this. It's way too big. I've set it to 60. When we go to the next clip, that's at 60 scale, but if I make this next clip 70. Now, when we go from one to the other, let's see what that looks like. Class we'll show you precisely how to do it. We're going to start with. You see that? It looks like maybe you had a zoom lens and you zoomed in really quickly or maybe you cut from a wide-angle camera to a teller zoom camera, but something changed. Even though you're still just using one camera, it's a way of faking out the audience and making them think you're shooting with two different cameras. That said, zoom cuts can feel a bit jarring for viewers if you used a lot, so try to use them sparingly. Once you have your introduction sequenced that it follows the main points and all of your edit points are covered with B-roll, you might want to add a little more B-roll depending on your situation. For example, intro videos that are highly visual might have more B-roll. There's no set rule here. If the B-roll looks good, consider using it. You want a nice mix of you on camera introducing the topic you're talking about, edited with the B-roll you shot. Once you have those two things, we can move on to music which will dramatically impact your video. If you're just getting started editing video, the options out there for software can be a little intimidating, but the three main options are Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve. DaVinci Resolve actually has a free option online that you can download for both Mac and PC, so it's a great place to start. As you make your way through the editing process, you'll go through each of the main points of the intro video. Keep in mind which one of your takes was the best. Maybe you set all the information really cleanly and concisely, you didn't trip up over words or stumble and you maintain eye contact with the camera. Try to highlight those takes so that when it comes time to putting them altogether, you know which ones are the best. You've made it so far, and I'm honestly really proud of you. Now that you're in the editing room, I want you to have fun. You spent so much time and energy getting to this point, now is not the time to rush. Take your time, go through all of your footage, and be creative. You'll be amazed at how creative the editing process can be. In the beginning, it can feel a bit like you're just stitching together clips one after the other, but the more you practice and the better your eye becomes, the more creative it'll be. I promise you, it gets fun. For your class assignment I want you to edit your first rough draft and upload your progress so far to YouTube and share your link in the Student's Project tab below. Don't worry about making it perfect, just show me what you've got so far. I'm looking for around a 90-second intro video with some B-roll edited in. In the editing world, we call this a rough cut, like a rough draft of an essay. I'll see you in the next video when we get into music. 10. Choosing Your Music: Aside from great B-roll, I'm not sure there's anything more important than good music for an intro video. It sets the mood of your video, funny, dramatic, or quirky, and it sets the pacing fast or slow. Generally, for intro videos, you have a lot of information to get through in a short amount of time, because you want to keep the viewers' attention and not let them get bored. The pacing is often quick, but even still slower music can make everything feel a bit more contemplative, a bit more relaxing, and if your classes on meditation, for example, or something calming like origami, slower music might be a nice fit. You generally want to avoid music that has singing in it, because having their voice and your voice at the same time can be a little too much for an audience. Let's look at a short clip from this intro to this class with two different pieces of background music to see just how much music can set the mood of the video. My name is Lee Cohen, and I'm a storyteller and educator. As the founder and president of Local Story, I've worked with organizations around the world. Now let's watch that same clip with some different music behind it. My name is Lee Cohen and I'm a storyteller and educator. As the founder and president of Local Story, I've worked with organizations around the world. I like both pieces of music, but which music is better for this video? I think it's the first piece. It's more upbeat, it gets me interested right away and it feels fun. Again, I liked the second song a lot, but this isn't about what I'd like to listen to, it's about what's the best music for this specific video. Try applying the same perspective when you're deciding which music to choose. Also remember, as tempting as it may be to use a great piece of music from the Internet, only use it if you've either paid for it with a license or it doesn't require a license at all, different licenses can get confusing fast. I'll include a chart in the resources tab below for more information. Trying to pick the right music can get really overwhelming because there are so many choices out there. One thing I like to focus on is the beat. The beat or the rhythm of the song. I almost imagine the video playing next to. It's actually called editing to the music, and it's a way of having a tempo to your intro video that matches the tempo of the song. Another fun thing to look for in a song is if there are any gaps in the music. Sometimes the music will cut out for two seconds and then come back right in really strong. That can be a really great place to say something inspirational or funny or impactful. It's called a Needle Drop and it can really add a bang behind what you're trying to say. Like music that can transport you back in time to when the photo was taken. What we're going to do today is like the remix. One place I go often for music for the videos I'm editing is Music-bed. Music-bed has thousands of songs under one creative license. You pay one small monthly fee and you can use as much music as you like, but even if you're not ready to start spending money Music-bed lets you listen to as much music as you want. It's a great place to find inspiration or find the music that's close to what you're looking for. I just wanted to give you a quick tour of Music-bed and show you how I interact with it a little bit so you can get an idea. We're on the homepage for Music-bed here and the first thing I do is go over to songs, and once we're in songs there's a lot of different filters on the left-hand side here that allows you to find what you're looking for or find at least different options that you can explore. The first is genre, which most of the time I don't use because I don't know if the song I'm looking for falls into folk or R&B or rock or country. With one exception. The one genre that I often use is called cinematic, but I'm going to come back to that in a second. Let's look at some of the other filters first. Mood is incredibly helpful because as I said, I don't really know if I want a hip hop song or an R&B song, but I do know what the mood of the video is or what I want the mood to be. I would say the moods I'm most often drawn to, are uplifting for sure, happy for sure, and carefree, but there's some other good stuff in here, we'll come back to this in a second. I almost never filter by artist because I don't know what I'm looking for and there's hundreds, if not thousands of artists here. Attributes, I don't really use that often. There are some interesting attributes here, let's just take a look and see if anything pops out. Epic could be cool, but it's probably a bit too much. Fun could be good, funky could be good. Quirky, could be good. I guess if you've got a ton of videos from your first set of filters, this could be an interesting way of drilling down some more, but I wouldn't start here. I also rarely start with instrument, and then I wouldn't mess with advanced either. If you've got a very specific song you're looking for then advanced could be helpful. When you're thinking about what music will match your video, think back to what your intention behind the video was in the first place. Were you trying to make something funny or inspirational or cinematic or quirky and fun? Use that intentionally when you look for the music. Look for music that's quirky or cinematic or funky or fun, so that it really matches the vibe you're trying to create. You now have a rough cut with some music. Before you upload your latest rough cut, we're going to add a little bit of polish in the next video. I'll see you in a sec. 11. Making Final Touch Ups: Wow, we are in the homestretch. These last bits of polish to your videos are really optional most of the time, but in some cases, it can help a lot. But first, let's quickly review your intro video to make sure you've got everything you need. You have a couple of video clips of you introducing your topic. Hopefully, with the following points covered: a hook, a bio, setting the stage, and signing off. You also have B-roll that covers your edit points and then add some interesting visuals for the audience. Finally, you have some music that matches the mood you're trying to create for the video. Before you export, it's good to make sure your audio levels are balanced. Tighten up the edit, for music impact. Look for any moments of prolonged silence that can be trimmed off. You can usually find an audio meter in every editing program. Make sure your total audio level, which includes your voice and any music isn't louder than minus four dB. You don't want to hurt our ears. One way of editing is to edit to the music. You can have your edit points line up with the beat of the song in a rhythmic way. It really depends on your video and the music. But once you start looking for music that matches the beat of your video, you'll start seeing it everywhere. Finally, look closely at the beginning and the end of every clip. There's almost always a few frames of silence that can be trimmed, that will help things move quickly. You might not notice it at first, but again, once you start looking for it, you'll find it everywhere. Once you have your first rough cut, you may realize that your intro video is longer than two minutes. Now is the time to start doing some trimming. Look for any content that's repeated more than once or maybe said multiple times, but in different ways. We want to trim, so that your intro video is as quick and to the point as possible. In almost every video I edit, there's always some footage that I wish I could include, but that I have to cut out. Remember, you're going to be making more videos than just an intro video down the road. So save that footage. It'll come in handy later. It's time to have a look at your final project. Go ahead and upload your final project to YouTube and then share your link in the Student Projects tab below. I'll see you in the conclusion video, where we wrap everything up. 12. Conclusion: Congratulations, you did it. If you're watching this, it means you've gone ahead and uploaded your intro video to YouTube and then shared the link in the student project tab below. I'll be providing as much feedback as I can for as many students as possible, but I want you to watch each other's videos as well. We learn from each other, not just from teachers, so be sure to provide feedback on a fellow students video. Remember, we're all trying to get better at this, so don't be shy. I know this class has been a lot of work, but what I really hope you've taken away, most of all is the feeling that you can do this, anyone can. It's not for professionals or experts, making videos like this really is for anybody, and I hope that you come away from this class really believing. You can follow my work on Instagram at leecohen1, my personal website leecohenphotography.com or my business website, localstory.world. I'm really proud of all the hard work you put into this class, and I look forward to create another class with you soon. Take care, and I'll see you in the comments section.