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Celtfather Music & Travel


Welcome to The Celtfather Podcast... I'll take good care of ye!

Explore the world of Celtic Geeks, the people who love all things Celtic and science fiction. That's a thing?! You betcha. Don your kilt and experience inspiration, exciting travels to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Italy, Brittany and more. Enjoy stories and lessons about Irish music and drinking songs in a way you never before imagined, with Star Wars, Star Trek, hobbits, Firefly, and even cats. Join me a couple times a month as we celebrate the Celtic Geek Revolution!

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Oct 5, 2016

This is The Celtfather. My name is Marc Gunn. Today I want to share with you something  a little different. It's a podcast for my musician, actor and artist friends out there. I'm gonna explore everything I have learned about how to create good videos all on my phone. 
 
I'll tell you more about that in a moment. But first I want to let you know you can download a full album of 21 MP3s from my first 20 albums by heading over to Celtfather.com
 
I am not a professional videographer. 
 
I'm a musician and podcaster or who recognizes the value of video for marketing. 
 
I have only been doing relatively good videos for less than a year. 
 
My goal is to teach you how to record video, make it good, and keep it simple. 
 
There's nothing as daunting as trying to stitch together a good three minute music video. So we're not gonna do that. Yet. 
 
I'm a big believer in just getting started, create, create, create. If you wait until you have it down perfect, you'll do what I did and wait five years. 
 
I make all of my movies with my iPhone 6S. I edit them in iMovie. 
 
For the most effective marketing with videos, I suggest you learn by doing short 30 second videos. 
 
Start by scripting what your goal is for each video.
 
Write in short sentences. 
 
At the end of each video, include a call to action. For me as a musician, that means my website. 
 
Offer a freebie to download on the website. 
 
The script does not need to be fancy. Again, keep it simple. We're talking about 100 words... Tops. 
 
You don't need a script. And many times I start without one. 
 
There is a good way of scripting for those who don't like to write. Record into your camera or just the audio and talk. Then transcribe what you recorded. Voilà! You now have a script. 
 
All right let's make a video. 
 
Now since this is an audio podcast, I have no way of showing you specifics. It's up to you to figure out. Instead I will guide you with the basic concepts. 
 
The first thing you need to consider is location. You want a place with good lighting and a little background noise. Those of course are the ideals. You can adjust the visuals at least with lighting. Sometimes background noise can be useful. 
 
If you have a tripod, I would suggest that you get it out right now. If you don't, then find a nice place to set up your phone. Holding it is a recipe for disaster. 
 
Close your eyes and listen.  Is there a lot of background noise? If so, find a new location. 
 
If one isn't available, oh well let's keep planning. 
 
The microphone on the iPhone is pretty darn good. I tried out and did video reviews of a few microphones for the iPhone. Most were not comparably good enough to spend $20-100. 
 
If you want a much more clear sound, a lapel mic is always nice. But the headphone mic on your iPhone works pretty darn good. 
 
For all practical purposes, we're going to assume you were using the regular microphone on your phone. 
 
Let's go on to lighting. This has always been my nemesis. That's why many of my first videos were filmed outdoors. I could use natural lighting. 
 
Eventually, I needed to do video inside. That's why I bought a three point lighting system. It was pretty cheap. The lights cost about 40 bucks each. I'll include a link on Amazon in the show notes. 
 
Put lights at 45° angles from you to the left to the right and up. The third light I haven't figured out how best to use. It's supposed to be a backlight to sort of set you apart in the background. My location has not worked as well. 
 
You may have heard of the DIY Workmans lamps that you can use. If you can get a nice diffuser for the lamps, then it should work pretty well. A diffuser basically softens the light that shines on your face so that there are fewer shadows. 
 
If you do go the workmen lamp light route, then make sure you have a day lightbulb to balance out The orange glow of regular lightbulbs. Considering the low price of the other lamps I suggest skipping the DIY route. 
 
Let's talk about location. I am not the best when it comes to figuring out aesthetics. My office is in a dark woodpaneled basement. It looks crappy. But with good lighting it works out okay. 
 
You want something that is visually appealing though. It shouldn't be too cluttered or dirty looking. It's also pretty boring if it's a very plain background. I have found too dark doesn't work right either. 
 
Try shooting your background without you and maybe adjusting it a little bit so that it looks nice with or without you. 
 
Once you have a visually appealing background, you should try shooting some test shots with you in the frame.
 
From movie scripts, I've learned that there are basically four different shots. First is the wide location shot. Second is the full body shot. Third is the torso shot. And last is the close-up. 
 
For the sake of our 30 second ad, we're only gonna be talking about the last two. 
 
The torso shot is exactly as it sounds a shot from the waist up. It is your basic friendly every day shot. 
 
A close-up is of course basically a headshot. It's a good way to seem a little bit more intimate with the viewer. 
 
Your basic torso shot should have you 3 to 5 feet from the camera. While the close-up will have you 1 to 2 feet and may distort your facial features if you get too close. So be warned. 
 
Let's start shooting.
 
I am terrible at memorizing scripts. My mind would go blank as soon as I started rolling. But I still tried to memorize these long scripts and record something. Then I learned the most important tip for video making--jump cuts. 
 
Before you start recording, I want to talk a little bit about editing your videos. One of the most-popular features on editing software is the Crossfade. This allows you to pleasingly blend 2 scenes. If you're new to video, you will want to use it. Don't.
 
Go watch any video, TV show, movie. You will see the jump cut. In fact, most YouTubers use nothing but jump cuts. If you ever worked with audio, you'll find it actually works better. My goal with video is to make sure the audio sounds good.
 
With scripting, I said write short sentences. That's because when you record the video, you want to make it easy to edit. When you record your video, speak in short sentences. If you have a crappy memory for memorizing scripts, like I do. This will help you with your video editing later. 
 
I memorize one very short sentence. Look at the camera. Smile. Recite the sentence. Pause. Look down and memorize the next sentence.
 
When you go to edit this video, you will be able to easily cut after your short sentence and stitch together good sounding audio. If you don't move much, many people might not even notice the jump cut. It's not important whether they do or not. This is the modern style, and it looks good. 
 
Of course, you can do the same thing without a script. Just start talking. Keep your sentences short, Or at least your ideas short. Then just talk. Just remember that five minutes of rambling may take 30 minutes to an hour of editing.
 
But with practice, I have found 30 seconds of video, I can edit in 5-10 minutes, complete with pseudo subtitles. 
 
Subtitles you ask?
 
No. These are not the SRT file of actual subtitles. Instead, I just quickly overlay text for what I am saying in the video. Since it's only a 30 second ad and you're speaking in short sentences. It's quick and easy to do.
 
From here, I recommend you practice. A lot. Create a weekly ad for something. Keep it short. As you get better at it, you can make it a little longer or start using effects. 
 
The big thing as with all marketing is tell a story. A good story will engage your viewers and get them excited to learn more. 
 
 
Before we finish, a Special thanks to all of my Gunn Runners on Patreon who pledge just $1 or more per month to help me make a living as a musician. You'll get free music, early versions of songs and lyrics, behind-the-scenes podcasts, and first look at new videos. You'll find all the details at marcgunn.net.  
 
The Celtfather was produced by Marc Gunn. If you enjoyed this episode, then please post a review on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. I want to invite you again to my website at Celtfather.com. You can subscribe to my mailing list and download my free album. You'll enjoys hours of music plus a few free gifts.