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Breaking down the Filmmaking Process with Becki and Chris | YouTube Masters


Hey we're Becki and Chris from the YouTube channel, Becki and Chris We make lifestyle vlogs, helicopter videos, home decor videos, photography and video tutorials, FPV drones

Oh yeah, drones! We don't really have a niche, but we do like telling stories Today we published a short film on our YouTube channel called "The City That Changed Our Life" and the film is a bit about the perception of one's life through the lens of social media In this video that you're watching now, we're going to take you start to finish on how we created that entire film and hopefully by the end of this video you guys will have a better insight into what our process looks like for creating videos for YouTube So for that video, we actually drew from our own experience, and you guys probably don't know what happened to us In a nutshell, we moved from St

John's, Newfoundland on the East coast of Canada, all the way to the West coast of Canada in Vancouver We went there because I had to finish a final year of training for my job I had a job lined up to come right back home to Newfoundland Unfortunately, while we were there, that job offer got revoked The overall theme was that my extracurricular activities appeared to outweigh my dedication to my primary profession

A lot of that, I think, was based on what people back home perceived through social media That was kind of the impetus to make this film Really show people that all is not lost And even though it seems like a dark time, there's always a silver lining Chris and I actually went back to Vancouver for the first time in four years

We didn't plan on making that piece until we were flying in on our approach into Vancouver And I was crying and I was like *cries* "I THINK WE NEED TO MAKE A VIDEO" And now you know why we made it, kinda what happened to us, now let's get into the actual making of the film The first thing we're going to talk about is story So every good story has a beginning, middle, and end

So what does that mean? The beginning is kind of a tease of what's happening during that video The middle is the plot, so as the story progresses, what's happening And the end or the conclusion, or how that story kind of wraps up So that's kind of like the recipe I guess for a good story Part of all of those pieces – the beginning, the middle, the end – there should be sort of an overall takeaway or a "lesson" that you learned, or that your viewer learned, and I think in this video the two points that we were trying to drive home were 1

That your life in reality is far different than what it looks like on social media and 2 That good things can happen from the darkest of times in your life Writing a short focus statement for this film really helped us get our ideas together So we had our story figured out, what the takeaway was – the next thing that we did was develop a storyboard We wrote a couple of rough notes about what the video was going to be about, a few talking points, and then I drew out a really terrible storyboard on how that story was going to flow from start to finish

God, this is so embarrassing This is my storyboard notebook This is by a company called Plot Devices – you can find them on Instagram if you want to get one of these For a graphic designer, I'm really bad at drawing We're going to look at the day-in-the-life sequence

This was kinda just like an idea of what the flow was going to be like So 5 AM alarm, 5:30 skytrain, this is to represent like a multi-clip sequence, so feet walking, getting to the hospital, prepping patients, consent This is an arm holding a pencil, by the way Why is there an arm here, but there's no arms here? Listen, as long as you understand the storyboard, that's all that matters Your feet look like subway sandwiches

This is on sticks because it's a tripod shot, this is a visual effect because it's going to be an animation So that's kind of like the day-in-the-life sequence in terrible drawing storyboard form in my storyboard notebook So I referenced this storyboard a lot when I was putting together the sequence I couldn't remember exactly what I wanted to put where, so being able to reference this knowing — Ok I need a close-up consent, like a shot of a clipboard for the consent, I knew I needed to shoot that Same with this, like I knew because I put these lines here on this one frame that this was going to be a multi-clip sequence

So I knew that I didn't need only one clip, I needed like three to five clips for the sequence to make that work And so that's kind of how my storyboard looks Not great I like it, I think it's really precious So when you're developing a storyboard, you don't have to be a world-class artist

I'm not It doesn't have to be representative of what the final product's going to look like It's really just to kind of get a rough outline of the types of shots that you need Next comes the narrative This is not something we do all the time, but it's something that we did for this video

We finished the storybaord and then we went back and referenced the talking points and created sort of a voice over narrative or script, then used that to sort of fill in the gaps and to pull the viewer through the story So if you haven't seen the video, there's a drone sequence – a continuous shot of an FPV drone – and there's a voice over that's timed perfectly with the events that are going on in that shot So for that we obviously had to script it and it made it a lot easier And of course the vlog portion of the video was completely freestyle – no talking points or anything It was just straight-up documenting

Next thing that we did was put together the rough edit You are the editor in this relationship I am Oh how the tables have turned! I crawled through a year's worth of footage from Vancouver Crawled or trawled? Trawled? Crawled? Called? Culled! Culled! I culled through a year's worth of footage

Words! Can't draw, can't write Can't read Shut up! But I had my storyboard to guide me along, so I knew what clips I needed We didn't know that storytelling was important so we filmed absolutely everything I had like my own custom like library of stock footage

I needed a shot of Chris walking with his medical bag – had it Unlocking the apartment door – got it Multiple angles of the skytrain – the train coming straight on, the train coming sideways, detail shots – I got all of them I pulled all of those clips into folders and I labeled all those folders So everything in the project is organized by either date, camera, or scene

Now we understand that not everybody has been documenting their life At this point, then you're going to have to compile a shot list and your storyboard will aid in that On to the rough edit We started assembling the film by putting together these mini-sequences and the main sequence of the film was that day-in-the-life sequence That was like the setup for the viewer to show them what life was really like and what life was like on the internet and that setup the conflict where somebody would take that and misconstrue it

Once we had sort of a rough edit together, we realized that some of the scenes needed some more abstract b-roll We can't go to the hospital and shoot these scenes, so we decided to shoot them here in the studio Basement studio faking the b-roll! We're shooting a couple of b-roll clips for our day-in-the-life segment We're going to over crank the shutter so we get that frantic, high shutter speed look I'm making an artistic, creative decision

We're trying to make a stressed out clip here You ready? Yeah ready And we just did kind of like close up, abstract shots to represent what he was feeling during those times in the day-in-the-life sequence So next, is the music A lot of people wonder do you pick your music first? Or do you pick it after? I don't think there's really a right or wrong approach

I think for us though we usually pick it after because we're looking for a certain feeling Going back to that day-in-the-life seequence, again we're talking about that a lot but that was the main part of the video We wanted something that was going to be frantic high-stress, fast-paced and so we looked for a track to match that *Chris imitates drum noises* *Becki screeches* Doesn't it go like that? I don't know, I don't remember that And then, secondly, looking at that FPV clip, we wanted something that was cinematic, emotional, that had build, and we wanted that to kinda cut into a song that was a little more upbeat that matched what was being said in the voiceover

Next came the voice over Still audio, but this is where the story really came together Even when we did that scripted voice over of Chris talking over that FPV clip, we still recorded that in the same setup as the interview so that the mic sounded exactly the same Little BTS behind-the-scenes here, we're in the drone factory Got the key light here, got the rim light / hair light here

This space isn't really finished or treated at all so we took some of the extra sound panels we made and put one here, put on there And also, we hung blankets just kinda surrounding everything here Getting clean audio is all about getting the mic as close to the source of sound as possible So this is what the mic sounds like when it's close And this is what the mic sounds like when it's just an on-camera shotgun mic

Hear the difference? I know I do *laughs* We lived two different stories in Vancouver, so we wanted our stories to be differentiated visually as well This is a priority angle for my narrative Our main light here is the Aputure 120D with a giant Neewer soft box, so if I turn that off this is kinda what the scene looks like We have a hair light up top, so this is with it off

This is with it on That is with the key light on In the background here we have the Godox SL-200W We've got the Aputure M9 over here just kinda spilling a little bit of light onto that plant And we've done some sound treatment so we've got some sound blankets all the way around with some sound panels around the perimeter of the mic and the camera

So this process of kind of shooting an interview and telling a story after the fact is really helpful if your shoot is unpredictable Doing kind of like a debrief interview style at the end to tell that entire story can really help pull your video together So there were some events in the video that didn't have actual b-roll Like how do you express somebody getting a job offer or losing a job? Without actually saying "I got a job! I got a job! I lost me job! I lost my job!" We figured it'd be an opportunity for us to break up the style a little bit and add some titles or some motion graphics and animations, and that was just an alternative to using b-roll So the final edit, we had all the pieces to the puzzle so then it was just a matter of putting together those sequences and making sure that the scenes flowed from one scene to the other and that the pacing was right throughout the video

And then of course the color correction and the color grading – we wanted to make everything look visually cohesive Differences in coloring and in grading can actually invoke emotions, unconsciously in the viewer, so that's kinda what we want to do Through the use of the story, the edit decisions, the music track, and the grading, all that in combination is what creates that feeling so it's just a small part of the puzzle So that's the entire process of making this film, from start to finish, and essentially this is kind of the process that we use for every vlog, give or take some of the details The most important thing to really remember when you're making videos is story is king

You can have the most beautiful b-roll in the whole entire world, but if your video doesn't have a story or doesn't tell a story, or have some type of value, then nobody's going to watch it Really to capture an audience and to capture the viewer, you have to have some sort of story that they get sucked into A lot of times in our vlogs we rely on comedic things that are happening to help bring the story along or to help tell a story All it takes is one really simple idea and then just thinking through the beginning, the middle, the end and the takeaway and you can really make yourself a cool story If you haven't seen the film that we've been referencing, the link is probably in the description box below

Thanks so much for watching! I hope you enjoyed it Don't forget to subscribe to Musicbed's channel to see more in the YouTube Masters series

Source: Youtube

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