Film School: Dear YouTubers…

Dear YouTubers... Dear YouTubers...

Stop doing these things – they’re easy enough, and we’ll all win.

The intention of this post is not to name and/or shame any particular vloggers or YouTube content creators, but simply to offer suggestions. For more established creators, these minor adjustments should be easy enough; while for those who are just getting started, these are useful tips and tricks to keep in mind.

No 60 fps, please.

Unless it’s a gaming video, your video really only needs to be at 24, 25, or maximum 30 fps (frames per second). The higher the frame rate, the uglier and cheaper your video will look. More ≠ better. If you don’t understand what this means, watch this side-by-side comparison at 25 fps and 60 fps of Ang Lee & Will Smith’s Gemini Man, which was originally released in a 120 frames per second format:

Two Musics is Not Good.

If your video has a music bed, and you insert a clip which already contains music, then please fade one of them out. This PremiumBeat tutorial actually has good tips for avoiding mixing two musics altogether – but notice how the tutorial’s own background music never clashes with the audio demonstrations (and if you want to practice, you can follow along with step-by-step instructions on their blog):

Jump Cuts are Fine, but…

… don’t be careless. Don’t accidentally chop off the start or end of sentences, or leave in random frames here or there. Instead, try to make your edits less noticeable. Gerald Undone suggests using a “smooth cut”, or micro crossfade (on both video and audio) to make those jump cuts less… well, jumpy:

If you want to take your jump cuts to the next level, or to have even more control over the pace of your edit, try experimenting with J and L cuts (via Fandor):

Please Use a Mic.

A camera’s internal microphone is almost always not good enough. A separate microphone isn’t a luxury – and in many cases, it’s more essential than a good camera. A decent mic doesn’t even need to cost you that much – there are new, high quality, budget options all the time. This guide from Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter may not have the latest options, but is a great place to start:

There’s a Better Way to Distort Audio.

Ok, so there’s a moment in your video where the music or sound is supposed to be CRANKED for comedic effect or maximum impact. What you don’t want to do is literally max out the volume, a move which can actually reduce the impact of the joke or whatever you were going for. Instead, you want to apply audio effects to distort the audio without literally turning it up (via seannu):