LIFESTYLE: Bring Out Your Inner Christopher Nolan & Robert Rodriguez

By D. Lanier Shook                                           March 28, 2014

Do you have a YouTube channel? Do you have videos online? (The family friendly variety, of course.) Have you ever posted a video of your child, pet, or friends?

Whatever your answer to any of these questions, modern video production has come light-years since Thomas Edison. Today it offers new frontiers of fun, fulfillment, and fame. Fortunately for all of us, the tech industry is working overtime to make it easier for all of us to take advantage of this.

Whether your video production is non-existent or limited to posting baby/pet videos online here are several reasons you need to up your video-game. (Pun intended)

1. Resources

As technology becomes more accessible and affordable tools that were restricted to professionals now are available to the average consumer. Here are three you need to know about.
a. Digital cameras
From your phone to “pro-sumer”devices, there are more and more ways to capture what you see. Each of these have their role and are getting better with each new release. Memory cards are getting cheaper and bigger. Books and online tutorials are available to teach us how to get the most out of them. For example, by changing the shutter settings you can increase or decrease the light you pull into your camera.
b. Video Editing Software
Although the best video editing software is still several hundred dollars, consumers have increased access to free or low priced alternatives. While Apple offers a highly regarded video editing suite the one I’ve used is Microsoft Live Movie Maker. Its been available for free on most PCs I’ve bought and offers a broad spectrum of tools that will meet your average consumer’s needs. In fact, Microsoft Movie Maker provides more than a Hollywood studio had in the seventies.

Once you import your video you can edit the length of scenes, add titles and credits, add music, add effects, and — in the latest incarnation — upload straight to popular video websites. My experience with Microsoft Movie Maker ranges from editing feature films to editing video for my YouTube channel. If you aren’t familiar with this application or the Apple iMovie check one of them out right away. Here are links to both the Microsoft and Apple websites where you can find out more about their video editing software.

Click here to visit the Microsoft MovieMaker website

Click here to visit Apple’s iMovie site

c. YouTube
While YouTube is the most well known video sharing website, there are others ranging from Vimeo to Facebook. These allow us to share our video creations with our friends and the world around us. Most importantly they allow amateur directors, videographers, actors, and musicians to distribute their content. Even if you never earn a dime from these sites, the value of these distribution channels is incalculable.

As little as two or three decades ago this would have required buying blank videocassettes, duplicating them, mounting an advertising campaign, and then mailing these to your customers. Today all it takes it hitting a few buttons on your phone. The potential these sites offer is virtually unlimited and while more people are taking advantage of it, there’s always room for more. Click here to explore our YouTube Channel.

2. Potential

The Resources are there and so are the ways to use them. Here are five that everyone can use the resources for.
a. Family Videos
Time passes and memories fade, but video are the next best thing to freezing time. Whether you shoot videos of your baby, your trip, your wedding, or your garden there’s no reason they should be raw footage. Video editing software allows you to take out the boring or embarrassing parts, add narration or music, or even add special effects.
b. Music Video
If you’re a musician or if you want to add music to a video of your own, video editing software allows that. Obviously you’ll need to make sure that you can do that legally.
c. Hollywood Style Feature Film
Have you ever watched a movie and thought that you could do better than that? Have you ever wandered the aisles of a video store or browsed a website without finding the video you wanted to watch? Whether you just want to package your church’s Christmas play or produce a movie of your own modern cameras allow easy capture, video editing software provides the way to do that, and online video sites are the perfect place to distribute them.
d. Advertisement
If you own a small business then modern videography allows you to produce your own videos. Obviously results may vary, but its worth exploring. Open the free editing software on your computer and explore the possibilities.
e. Documentary
Whether you want to share your love of where you live, preserve you baby videos, put your church service on the internet, or document a situation you’re concerned about documentaries are what you’re interested in. A well-done documentary can be as time consuming, impressive, and famous as any feature length film, if not more. Ken Burns is a great example of how far you can take documentaries.

3. Make Money

Videography is a great way to have fun and share with friends, but its also an incredible way to make money. Here are a few ideas to get the wheels rolling in your head.
a. Music Videos
I’ve already mentioned music videos, but they deserve another mention. Online video is a great way to let the world know how awesome your music is. Whether you’re interested in CD sales, ticket sales, or publicity you’ve got to check out video editing software and online video sites.
b. Video Blogs
Video blogs are a great way to share with the world. Whether you have a business, a band, a organization, or just a very strong opinion video blogging can make you well known or even famous. Captions, credits, and editing will take your blog up a notch.
c. Advertising
I’ve mentioned advertising before and I’m mentioning it again. Your business deserves more attention and modern consumer level videography is the way to get it. In the past you would’ve had to pay for what you can do today. Whether you run a real estate agency, B&B, restuarant, bookstore, or car dealership you need to explore this.
d. Feature films/short films
Today independent film is more popular than ever. Consumers from Dollywood to Hollywood are looking for new content. When you consider that most computers today incorporate a DVD burner the idea of selling your own feature length or short films is a reality. Whether you want a hobby, a career, or just a little bit of extra money you can be a success in the film industry. Although there are many great films available today, I promise yours will be better than at least a quarter of what’s out there.
e. A job
Today’s job market is tighter than ever, but one area that is growing is film. If you have what Hollywood is looking for and can let them know, you just might have a job. Watch the credits at the end of a movie and remember that each of those people get paid.



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