I've been making videos for 23 years and in that time no other client or project has required me to be more committed than YouTube.
Obviously, being both sides of the camera is a challenge in itself, but more than just making the content, making a channel successful requires a multitude of other skills. Do I even have these skills?
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a creative first and business person second, so really looking at YouTube as a business, at those who have succeeded on the platform and figuring out why, has been a real eye opener. My friend and client Jeven Dovey has been a great source of knowledge and inspiration, his channel is only 5K short of a million. The other champion for me is Ed Lawrence, who has really helped me focus on more than just making the video - but making thumbnails and correctly implementing AdSense advertising. I'm no graphic designer, but I can put things together graphically, so I have listened in to Ed Lawrences advice and used my game.
I'm not where I want to be in YouTube, yet. Whilst my channel is monetised, I need to commit more time and ultimately make more content, regularly. Only then, will it become a bonafide revenue stream. I'm going tomato this happen, so I'm cranking things up a notch and I'm proud to have just released a video that shares my experience, core skills and knowledge to help others make content too.
I'm very proud of my YouTube channel - The Filmmakers Workshop and what you see is this version of me, the me that is fit for purpose, fit for YouTube.
I'm ready to analyse my progress and listen to those who have succeeded. If I need to change things up to make the channel succeed, I will, so, cheers! here's to a fresh start
Last year started off like Gangbusters! The first half of the year was epic, then suddenly about September it all went quiet. The sprint was over, and with 6 months left of the year, I was not going to give up on 2022 being a good one, financially speaking. The journey is long and to pace myself I was lucky enough to further develop my relationship with award winning PR legend, Ben Veal. Ben was ready to embark on something new - a personal project.
Together we developed Bens idea for a podcast series Good Journeys. In the podcasts Ben interviews inspiring people and uncovers the spirit and drive that compels them to be creative, self aware and generous individuals.
At the post production helm, I have edited and worked with Ben to develop the look and feel of the series, which has amassed 19 episodes since September 2022. As well as providing Ben with as much knowledge and kit to create a better looking and sounding podcast, I have edited the hour or so podcasts and social media clips to smooth out the content whilst retaining the humanity of the discussion.
The interviewees have varied backgrounds, from fiction writers, ex Pro wrestlers to specialists in ADHD, wellbeing and life coaches. I edit and I learn. The journey is long and you need to learn every day, well, I do.
Recently, Ben has won awards for his PR work which includes the podcast, which in its own right is now up for an award. Good Journeys is about to enter its third season, once I edit episode 20 and develop further with sponsorships and more short form content.
Please do follow the links and have a watch or listen for yourselves. Contact Ben if you would like to know more or get involved.
Multiple revenue streams are important for freelancers and independent video producers.
You never know when a client will suddenly drop that a job is cancelled, or postponed.
It may of course not even get to that. Things may just go quiet, work dries up and despite calls around, new showreel and marketing binge on social media you can end up with nothing. It's a worst case scenario.
Personally, I have always been pretty lucky; as a director, camera op and editor, I can turn my hand to multiple positions, however there's always the odd time when you stop and remind yourself you should use any free time to make your own luck. Luck of course being in the form of making your own content. For several years I have worked with the BlackBox Global platform to sell my stock footage and curate footage for others. It's ok, I've sold video clips and music tracks (on Pond5), but it's not enough money, so no time to sleep, I've gone on to cultivate other revenue streams.
For many years I have produced content for my filmmaking YouTube channel The Filmmakers Workshop. It has opened up some great opportunities to work with and interview some great filmmakers, including directors Drew Casson, David L G Hughes, cinematographers Philip Bloom, Trevelyan Oliver and Tom Swindell as well as Hollywood DOP Shane Hurlbut, This channel has been a great marketing tool and helped me get paid work. Today, the channel is monetised and I'm looking to open it up for sponsorship opportunities. Like lots of things it's a WIP. It is also not the only kind of channel....
Recently, I've wanted to expand my offering and utilise my own footage and stock assets to create some relaxing videos to help people find a chill vibe, study or work to, or even sleep. Using some free content from Pexels.com as well as my own B roll and music from artlist.io I have set sail on this journey and am distributing it on my alternative label Hatchlightmedia. Why @hatchlightmedia? Well, let's just say for many years my office was in the loft. When the hatchlight was on, I was up there making money.
The Blackmagic Pocket 4K is currently the Worlds most affordable and popular cinema camera. In a fast paced, developing cinema camera market, the Pocket 4K has had a valuable 18 month head start on any competition, however at its price point and the overall value of the bundle its shipped with, it's unlikely the Pocket 4K will ever be eclipsed. Yes, ever.
Bundled for $1295 with Davinvci Resolve 16 Studio, an all in one editing, compositing, sound mixing and color grading package with a $299 standalone price tag, the specification of the Pocket 4K is unrivalled for a camera under $1000. It's unlikely, that any other camera will be released at this price point with these specs along with a professional video creation app.
What is so amazing about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K?
Being a video professional and accounting for the subject matter it makes sense to use my developed skillset to answer this question fully. However, I'll whet your whistles with my Top 10 list of professional features that are packed in to this small, yet incredibly powerful cinema camera.
1. Industry standard video quality - 10 bit ProRes codecs and Blackmagic raw in 12 bit
2. Adaptable Micro Four Thirds lens mount
3. Shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per second
4. 13 stops of dynamic range, capturing all the detail of high contrast scenes
5. Records internally and externally to solid state drives for instant editing
6. The camera is regularly improved with firmware updates
7. The form factor is small and lightweight
8. Professional features, like guides, focus assist, false colour and punch in to focus
9. Professional XLR audio connections and good pre amps
10. Intuitive and easy to use menu system
Keeping the mood light, yet insightful, and with a passion born out of experience, do check out my video review below which I produced for my channel The Filmmakers Workshop.
The CoVid 19 pandemic has thrown a real curve ball to us all and it’s not going away, so it’s time to get creative and earn some money- differently. The truth is, I always have a list of at least 10 things to do for work. I rarely, tick off all ten in a week. One thing that is always on the list but always takes a back seat to client work, is creating stock footage content. With focus, creativity and commitment, stock footage could be a decent passive revenue stream. As I’ve got time, my hard drives are out and I’m prepping clips for Blackbox- my stock footage partner of choice. As a filmmaker, my business is to help others achieve their goals too, so I spent this week producing this guide to help others produce stock footage during this difficult period.
Last week, Sony ambassador and popular filmmaker, Philip Bloom commissioned Loretz Visuals to create subtitles for his epic review of the Sony FX9 video camera. Yes, I said epic; the review runs for 1 hour 54 minutes. It’s a deep dive in to the cameras performance and AI based autofocus technology.
As such, there’s technical terms and complex information in abundance, as well as Philips stunning cinematography. Subtitles ensure that the technical terminology, products and brand names are correct and, most importantly, you can get the message wherever you are.
The benefits of subtitles are far reaching and in this case, assist those for whom English isn't their first language and provide a template for other language versions. As a long form video, subtitles especially help combat concentration fatigue and enhance the overall viewer experience. For search optimisation, subtitles help the YouTube algorithm position the video to relevant brands and promote it to targeted audiences.
Next time you are putting a budget together for your next video it's worth considering your audiences needs. Crafting your videos visuals and audio are not going to guarantee the message gets through to your audience. Subtitles provide an extra hook to help keep your audience connected.
Contact Adam Loretz today to discuss your production needs.
The DJI Osmo Pocket has been available for about 16 months and with some decent firmware upgrades and little competition, it's still my pick as best small video camera of 2020. Recently, I made a short video covering the video features as both a filmmaker and father, where this little pocket rocket shines equally. #vlogging #bestsmallvideocamera #videoproduction #gimbal
Being an independent video producer, I manage my time between projects for clients and being hired by agencies and associates to work on their productions. For my virtual filmmaking friend Anders Overgaard, working on his own was fun, until one day, it wasn't and he teamed up with a group of filmmaking friends to form a production company. Based in Norway, Anders film company is called VJUS and in the first two years of operation, Anders kept a video diary of the companies ups and downs. It was a rollercoaster ride and this content is now an insightful and fun web series. Something all content creators will connect with. I caught up with Anders to find out all about the series.
Episode One of Making a Film Company is below the interview.
The truth is, people use YouTube for search, like a visual Google, no wonder Google bought it. Connecting people with products via advertising and affiliate links make it awesome if you are a creator and want to build revenue streams.
Whilst my YouTube channel, The Filmmakers Workshop is about filmmakers and providing in depth reviews and interviews, I cannot ignore what my audience want. In the main, they want answers; is camera X good in low light and does camera Y have great autofocus. As such, I've been making more short videos, sharing insight and providing a different kind of valuable, watchable content. This is the future of The Filmmakers Workshop - A little bit of this and a little bit of that. The FW is a business after all.
I'm also adding links to affiliate programmes and open to sponsorship and paid for programming. Contact me to discuss your product needs. firstname.lastname@example.org
Eerie blog post title aside, Australian filmmaking company Blackmagic have been turning things upside down recently with some new production gear and I felt it was time to bring that magic to Loretz Visuals offering.
A huge aspect of filmmaking is procuring the highest quality images possible and with the launch of the Blackmagic Pocket cinema camera 4K, it seemed like this could be the solution for high end work. To be clear, I’m talking about short films, commercials, single interviews or music video. In this content, stylised imagery and dynamic range is critical and where raw video is required. Raw what? Yes, like in photography, video can now be shot on some cameras in raw formats. The benefits being, that with visually lossless compression and the ability to stylise or amend the footage in the editing process, this new Blackmagic equipment offers Loretz Visuals more creative freedom. The colour science of Blackmagic cameras is World class, skin tones look simply beautiful.
Before offering new technology, I always test equipment thoroughly first. Passion projects are the best test bed for this, where I can experiment and master my craft. Straight off the bat I filmed a piece to camera. A testimonial from a client. Secondly, I filmed an AirBnB for a friend. This time shooting interiors with the camera on a gimbal, to float around and add a graceful dynamic.
There’s a best camera for every film. For longer form content, wet weather, 360 video or just remaining low key, the arsenal at my disposal now covers every event. With an open mind, 2019 is my 20th year in video production; always learning, understanding my clients needs and connecting them with the right visual solution.