Getting Started

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Avatar of Jaden Moon
Jaden Moon on June 13, 2012 at 10:56 am

Hey, I’m 15 years old and want to start making videos. But the thing is, I don’t know where to start. What i mean by that is what kind of videos should i make? Something like an SNL skit, Such as Balloonshop, DerrickComedy, or The Whitest Kids Ya’ Know? Or maybe music videos? I really don’t know. What did you do to start off your Directing path?

  • This reply was modified 2013 days ago by Avatar of Jaden Moon Jaden Moon.
Avatar of J.J. Petty
J.J. Petty on June 18, 2012 at 12:21 am

To be perfectly honest (since I myself am trying to get off the ground!) the best things to start out with are short pieces. They can, but don’t have to, relate to one another like a series, but it’s easier to just do spontaneous short pieces so that you can see what styles you like, what your crew is like, and learn different tricks. Then later you can try and tackle bigger projects with the knowledge you’ve gained from doing your shorter videos.

Now, what I do is 90% improvisational, but it works for me. That most definitely is not everyone’s style, but it can’t hurt to give it a try. Just go into a video with a basic idea or even a short plot and “wing it.” Sometimes you’ll be surprised by how good – or bad – it turns out, but it still teaches you.

Avatar of Jaden Moon
Jaden Moon on June 18, 2012 at 12:51 am

What kind of plot would be small enough to be considered a short? Like how long would these kind of video’s be?

Avatar of J.J. Petty
J.J. Petty on June 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

From my experience, the “shorts” could end up anywhere between 2 – 10 minutes.

A plot doesn’t necessarily need to be short in order for the video of it to be short. You can develop a plot and then focus on one section of it but provide enough detail that your audience is not confused by what’s going on by not knowing who your characters are and what their motive is. This can sometimes be tricky, but a lot of YouTubers do it okay.

For instance:
A scene opens with Joe sitting in his car holding a gun in one hand and a typical black ski mask in the other. He stares at both contemplating whether or not he wants to do what he’s about to do. The next shot is another man, finely dressed, driving and talking on his phone to a man who claims to have located Joe.

From this we can already tell that Joe must be in a rough patch of some kind or maybe he’s doing this for someone else, but he doesn’t actually want to rob whoever he’s about to rob. On top of that, we have the finely dressed man who’s clearly coming after Joe. That was obviously only like an intro and very simplistic, but you’ve developed your characters – in a matter of seconds – into people your audience will understand for the rest of the video, and it’s not bad to even add some more background on to them like having someone call Joe to remind him why he’s doing what he’s doing.

  • This reply was modified 2008 days ago by Avatar of J.J. Petty J.J. Petty.
Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on June 23, 2012 at 3:02 am

I would agree with Petty about starting with small pieces. And as to what kind of videos you should make, what are you interested in?

When I first started, I liked action and fight scenes and stuff like that. So I made short stop motion videos with little clay figures fighting each other. And as time went on I started branching out and making different stuff. The biggest thing that helped me grow as a filmmaker is when I made a video every week for a year on my youtube channel. They weren’t all great, but I learned something new every time I made one. And to be honest, I wasn’t very focused on creating complicated plots and amazing stories when I made those videos. I just made whatever I felt like making. Nowadays, I have that valuable experience for whatever project I want to make, whether it’s a quick cool little video or a 15 minute epic short film.

Oh and also personally I think music videos are easier to make if you’re just starting out. You already have the audio and some sort of story in the song. Which is like half the job.

Avatar of Phlume
Phlume on August 20, 2012 at 8:54 am

Hey… @Centennialmoon did you ever put anything together? I’m sure i’m not alone when I say we’d love to see something you may have put together. Never underestimate the power of sharing your work with others.. it’s how we all get better.

Avatar of Jaden Moon
Jaden Moon on August 20, 2012 at 10:38 am

Well some friends of mine asked me to help them create a small, idependent film. Merely for experience and getting to know the equipment better. We haven’t started actually filming yet, but we’re getting there. I haven’t started making my own videos yet because i’m taking a video broadcast technology class this year and i think i can wait a few weeks until school starts so I know a few things before i start. I am utterly clueless when it comes to the technology of video/film making. But
I am trying hard to understand.

Avatar of Zdenek Ruzicka
Zdenek Ruzicka on August 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I was all like, “Ama so entering this topic, fu*k those are long posts” leaving the room for a good hour, gathering power to face them walls.

Great you’re joining us on this epic journey Centennial Prodigy!

I think, we can’t help you much in terms what to do, but I can certainly share a story!

I went filmmaking direction simply because I love books, I love movies, I love music, I love working with people and I love canvas chairs. When I first wanted to make a video I copied things I liked the most, such as your mention of the BalloonShop. I sat down, wrote my idea of a “funny” sketch, failed miserably, got up and wrote a new one. When I’ve got familiar with the basic editing I’ve discovered what I like to do. That has changed probably million times and throughout that process I’ve found myself. I want to make stories I’ve read as a kid, stories that were so cool and epic I couldn’t stop reading them all over again.

My advice to you is! Just do it. Try it. Turn your recording device on and it will lead you. Don’t forget to turn it off. It could lead you to places unknown.

Excuse any language mistakes, hi from Prague!

It’s so inspirational to see new fresh faces coming to the table, feel so good.


Avatar of joshua
joshua on September 28, 2012 at 7:29 am

what video editing programs do i use to edit my short films

Avatar of Jaden Moon
Jaden Moon on December 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Well my first video is done, it’s a Meth PSA for a class called Video-technology 1. It was weird making this video though. The people I worked with were complete strangers to me, and we never agreed on anything. I could only find one thing they had in common: video games. And believe me when I say that they are utterly obsessed with them. I tried to think of a way to incorporate video games and a meth commercial (Which, I thought at the time, was almost impossible). After a while of thinking, we finally thought of something we could do to bring us all together. So we wrote our storyboard, and got to work! It surprised me that you have to work on your people skills a lot! It was definitely a learning experience and i’m grateful for the opportunity that this class gives, and hopefully continues to give me. If you’re interested in seeing the video, here’s the link, Any feedback would be much appreciated :)

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