Schooled | Ep 5 Erwan Heussaff – How To Produce Online Videos
I’m Erwan Heussaff. This is the last module of a five-part course on content creation and creativity. After last module’s brainstorming exercises you should have a ripe idea that’s ready to go. The next question you should have is how do you actually see it through? By the end of this video you should have an actual plan for your content, a strategy and timeline for creating it, and plans for how to share and distribute it. It’s really important, at this point, that you’ve decided where you want your content to live because each platform has different best use scenarios. If you want to post this on multiple platforms, there’s a couple of questions you need to ask yourself. How will it differ from platform to platform? How will that eventually affect your production? I always recommend using social media platforms as media platforms themselves, rather than promotional tools to drive towards a specific piece of content. You need to understand what type of content will visually look better on these different platforms, and sometimes you might have to take extra shots to fill in those holes in the edit. So I’m going to be specifically talking about video production. When I first start any project, the first thing I do is write a couple of log lines: a paragraph that explains the whole story. From there I create a very specific summary that details everything I want to come to life in this project. This will then enable me to move on to a shot list, a very specific and detailed list that matches both the ideas that we need, and the crucial parts of the story. From that shot list you’ll have a very technical list of things you need to get on camera, and then on the other side you’ll have a very detailed storyline. That’s when you’ll be able to fix those holes and find the gaps in your storytelling. Once you have a full list of story, footage, and complementary footage, you can then move towards your production timeline. I like to use something very aggressive that way it keeps me motivated and responsible. The production period is probably one of the most creative, and it’s probably one of the most enticing and exciting moments of any video project, because you actually start to visualize the story you’ve worked so hard building. As you talk to people, as you interview new people you might see certain gaps in the story that you built in the first place and just realize that you need to come up with content on the spot to fill those gaps up. That’s why it’s really important to keep a notebook and a pen to scribble all these ideas down. This will also help you when you’re shooting because you should always shoot more than you set out to. Again, that notebook comes into play to write down, “Oh I got an extra shot of this. I got an extra shot of that.” So that when you’re done with the shoot and you’re dumping your files into your computer, you can organize it in a way that makes sense for you during post production. The post production process is where the magic happens. Number one thing you need to do and you’ll probably hate this, is you need to watch all the footage that you have and organize it properly. Not only will this remind you of everything that you shot but it will also give you the opportunity to transcribe absolutely everything from the spiels that you might have said to the interviews you might have conducted. The transcription, your notes, and the initial storyline plus the reality of the footage that you actually got will serve you up your final story, and your final edit. When you have something that you’re fairly happy with, the first thing that we do is we show it first to people we trust and just get their honest and brutal feedback about the video that we just made. You’ll then go back and forth for a while deciding whether or not you’re comfortable to call it “ready.” You then need to ask yourself questions like, How are you going to distribute it? How are you going to use social media to drive towards that certain piece of content? All of this is a strategy in its own. You need to figure out the time, what kind of trailers you need to be able to cut and just optimize that one piece of content that you have and how to drive everyone there. At this point we can actually start talking about monetization. We didn’t bring it up earlier simply because no content creator makes money from day one. So ideally everything you just created was a hundred percent you, no brand commitments, and just a perfect proof of concept. Some people actually decide not to monetize their content and that’s totally fair. It could be a hobby, something fun, or it could just be a way to promote whatever their job is in real life. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the people who actually want to make money online. You can actually earn straight through the platform. YouTube, Facebook, Google Adsense will all place ads on top of your content. That usually means the higher the views, the higher the Ad rates that you get, and the more Ad money you’ll see coming in. But you have to remember the location of your audience. If let’s say, I have a hundred thousand views in the Philippines versus a hundred thousand views in the US, I will be paid much higher in the US because companies there are willing to spend more on ads. So if you’re a Filipino content creator based in the Philippines, with an audience that’s primarily in-country, you might find that you might not make enough through these platforms to just fund the crazy ideas that you might have. Once brands have seen the quality and the value that you bring and that you could possibly bring to their products, then you can actually move on to a direct sponsorship agreement. That means trying to integrate brands into your content. But how do you do that in a way that you don’t necessarily change your values or the way you do things online? The only way you can do that is by building trust within a community, and building trust with brands. Once they see that what you do is of very high quality, and that they can actually trust you with their product, or the creative direction of it, then you can basically do what you do but also get paid for it while benefiting a brand. So at this point you’re probably thinking, “Alright, great. I’m good. I’m set for life. I’m comfortable.” Unfortunately, that’s not the reality of the internet. But what you have created is value for a brand, and what you have created is an audience. So think about what you’re doing: Are you cooking? Are you travelling? What kind of products or services are associated with cooking or travelling? And you have all that leverage where you can sell certain things to a certain audience. So let’s take my situation for example: What if one day I started creating my own knife line? Can I write a cook book? These are all products that I can create based on the lifestyle and the brand that I’ve made online but it goes beyond digital content. So at least it assures me with some sort of business continuity moving forward. There are a couple of key things that you need to remember when starting anything out for the first time: One, you’re not going to get it right right from the get-go. Especially online, you need to be in a constant flux of evolution and making sure that you’re learning as you go, you’re researching as you go, and you’re reading as you go. And hopefully from there you can put yourself in a situation where you’re actually earning from what you’re creating. By now you should have an understanding of what it means to be a content creator, and a goal for how to become one, a brand to house your ideas under, a solid set of ideas that are ready to go, and a production and publishing timeline that should connect all the way back to your SMART goals. I really hope that during the last five videos you guys learned how to make creative content. And even though we are in a digital age, these are not skills that everyone has. So it’s really important for you to develop them yourselves, and to actually go out and seek them. I hope you enjoyed this five-module course on Schooled, and hopefully you catch the next one on Edukasyon.