Saturday, March 16, 2019

Learning about YouTube - Starting out as an actor and filmmaker

YouTube in Education is a bit of a double edged sword. There are tons of resources and opportunities for students, but also pitfalls and dangers as well.

But if you're interested in filmmaking and see YouTube as a tool for teaching others about filmmaking, then these lessons might be for you:

Part 1: Favorite Youtube Channels

Research your favorite YouTube channels

What are the names of the channels?

What do you like about the channel?

What is the “brand” of the channel? (such as title, theme or catchphrase)

What is the purpose of the channel?

What makes a good YouTube channel?

If you were to create your own channel, what would be your purpose? What would you try to accomplish?

What might your “brand” be? (title or catchphrase)

What other channels are similar to what you want to do?

Part 2: Advice from YouTube Star: Find your Niche

Tips from Michelle Phan (who made $500 million based on her YouTube channel): “The beauty of the internet is there’s a niche market for everything and if you can focus on it you can build a sustainable and viable business of it.”

Define your voice: “This should go without saying, but so many make this mistake that it is worth repeating: ‘You can’t mimic what’s already been successful. Instead you’ve got to carve out your own niche. “Don’t be afraid to be totally different or put your own spin on an existing format, just do it in a way that’s never been done before. Some of the most popular channels on YouTube consist of content that sounds very silly when explained on paper – a Swedish guy screaming at video games, a bunch of Canadians cooking giant meals with far too much bacon. Whether you’re doing something entirely new or an established format (like Epic Meal Time with cooking or PewDiePie with gaming), approach it with a unique voice.

What is a niche?

What is the message you want people to understand and remember?

Who is your target audience?

What makes you novel?

Part 3: YouTube Video Topics

Tips from PewDiePie (made $21 million based on his YouTube career - 3 billion views) “PewDiePie didn’t become successful just because of a sudden viral hit or a change in his YouTube presence. Instead, the reason behind his success is “consistency”. Kjellberg uploads videos on his channel almost every single day. The moment he started getting popular, he built upon his success and never let up his online presence. There is no secret formula but consistency, hard work, and quality content to engage your audience constantly.”

What topics are you considering for a YouTube channel (write down at least 2 ideas).

Pick one topic that interests you. Plan for daily projects for a week. List 7 daily video project you could do on this topic.

Pick another topic that interests you. Plan for daily projects for a week. List 7 daily video project you could do on this topic.

Which topic has more interesting options for you?

Part 4: YouTube Success Tips

Here are some tips for developing a successful YouTube channel:

  • Motivation - The best YouTube channels have a clear direction and purpose.
    • Why would you start a YouTube channel?
    • What would be your reason behind it all?
    • Who would your audience be?
    • Why should people watch it?
  • Frequency
    • How often would you make a new video? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
    • Would the videos be simple enough to make daily? Or would they be complicated enough to require a longer production time?
  • Style
    • Do you think style is the only thing important for a YouTube channel? Or is it important to have substance (meaningful content)?
    • Why are good video titles important? Why are thumbnails important?
    • How do popular YouTube channels make their titles and thumbnails stand out?

Part 5: YouTube Production Equipment

Here are some items to consider owning if you decide to produce videos on a regular basis with your YouTube channel (research answers online):

Camera - What kind of video camera do you own now? (i.e. phone video mode). What kind of camera would you love to own in the future?

Tripod - Why is it important to own a tripod? (even for a phone camera)

Microphone - What is the advantage to owning a high quality microphone vs. a built in microphone in your camera? What is a lavalier microphone and why can it be helpful?

Part 6: YouTube Production Technology

Green screen - What is a green screen and why is this helpful? What are some cheap ways to do green screen effects?

Screen capture software - What is screen capture software? Why do some YouTube channels use this software? What might you use it for?

Computer and Editing software - What would be your ideal computer for video editing? What is some good editing software you would want? Or what video editing software do you currently use?

Part 7: YouTube Graphics

When creating a YouTube channel, it is important to have an eye catching banner and a strong logo that captures your brand.

“In 2018, the ideal YouTube profile picture (also known as the “channel icon”) size is 800 x 800 pixels. The optimal size for YouTube channel art is 2560 x 1440 pixels. The best size for a YouTube video thumbnail photo is 1280 x 720 pixels.”

Find an online graphics editor such as,, or and create the following:

A channel profile picture icon that is 800x800.

Channel art that is 2560 x 1440 pixels.

And a sample thumbnail photo that is 1280 x 720 pixels.

Upload your graphics to Google Drive and share with your instructor.

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