MEET THE CREATORS #3: JOSHUA HEWITT (THE HEWITT COLLECTIVE)

After a long hiatus, Meet The Creators series is returning and on inspiring note with local Youtuber/Vlogger Joshua Hewitt. If you’ve seen any of Josh’s videos he’s a super friendly motivational guy who shares his stories of bullying, mental health and vlogging his own adventures. Recently featured on Channel 5’s Celebrity Trolls talking about his previous bullying and how he uses that to fuel the fire of positive content creation. Continue reading

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Vlog ONE : Street Art and Insta Meetups

I finally bit the vlogging bullet with my first blog at a Visual Waste led Best Of Belfast Street Art Tour. Visual Waste, a local street artist who shot to fame with his pop culture based murals around the city including Game Of Thrones and Breaking Bad, brought us on a tour of various Street art in the city organised by the Best Of Belfast Instagram page. Continue reading

I’m still here….

SOOOOOO………… I’ve been kind of slacking on the blog front from shooting more photos than I used to and the humdrum of daily 9-5 working and throw in a few Christenings, Weddings and other occassions, there is only a finite amount of time during the day. And the blog has suffered.

This will change. Continue reading

Power Of Video conference, Belfast

Set in the stunning St Anne’s Cathedral the Power of Video conference returned for it’s second year and with it came a buzz of Youtubers, Filmmakers and Social Media giants. It’s a conference aimed at creators and how to use video to increase brand awareness and your following, with massive Youtubers like Shonduras and Viacom’s Thomas De Napoli speaking it highlights the blurring lines between social media and mainstream content creation and how to utilise both to the benefit of both too. Continue reading

Tips for improving AUDIO for Youtube

I wrote last week about Putting The Work Into Youtube and one of the key points I stated was just how important audio is to the overall quality of the video. I am no means an expert but from making videos and a fair amount of research and trial and error I want to share some of my tips for improving your audio for Youtube some of these are basic housekeeping and some are DIY hacks I’ve found to help when budget and gear is lacking. A key thing to youtube and indie filmmaking is USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. Continue reading

Putting the work into Youtube

For the last while I have talked about utilising Youtube and video more in my work , I’ve always had an interest in shooting small videos from family events to days out. While they’re a nice keepsake for the day I WANT to create better content and tell more of a narrative story on a range of subjects. So as it’s the New Year and I have a renewed vigour I’ve been researching and reading up on improving cinematography values and becoming a better video maker. Continue reading

Why I Started A Patreon

Before I even start this post I want to acknowledge that I haven’t been blogging for that long a period of time and what fucking right do I have to be setting up a Patreon, a service that encourages people to pledge and contribute towards my content creation.

Hopefully this post will help clarify my standing on it.

I may have only started creating content on both my blog and youtube channel but I have dreams and aspirations of the content and will strive to create the best content I possibly can, and with the thought of Patreon and the idea of people possibly in the future pledging money is a MASSIVE driver to stay on track and focus on the creating the best stuff I can. It will also force me to schedule more content and take more community focus onboard as people will be paying towards stuff. I WON’T ever detract from my view of what I want to make but there has to be a conversation of what content will work best and areas that I can improve my skills on.

In the future and if my content takes off it will take more of my time to focus on community as well as creation. I want to have to time to build an open welcoming community and this has to start with me. Patreon and the possible monetary support will aid me in making this decision easier to sink time into. This may sound like a selfish thing, I love creating content and building what I have but the increase in revenue would be beneficial to look at it more than a hobby and more as a professional avenue.

It was also set up now to save me setting it up in the future, pledges are always welcome and I understand it will be a while before any one passes a thought on whether or not to pledge but I wanted to have it set up to add another factor in the whole A Gallon Of Caffeine portfolio, it’s only one of the ideas I have going forward to help me create more content.

There is also the add bonus of setting rewards for tier supporters, allowing me to set discord chat, exclusive content and more community rewards such as giveaways and prizes.

Hopefully this has added a bit more transparency on my choice to open a Patreon.

You can find my page here: A GALLON OF CAFFEINE

 

I’d love to hear any feedback or suggestions around this decision, let me know in the comments below.

 

My Video Gear

Yesterday I spoke about wanting to do more video creation and as a follow up I want to talk about the gear I will be using to create these. I am not highly invested in my video setup but I feel I have enough different versions of gear and accesories that I will be able to create interesting and entertaining viewpoints. And at the end of the day gear doesn’t matter, story is king.

  1. My DSLR – Even though it is a few years old I still use my Sony A35 DSLR for most of my videomaking, it has a 16mp sensor and outputs in full 1080p HD in AVCHD format so it works well in my editing suite of choice. The quality does look a bit detoriorated now in comparison to the newer cameras available but I am still happy with the results this little DSLR produces and I am still only starting out so I’m using the gear that I already have. Who knows I may invest and upgrade in the future but until then the Sony A35 will be my go to camera for quality shots.
  2. My phone – As I wrote in my iphone article I currently own an Honor 7 Android smartphone which I also said the camera is a bit shocking on it, well in good light situations you can get an acceptable quality shot when using the rear camera, the front is a washed out noisy mess. But it shoots in 1080p also so easy to edit in unison to the 1080p from my DSLR. I mainly use my phone for timelapses and B Roll type shots to fill in action that I can’t get with a single camera setup with my DSLR. Again using the gear I already own and I’m stuck in a contract with my Honor for another year and a half.
  3. My Action Camera – Again a bit of a budget find I picked up a Kitvision Splash HD camera from my local supermarket for £30 (down from the original £65) as I was unsure to what extent I would use an action camera and didn’t want to invest GoPro kinds of money on a piece of kit I wouldn’t use. The quality from the camera is actually pretty decent when it’s from a stable point but on action and walking shots the stabilization lacks and the end result is a bit of a rolling jumble but beggars can’t be choosers, I can get the shot I want and in the future I will know if an action camera is worth the investment.
  4. My Tripod – I don’t actually have this yet, but for my birthday next week I’m getting a Manfrotto 146cm tripod so I can’t speak of the results but I know Manfrotto are a respectable well known make in this field and will write about this later.
  5. My Microphones – I used to livestream on Twitch for a while and invested in a Blue Snowball microphone and the results are highly impressive, it is a directional microphone so needs to be sitting around a metre away from the subject but it picks up all sound clearly and for £50 I am delighted with the results. I also use a Rode VideoMic Go with my DSLR and occassionally mounted on a tripod to use with my phone, the results are once again great and the fact it powers from the device is a handy aspect so you don’t have to run batteries or turn on the mic when you want to record, you just record from the device and audio is picked up.
  6. My Laptop – Another oldy here, I use a three year old HP Pavillion with 8gb RAM and other specs I’m not quite sure about but it’s a nice laptop that’s easy to run but provides decent specs for video editing and other functions I want to perform, I have a 1TB hard drive in it so space isn’t an immediate problem either and can record at full 1080p and wav audio with no issues. I am however looking into upgrading as workflow increases as render times can be a bit daunting on this.
  7. My applications – To video edit I use Sony Movie Studio 12 which I have used for a few years, I know the applications, it’s limitations so can work within these to create the content I need with wishing to upgrade. To record and edit audio I use Audacity as it’s a free program but it’s suite of features rival most paid for services. To record and hold audio interviews I will use Discord, it’s a free cross platform service to rival skype but I find it is a much easier interface with overall better sound quality and is primarily used with my target demographic.

Hopefully you liked reading about my gear and what I use on a daily basis to work and will continue to use going forward in my first tentative Youtube steps.

I’d love to see what you use to create your content, is there a must have piece of kit you have that you would be lost without? A programme that I haven’t listed? Let me know in the comments

I really want to do Youtube

I have always made films and little videos just for myself but it has always stayed as just that, a way to keep memories or to share with friends and family to show them something I made. Over the last while I have been tinkering around with video editing and recording more footage with the hope of it becoming usable or watchable in a longer video. So going forward I WILL start posting it to my youtube channel however I’m not sure what avenue this will take, whether it be vlogs, tech review or something along a more creative route (skits, interviews or opinion pieces to compliment the writing on my blog)

I recently went to Belfast Culture Night and made a video for my blog instead of writing about it, a picture makes a thousand words as they say. You can watch it above. Even from one night shooting video and editing it down to a coherent watchable few minutes was enough for me to decide to start focusing more on the video front.

So keep an eye out for more videos coming in the near future.

I also want to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of posting on the blog lately, this will increase immediately.

Until then, I’d love to hear suggestions of youtubers that you love to watch and link your own channel here, I’d love to watch what you guys are creating.

 

Meet The Creators #2: Rob Sellig

In the second part of my Meet The Creators, I had the chance to talk to Rob Sellig, a bonafide Jack of All Trades. The guy streams on Twitch, makes vlogs, creates gaming youtube videos and always seems to be working. The work ethic alone is an inspiration. Couple that with the welcoming New Jersey spirit and Rob’s trajectory keeps aiming higher and higher in the digital world. In the fast moving gaming world of Twitch and Youtube, Rob takes the time and concentrates on audience interaction and entertainment with a production quality to rival some of the biggest hitters.

I was luck enough to be able to ask him a few questions about life on Twitch, vlogging and “the grind”

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Can you let us know where we can find you online?

You can find me online at

Twitter: @RobSellig

Youtube: I Am Vitality

Instagram: @RobSellig

You stream on Twitch, you create videos for Youtube and you vlog? Which would you say is your favourite type of content and why?

Yes, I stream, create YouTube Videos and Vlog. As for my favorite content to create, it all varies as each has it’s pros and cons from time to time.

Streaming allows you to interact with your viewers instantly and I love that about Twitch, but doing YouTube has an Aesthetic purpose of actually creating something that takes hours to do for others to love and watch and Vlogging plays a role in that as well.

 

What is the biggest difference from streaming online to creating a Youtube video? Does the presence of a live audience help or hinder?

As I mentioned in the previous question, streaming let’s you be you with the immediate interaction of fellow viewers. Even though you’re playing a game solo, you’re really playing that game with all of the viewers in your chat.

It really creates a sense of bonding with strangers who all end up becoming really good friends who all enjoy the same thing. As for YouTube and creating videos, you don’t get that instant interaction but in the end receive the satisfaction of creating something for the whole world to see and enjoy. Having a Live Audience helps alot as it breaks you out of a shell and really shows your true light as an Entertainer.

Do you find to stay on top or give a competitive edge that you HAVE to do Youtube aswell if you’re streaming?

You absolutely don’t have to do both YouTube or Streaming, I know a lot of big streamers who would never do YouTube and vice versa. Each Platform has it’s own personality and not everyone can grasp both to conquer. A big reason to do both is to further your community and brand you’re trying to grow and create and to expand your content for others to enjoy.

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Gaming is a fast moving genre with trends and games rising and falling in popularity? Do you find this affect your choices in what games to play? And would you choose to play a game that you loved but wouldn’t be seen as “popular”

First thing about gaming is, ALWAYS play what you want. Everyone has their personal preference and that makes every game popular in my eyes. Don’t just play a game because everyone else is playing it, play a game because you have fun playing it. It kills me when I see people playing games they don’t enjoy in hopes they grow bigger, when it’s really a person’s personality that really grows.

How do you find inspiration for topics to focus on with your Youtube vlog?

Funny you ask that, because all topics and ideas just come randomly while I’m doing daily things. I’m one who just goes with it and if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.

What type of entertainment mediums do you enjoy in your free time?

In my free time I’m still grinding away at ideas, business ideas, brands etc. It’s a never ending venture with me, I’m in it to succeed and to succeed you need to never stop until you do.

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Do you have a preferred social media platform to help connect with your audience?

Twitter hands down, it’s the best Social site to connect with your community and other creators as well.

Do you find it hard to fit it into your lifestyle?

This is my lifestyle, a never ending waterfall of work and ideas. So in saying that, it fits right in with everything else. It’s become part of my life and I have a feeling it always will be.

In a spin on the old ideal dinner guests questions, who would be your 3 ideal guest to have feature/collaborate with on your twitch stream or youtube channels?

Oh man, this is a tough one haha. I’d have to say my buddy Nick (@Marksman) I’ve known him for years and have watched him succeed and grow on YouTube and twitch but never got the chance to collab with him. Second person would have to be Casey Neistat, I love that guys views on everything and just so outgoing and loving life, It would be killer to hang with him for just one day. Third would probably be Logic (Rapper) Besides his music he’s heavily into gaming and uploads YouTube videos all the time, he’s just a genuine dude who has a good soul.

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If you had unlimited time and budget what would be the dream goal for your content?

If there was such a thing I would be producing the best possible content for people around the globe to enjoy, Travel Vlogs would be all the time bringing all those with me through the lens. My main goal is to bring a Positive outlook to those who say they can’t, to let people know dreams come true if you really put your mind to it and are persistent. So many amazing good ideas get buried in the ground because those individuals never had anyone who believed in them or they didn’t believe in themselves.

What are your favourite tools and equipment to use? 

I use a plethora of equipment, from multiple mixers Mixers, multiple mic set ups etc. My favorite is my Mics though, I’m a huge Audio nerd and it just plays a big part of any content so I’m always tinkering with different mics, mixers, compressors etc.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rob for his cooperation on this series, you should all go give him a follow, especially if you’re into your gaming. One of the friendliest most genuine content creators around with the skill and production to match his crazy crazy work ethic and personality.

Hopefully you all are enjoying this series as much as I am creating it. Let me know in the comments what you think.

 

 

Why I Love…..Casey Neistat

Casey is a film maker from New York City who first came to prominence with his 2003 video IPODS DIRTY SECRET gathering a massive 6million views in pre Youtube days it relied on word of mouth and email chaining. Following he got his own HBO show The Neistat Brothers which ran for one season then decided to follow his film making in the online space as it gave him more creative control and audience interaction. After several viral hits, in 2015 he started a personal daily vlog and his figures exploded, within 18months he has shot up from 500,000 subscribers to 4.1million subscribers as of today. You can find him HERE


Casey inspires me in his sheer hard work ethic, his daily vlog is one of the most professional looking pieces of daily content I have seen, from drone shots to timelapse and edited to near perfection, he stated on a recent podcast that his fastest edit session is 4hrs and longest is 11hrs. For the high production values his vlog still has a personality and style which only comes from 10years of being in the filmmaking business and has certainly set a new bar in the vlogging space. There is an excellent TheNerdWriter video that explains alot of the techniques in a better way than I can here. You can find that video HERE


A firm believer in story is king, Casey has stated several times that regardless of the gear and price of the gear you own doesn’t make you a film maker, the under riding story makes you a film maker. Each vlog has mini story following his day as opposed to other vlogs that can be an incoherent mess or a showcase for the youtubers extravagance.

“Truth is so much more interesting than the fiction we’re used to.” –  Casey Neistat

Using a twist on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Casey created his own Creation Heirarchy which inspires him. Within it it states 3 steps of creativity

1) Create

2) Creations that inspire others

3) Create a tool that empowers others to create

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With this as a driving force Neistat along with ex-Tumbler head Matt Hackett created the social video app BEME which is an application that blocks out the users display so to allow them to share their world without the filter and editing allowed with other mediums. Effectively Neistat has ticked off everything on his own heirarchy, he creates his daily videos, creations that inspire others to becoming filmmakers and I am writing this article from his inspiration to me and created BEME as a tool to allow others to make and share their own videos.

I’d like to end this post by saying the world could use a lot more individuals with the mindset of Casey Neistat. To me he seems like one of the most friendly, most driven and hardworking invidiuals you could care to meet and with his video making he is sharing and inspiring others to be the same. And in today’s global climate we could all take a lesson from Mr Neistat.

This is a post that I have really enjoyed writing as people who inspire me are very important and will add more to this series in the future.

I’d love to hear who inspires who and also if you’re subscribed to Casey?