What I Want To Do In 2018

Happy New Year again everyone, I was going to write up a post about the goals I want to accomplish in 2018 but I’m really not big into setting resolutions or goals.

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2017 WAS THE MOST CREATIVE YEAR OF MY LIFE

First up Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a great festive period. After quite a long break (few personal issues) I’m back and ready to knuckle down and start off 2018 with the hustle. Before that I want to reflect on 2017 as the most creative year for me. Continue reading

The Gear I Use and How I Vlog on The Panasonic G7

I haven’t been highly active in posting new content but after a few weeks break I’m back and more hungry than ever to create interesting and enjoyable content. Whether that be Instagram photos and starting to utilise the Story feature to Youtube videos and even writing on this very blog. I had made plans to go shoot a vlog today but the Belfast weather wasn’t playing ball so I decided to do a Gear video.

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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

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