How to enter the YouTube game.

As a Youtuber I've been uploading videos on my channel:

youtube.com/sebastianweinmann

since June 2016 and it's funny to see how fast the time flies bye. I tried different formats on my channel, from slideshows with music, to music videos, from unboxing and reviewing gear, to actually filmming my work and life.

Thats me thinking of my next sentence with the Canon G7X MK II camera.

Thats me thinking of my next sentence with the Canon G7X MK II camera.

Starting to film, edit and upload was a very important step for me. I wanted to stay creative and produce something, even I didn't had a camera job or was booked for filming. Also this is something personal and a behind the scenes of your own life.

You have the direct connection of what you're doing - this is fascinating.

On the other hand it improves your style, how you film and the editing. It gives you insights of the general market situation of how to produce a video and for what reason. You are having a producing - costs of the gear, traveling, story and so on.

It is the filmmaking process from A to Z in a tiny, tiny version. 

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Most important thing for me is, that I want to share the moments - it is really about that.

Its very funny for me to watch myself six months after I did a video when I was in Greek and Miami. I switched languages from German to English, to figure out how to grow a bigger audience and reach more people - the German Youtube "market" is full of tryval (trying to be viral) videos and I wanted to create something else for me.

Improving on your mental skills. I learned to talk to the camera and walk on a streets - packed with people - at first this was a problem for me. But I never thought that producing videos could help to improve my self confidence.

You can choose from so many themes and I decided to become the filming guy, the videographer and camera enthusiast who's living in Berlin. A big point here: make clear what your channel has to offer and why people should subscribe. They need a reason and so do you.

My tips for uploading videos on youtube:

Everyone needs an orientation, your followers and yourself. So pick a theme that is really fun for you and you want something that you are actually doing. It's hard to create a fantasy world, if you are doing something totally else the rest of the day. When playing videos games is your thing and you do that anyway two to three hours a day, why not starting with a gaming channel. If you are traveling and staying in hotels more then a regular person, thats a interesting point to think: should I document what I do? The reason is always to provide value - its a selling process without money. And if you provide enough value, this could make you money.

Good videos and good views means good feedback, brings more fun to create the videos.

Think of why people are watching videos on youtube. The  learning effect and the entertaining aspect are the two most biggest reason of watching 3 or 5 clips per day. And for sure you want to play with gear, learn new methods and ways to edit.

Here is a list of my video blogging gear:

The most viewed video on my channel. Its about having a tripod.

The most viewed video on my channel. Its about having a tripod.

CAMERA

Canon G7X MK II / http://amzn.to/2eB3o1W

For me this is the ultimate camera for documenting and filming everything around me. You have a flip display and can control everything manually. It's an absolutely workhorse and I'm caring it with me every time I travel and go. It survived a stunt with 60mph, just flew out of the windows, dropped on the floor and still running.

Sony A7S with a Sony 24-70 f.4 / http://amzn.to/2xLrvUh

There were times where I wanted to improve the video game of recording myself. I bought a Sony A7S after I received first bills of my camera work. But slowly this turned out to be not my style of vlogging. It was big, heavy and no flip screen. Didn't trust the autofocus and had the feeling of getting this too early in the game. I think you have to grow with your channel, means also the camera gear should grow with you. Start with your Phone and work your way upwards - it's so much fun.

Accesories

Joby GorillaPod Tripod / http://amzn.to/2xLpg2Y

No one wants shaky videos and when you're recording, you want to have the right angle of the scenery. Soon or later you'll get yourself a selfystick and this is the best one.

Sandisk Expreme Pro SDXC 64gb / http://amzn.to/2gBDsnz

This brand never let's me down and 64gb is enough of more then 3 days vlogging. If you need more, you're either edit too slow and could produce more videos, or your forgetting to format your clips.

Last tips on your videos and youtube channel: make it visual good and clear to understand. You want to have your audience to also listen to your videos and make it easy to watch. Colours and lights are most attracted by our eyes and pixels where cool in 1980s. Use the microphone and clear your voice.

I wrote this blog while I'm in London and shooting a commercial and the vlog will be online soon. Hope you enjoyed this read and if you got future questions, let me know in the comments.

Filming with LEICA SL and the Vario 24-90mm

I bought the Leica SL and with it the 24-90mm lens which has stabilisation and an aperture of f2.8-4, of giving me the full potential to have a ready to shoot camera. Everyone bought the Sony A7S MK II or the Sony A7R MK II cameras and I didn't want to do that.

I wanted to archive a all time ready set, for portability and the flexibility of grading and color correction.

The sensors of the Sony cameras are likely blue and cold, therefore the Leica sensors aren't too yellow or orange, but between the line of blue and yellow. Not green as an Arri camera, neither red-cold like a Red Camera. Canon and the C-Serie wasn't interesting for me, because I'm tired of that look and feel what "contrast-canon" has to offer. The FS5 and FS7 are documentation cameras in my taste, so they are for tv. Blackmagic Ursa Mini - not for me.

I want to have something for the long run - also to be able to take photos. Here is my unboxing:

Is it a film camera? - yes, 100%. Photos? - of course. With 24 megapixel it makes the crossover from having a deep pixel sensor for contrast and saturation, to the megapixels you need for clean and high dynamic photos. A blog post earlier you can read why I haven't bought a "big" camera.

Made in Germany and the history this company has, is full grown out and let me say: you can't find something like this build and quality somewhere else. Thats why it costs $11k.

All knobs and wheels are where they should be and you can easily switch between recording video and taking a photo. Accessing all functions on every button you want. Handheld shots is one of my favourites and absolutely possible with this set up.

Talking about the lens, we all know that there are physical limits to glas and the size of lenses. When I was in the Berlin Leica Store I tested every lens they had. From the M lenses to the full manual lenses with apertures to f1.4 and for sure - ultimate bokeh - but for filming I go rarely under f2.0. So having the Vario 24-90mm it's a match for me. It comes with 18 glasses inside and a fast and silent auto focus. It creates a smooth bokeh and sharp and sympatic film look. You can shoot in L-Log which gives you a flat profile for color grading.

Availability and the price drop did a huge cast on me and after I tried the Leica SL for three days - which the store offers for free - I bought one, when I returned the camera on the same day.

I'm fascinated by so many facts and this wouldn't fit in one article, so I'll gonna post more of the camera soon. Here is a video where I filmed raw and applied my LUT afterwards.

You can buy the LUT here in my Shop.

Why I didn't buy a RED camera.

It's been days of exploring the internet, trying and renting a RED camera. I canceled my order and here is why I didn’t buy a RED camera.

Since I started with filmmaking and editing, soon or later I stumbled on two brands: ARRI and RED. The beef, love and hate for these two brands is insane in the community and when I talk with people about this topic and experience - which brand they would go for - it's always a straight a or b thing. Neither of them is a weak or bad system. Both sides have their advantages. We talk about Arris Alexa Mini and when Red brought the Helium Sensor to the market. Both are great and have their benefits.

Back to my decision of starting big and making it in the industry, getting customers and work with clients - I was on point the last months: 

I will buy a camera that lasts long on the market. I want to have a premium camera with cinema profile - a workhorse. If I spent this amount of money I want security to have a space in the market and to ensure I’m running the best system for me and my clients.

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I decided to take a credit and buy the RED weapon 8k with the helium sensor to be safe for the next 5 to 10 years. With tax about 60.000€. The intention was to make a big step into the market, provide customers an amount of quality without crushing their budget - in my head I would be attractive for a production because I can provide everything a shoot needs.

So I was asking banks and my family if they could help me out. This camera would cost me 800€ per month if I chooses the lowest rate thinking about financing it. 

Soon I realised that this is a big risk. I have no problems in taking risks but this would limit my freedom of making films because I had to do every job. Lets think about this a second. I would shoot 8k footage for a small brand and render it out at 4k, if they need it - keep the 8k footage on my disk and go on to the next project. 

Here I have to jump in, meaning: making and rushing instead of producing good quality content and working for the clients I want to work for. To compensate this monthly rate - keeping in mind all the costs there are; rent, travel fees, all sort of private costs, a life - this would make me the workhorse 24/7 instead of my beloved camera.

I went to the RED website again. After five days of thinking and analysing whats good or bad, another plan came up: I was close of spending 20k on a camera called Scarlet-W. The RED camera that is the "what you need now in 2017". It does 5k 60fps, 4k 120 fps - amazing specs.

So I tested different customers for my upcoming shootings, what quality they need and would pay for.  Which resolution they want and need for their final video and what specs I really need to produce them.

My conclusion: shooting with a RED camera is a dream for me. If I would have bought the RED Scarlet-W, I would pay for my needs - not for the needs my customers are having.

Thats a decision everyone should think about before purchasing: when you are a doing a camera service job, when you are self-employed and when you're working for clients.

You're packing your film equipment wrong - please stop.

Since a couple of years now I packed, lifted, carried and transported gear all over countries and cities. I learned a lot in camera rentals, packing for and with customers, rolled out live streaming events, had interview situations in nowhere places, shooting spontaneous commercials in the streets, recorded after movies in clubs and beach locations..all sorts of productions.

The goal of this text is that you think more on planning your shoot. Stop saying: maybe next time I don’t bring that and try to stop bother my back - because you’ve been carrying too much, too inefficient and again too much.

I try to be just right in place, time and space. So here is a little checklist I always do when I’m planning my shoot. Main argument: how many pieces, boxes, cases and bags do I have to carry.

sebastianweinmann_rucksack_gr1_cameragear

Research of my location

  • Where am I shooting - inside, outside, studio, car.
  • How do I get there/travel options - flying, walking, train, car.
  • How is the weather - checking the forecast and tendencies.

First step for me is doing research about temperature and conditions. This reflect the clothes I’m wearing during the shoot and travel phases. A hoodie is a must for me all time.

Time management

  • When do I shoot - night or day, studio or location.
  • How long am I shooting - this is about batteries and memory space.
  • How much footage is needed for postproduction - does it make sense on shooting two days then one long day.

Second I try to concentrate on how the time will be arranged. I also take care of feeling fresh - there are times where you can’t change and have to wear what you have, no bathroom or hotel available. So very interesting point here: how much underwear and t-shirts are needed.

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Style, look and quality

  • How many lenses, a zoom or fixed focals.
  • Soundsetup - mics, boomarm, fieldrecorder.
  • Lighting - small or big LEDs, stands and power.
  • Stabilisation - tripod, gimbal, slider.
  • Optical filters - NDs , effects and how to handle sun and shade.

Last and third point of the research is how the style and quality should be. For sure this is a basic and the most general question of all. But most important point here is to have a clear vision of how your clip/movie/production in result should look like. So therefore you need a specific management of your gear.

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I might repurpose my ideas here and there to keep my blog and vision up to date.