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YouTube Woodworking Channel Format?? And camera choice?

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Tommy7810

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Hi all,

I have a question for you. I am thinking about starting a woodworking YouTube channel - or at least, videoing my projects and uploading them.
In my view, you have two options with regard to this. You have the very American approach of talking to the camera (The Wood Whisperer, Samurai Carpenter, Stumpy Nubs, Blacktail Studio, Rex Kruger, Steve Ramsey, possibly Brian Benhem, (Matt Estlea, Sean Evelegh - both UK), etc.). The other option is the likes of Young Je or Dorian Bracht, (Simon Roy of Roys Boxes to an extent), who seem to take a step back from the centre of the video and focus the camera on the detail of the project.
I don't plan to make a living out of it, but would like to put some effort into the videos, ensuring they are high quality and give back to the woodworking community that has given so much to me.

If making videos, I would rather the latter as I am on the reserved side. Maybe I really just need to accept that when you decide to make YouTube videos, that you are putting yourself out in the public eye. But what is your opinion? Do you prefer videos in which the presenter actively engages with you? Would you avoid channels in which the presenter is not in the frame but voice over it or uploaded captions on screen (such as measurements, etc). Which do you prefer?
Also, how much notice do you give to the branding of a YouTube channel? For example, the Samurai Carpenter, The Wood Whisperer, etc, has very good branding and marketing agendas. Do you pay much attention to that?

I plan to make tables, chairs, cabinets, boxes, woodturnings, maybe some jigs, video restoration of some woodworking machines, etc.

Also, I'm not quite sure where to ask this second part of the question, but, would anyone have suggestions for a high quality camera to make videos with?

*I suppose to mention that, I'm from a farm, and may from time to time, upload the odd video of farm life also (unless some would advise to keep specifically to wood related videos?).

Thanks in advance.
Tommy
 

thetyreman

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I recently started doing it, I just use my iphone in landscape mode on a tripod, I bought some LED lights and a cheap lav mic and it works for now, eventually I want to invest in a canon 5D mk2 or 6D so I can use the lenses I have already invested in, but I have been into photography over 10 years so it makes sense.

There are definitely different styles, my favourite is where it's just showing the work with voice over added in later, you can either choose to script it or just improvise, mr chickadee just has the sound of the work and no talking at all until quite recently in his videos and that works very well.

One thing I will say is expect it to take at least four times longer than you planned for, and editing takes a long time too.
 

Sideways

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Make one of each, watch them back, choose the one that makes you cringe least.
I'm the wrong generation for stuff like this. I get no pleasure from seeing and hearing myself on media.
Only a small number of people have the gift to come over well, best work out if you have that first.
 

AJB Temple

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Don't start from here. You are already making the classic mistake of focussing on format and gear, rather than the thing that really matters: who is your target market and what will appeal to them?

Unless you work out what differentiates you from all the other also rans, and have the focus to make sure you hook them inside the first few seconds, then you will be wasting your time. YT is ALWAYS marketing. YT itself is only interested in clicks to pitch ads. If you don't intend to deliver that, then it is basically another vanity project and it matters little what approach you take then.

Your question above already made me think that you don't understand that content is king here. I will only watch anyone if I can see a product or skill that is not readily available to me elsewhere. Anyone making TV adverts etc will tell you that the first 5 seconds are where you catch people or they swiftly move on.

But good luck. Re-appraise your approach, then worry about equipment.
 

thetyreman

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you won't get better without practise either, so you'd best get on with releasing that first video, nobody is good at public speaking the first time they ever do it, some of us more gifted than others.
 

keithy1959

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Do what works for you and measure response, and then tinker to try new things. I'm always amazed how hostile I am to some peoples voices for no apparent reason. You get less "awesomes" with a voice over, so I prefer them !! Most people can tell a genuine message to share from a weekly quota video too. I understand , but don't quote me, that the YT promotion algorythm works better on a single subject. and of course, all of this is personal choice, and counts for nothing realy !
 

Adam W.

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I would say be precise and honest with your content and above all else try know as much as possible about your subject.

I enjoy videos where I come away having learnt something and I'm not at all interested in flashy showoffs with loads of expensive gear.

Larry Williams has a nice style and Louis Sauzedde is very good too, so they're worth a look for some ideas.

And remember you're opening yourself up to criticism, so be prepared for that.
 

Jacob

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Don't have guitar or banjo music. Don't say "Hello I'm Tommy and welcome to my shop". Keep it brief 4 minutes max.

PS Just browsed through your list of Youtuber woodworkers. Can't say I've heard of any of them. Not sure what this says - perhaps they aren't as important as you think they are.
 
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Spectric

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No one format will be to everyones liking, and sometimes the same person can deliver a good educational format yet on other occasions just comes over as a salesman. My biggest dislike is when they waffle, using twenty words rather than being to the point, and then spend to much time waving something around in your face before discussing what they want to get across.
 

Ttrees

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If you have a message then nothing matters IMO
One option is to get a camera the same as your missus, so you can swap out the battery when it dies.
I bought a samsung 16 megapixel one for 50 quid, it has a big screen so I can see what I'm trying to convey.
It gets abused a wee bit by techy standards, but I'm not afraid of too much dust or grit as its not super expensive.

If you're intending to regularly upload with quality content,
I suppose you'd need a box for a fancy camera, microphone and the umbrellas for lighting if you were to be in the shot.

I tried a planing video with a long stick, it's not easy if you're not wanting to be filmed, and at the same time speak towards the camera.
I think my rear end and a load of mumbling was what most of the video ended up like:ROFLMAO:

A bit of fun if you're only intending to have a bit of a laugh at yourself.
I'd be alright with some criticism as some folk might have some good ideas.

My personal pet hate is a wobbly workbench, unless its a bench build which I'm watching.

All the best
Tom
 

Chris_Pallet

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Good luck with your you tube vids. My favourite format of vids are =
- Rag n bone brown
- Peter millard
- badger workshop
- grumpy workshops
- Karl pope
- danier made
And a new one discovered - Proper DIY
 

mrpercysnodgrass

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This couple below produce food videos on YouTube, which are very well made. They also have a blog where they talk about how they make them and how much money they make from them(very un English!!!). Also about the equipment the have. It's worth a look if you are serious about making You Tube vids.
I watch a lot of You tube, mostly food but quite a lot of woodworking, some videos are very sleek and some very amateurish but what is important is the subject has to be interesting and conveyed in a no nonsense manner. I can't watch a video when the presenter spends the first five minutes telling you what their motivation was! Also high pitched voices! And background music! and and and.......:)


 

petermillard

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My two-penneth, for what it’s worth.

Don’t overanalyse it at this stage - start making videos and figuring out what works for you - it’s your channel. And remember, just because you’ve made a video doesn’t mean you have to post it.

Don’t fret about cameras and lenses - but do pay some attention to audio ie don’t be that guy standing behind the bench bellowing at the camera on the other side of the workshop.

Don’t expect instant success - it can happen (Stuart at Proper DIY has done really well in ~6 months) but for most it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Do post regularly, and commit to a schedule eg a video a week for X months - and be prepared to fund this. Making videos doesn’t have to be expensive, but it isn’t free, and will take a lot of spare time if you already have a day job.

Do be clear about what it is you’re trying to say and show.

Do plan your videos out - but be prepared to change the plan as the video progresses.

Do watch a lot of YouTube videos and note how they’re constructed; compare these to popular TV shows and note the differences - YouTube isn’t TV.

Be prepared to make mistakes, both in the video process, and on camera.

Dont pay too much attention to other people’s opinions - especially American YouTubers keen to share their secret. No offence to our American cousins, but it’s a very different market/audience.

If you don’t have one already, grow a very thick skin.

Have fun! Having a YouTube channel is like having kids - rewarding in every way, except financially - so make sure you enjoy it.

Happy to help with any specifics - message me if you prefer.

Best, Peter

p.s. No to general farming vids on a woodworking channel - the algorithm won’t know what to do with them, and it’ll muddy the waters for the main content.
 

pe2dave

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1. Use a tripod where possible (don't make the viewer dizzy)
2. Agree, prime focus is the job, your head when discussing.
3. Best camera you can afford, but don't forget lighting - essential.
4. Script them? Even if it's a sheet of scribbles. Know where you're going next.
5. Edit them to check for sillies.
good luck
 

Jeremy Nako

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As a consumer, I prefer to hear some form of commentary. I love the work that Young Je does, but find the lack any verbal explanation to be frustrating.

If you're not confident enough to speak directly to camera, then consider a voice over after you've filmed it, or (less attractive for me, but better than nothing) on screen text to explain things.
 

recipio

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Have a look at www.aar-onair.com. Its about airguns but has a video on his equipment. For projects there are a lot of 'worthy but dull' videos. Try and do interesting projects based on the great history of UK cabinetmaking.
 

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