Please help: Getting started as a new vlogger

ZenHollywood

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Hello everyone,

I'm a new vlogger interested in developing my YouTube channel "The Zen of Hollywood" and creating a successful series of videos called "Life Lessons from Hollywood Movies" in which I briefly discuss a possible life lesson we can extract from a particular Hollywood film---a life lesson that could improve our lives in some way. Like many of you, my goal is to promote my business (same name as my channel), direct traffic to my website, and sell various products, including my books, private coaching sessions, and possible future webinars. It also would be nice to monetize my YouTube channel.

Please understand that I'm interested in doing my own research (instead of just relying on others to hand me the answers), so, in addition to exploring this site, I'd like to read a good book on the subject that could be helpful. Could you recommend one?

My budget isn't too big right now, and I'm wondering which video equipment, lighting, and editing programs could be sufficient to get started and still produce professional-looking videos---those that would be considered adequate. I could always upgrade later. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

1. Video camera: A good one for beginners that doesn't break the bank and one that includes an external mic input (especially since I'd like to avoid having to splice the audio and video in the editing). Note: My smart phone isn't good enough for making videos, nor do I wish to buy a new one.

2. Lighting: Again, equipment that would be considered adequate.

3. Editing programs: I have used Movie Maker, but not for this purpose. I have a feeling it's probably too basic for my needs. I've also used OpenShot (with someone else's assistance) to produce one video, but---as I previously wrote---I want to avoid having to do a lot of editing, such as splicing audio and video components. I'd like to keep it as simple as possible for my purposes. Over time, as my skill set increases, I could graduate to better, more complex programs, like Adobe Premiere.

Note: It might be helpful to know that my plan is to do a straightforward and short (3 to 4 minutes) indoor video segment of each Hollywood film, a segment that generates discussion in the comments regarding the most important life lesson each viewer took from each film.

Thanks in advance.

Warm regards,
David
 

Dutchie Abroad

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Firstly, welcome! Always nice to see new people on the forum.

There are quite a few things you're asking and I can't answer them all for you, but I'll attempt to give you a few pointers.

Like many of you, my goal is to promote my business (same name as my channel), direct traffic to my website, and sell various products, including my books, private coaching sessions, and possible future webinars.
I'd just like to mention right of the bat that this is hardly anyones goal on this site. There might be a few (one or two active members that I can think of), but most of us are only using the Youtube platform with no desire to either direct our traffic elsewhere or to directly make money of it (though many might carry the dream of becoming a fulltime Youtuber).

I'd like to read a good book on the subject that could be helpful. Could you recommend one?
This really sounds like you have thought of a concept, but not of actual content. You are already planning marketing and pr, yet there is nothing to promote. I'd really like to advise you to take a step back and first plan, research and maybe do a test run of one or more episodes. Doing research is one thing, but how you will bring the content is another thing. At this point your idea is a hollow shell, make sure you fill it with proper content before you proceed!

1. Video camera: A good one for beginners that doesn't break the bank and one that includes an external mic input (especially since I'd like to avoid having to splice the audio and video in the editing). Note: My smart phone isn't good enough for making videos, nor do I wish to buy a new one.
I personally film with a Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II. This is a camera that is advised a lot for starting vloggers, so it might not be the camera for you. It has good quality, a flip up screen and is under 500 euros. However, it has no interchangeable lenses and can have some autofocus trouble.

2. Lighting: Again, equipment that would be considered adequate.
Softboxes can be bought quite cheaply on secondhand sites, you can also look into small led light panels.

3. Editing programs: I have used Movie Maker, but not for this purpose. I have a feeling it's probably too basic for my needs. I've also used OpenShot (with someone else's assistance) to produce one video, but---as I previously wrote---I want to avoid having to do a lot of editing, such as splicing audio and video components.
MovieMaker is very basic indeed, so I would recommend a slightly more advanced program. I use Filmora, one of the cheapest editing software out there (60 dollars, single purchase) and it is extremely user friendly with almost no learning curve (especially after watching the provided tutorials).

Lastly I'd like to warn you for the copyright restrictions that are raging over the Youtube platform at the moment. You will want to avoid any audio of the film you're using and maybe even restrict yourself to still frames instead of moving shots of the film.

I hope I have informed you a little bit! I'm no expert on any of this, so feel free to disagree with everything I just said :)
 
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ZenHollywood

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Hey Dutchie! Thanks a lot for your reply. I really appreciate it. I'll definitely take your advice on these items, and look into them. By the way, I do have a definitive plan for content. It is very specific, but perhaps it didn't come across that way in my post. Don't know what else to say at this point. I'm very eager to get started, but don't want to rush into things too quickly and make any major errors. Your post helps. If something else comes up, I'll contact you. All the best to you!
 

Dutchie Abroad

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By the way, I do have a definitive plan for content. It is very specific, but perhaps it didn't come across that way in my post.
Oh, my apologies! I might have interpreted that wrongly from the post then. It's great you have a clear idea what you want to do! Just take things one step at the time, but also don't expect everything to go perfect from the get go. I've been vlogging for over a year now and still learning! Looking back on old videos I can see I was really trying back then, but it just takes a while to settle into your own style of presenting and shooting footage.

You're welcome to hit me up with any questions you have! As I mentioned, I'm no expert in any of this, but I'm happy to help with what I can :)