Making a Video: Behind the Scenes

Since we just released another newsletter and corresponding video this week, we thought we’d share a “behind the scenes” look at how we make our videos. Spoiler: it is not very fancy, but it is fun!

A few days before we film, Allen always says, “Hey, this weekend (or day or evening), we’ll need to record our newsletter video.” And I’ll say, “Oh yeah, okay.” (Seriously, that’s our exact conversation about it.)

Then we spend the next few days talking about what we want to share about the month, checking Central (our ABWE account) for our current levels of support, and looking at our calendar for what’s coming up. We check the weather and our schedules, then set aside 30-minutes or so for filming.

We’ve started making our videos outside in our backyard while the kids plan and run around with our dog, Oggie. We have a fire pit area where our patio furniture and some benches are set up. The lighting is better outside and we end up feeling more natural and relaxed. Now that it is getting colder and darker, we’ll have to come up with a new location and improvise some better lighting.

Watching Ruthie play while Allen gets set up. I’m sitting on our benches here.

When it’s time to start recording, I usually get the kids outside and ready while Allen gathers our supplies. We film directly onto Allen’s iPhone using the built-in camera app and use two of these microphones to make sure we’re heard clearly.

Untangling microphones.

We have an adjustable tripod with an iPhone mount and Bluetooth remote (similar to this one) that we use. Sometimes we’re able to set the tripod up right on the gravel or table… other times, we rig it up on the plywood and kiddie pool covered fire pit area (pictured above).

Our setup.

After things are all set up, Allen checks the camera angle/distance/I don’t know what while I just sit. Usually right after he does this, we talk through what we’re going to share. We decide what Allen will say, what I say, what order, etc.

It was chilly, so I’m trying to keep Hudson warm!

After everything looks good and we’ve talked through it, we clip on microphones and get started!

We try to hide the microphone wires, if we can.

To be honest, we start filming and just dive in. I don’t think we’ve ever written out a script or outline (well, maybe the first time we did). We “wing it,” so to speak, which usually explains all the bloopers we have. When we mess up, we just pause and keep going. We may stop the recording once or twice to start over, and it usually takes two or three attempts to get enough good footage to make our video update. We ALWAYS have enough footage for our bloopers reels.

When we’re done recording, Allen uses the Quik app by GoPro to edit our videos. He usually starts with the bloopers (since we always post them first), then does the real video afterward. We typically go through a couple iterations and edits before we finalize everything.

When its time, we post the videos to social media and/or YouTube and wait for the next month!

… and that’s a wrap!

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