Teens Know Web 2.0: iHCPL for Teens is a self-paced discovery learning program designed to help teens make the most of free Web 2.0 technologies, such as photo editing sites, productivity tools, online videos, social networking and sites for sharing music.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

YouTube: Lights, Camera, Action!

If Vlogging is not your style or you feel more comfortable behind the camera, then you need to start making your own movies for YouTube. Before we discuss cameras, scripts and actors, let's talk about:

The Fine Print (aka I Fought the Law and the Law Won)
In the first YouTube post, I pointed out that you need a clear copyright if you want to use music in your videos but there are some other legalities that you should think about that are just as important.
1. Use of copyrighted video material. Creating movie or anime music videos (AMVs) is a great way to test your video editing prowess. Unfortunately, posting these videos infringes on the copyright of the creator of the source material. In most cases, YouTube will either give you a warning and pull the video. Worst case scenario: YouTube suspends your account and the original copyright holder sues you. It may sound extreme, but it has happened to several famous YouTube users.
2. Prank videos. Just because they made Johnny Knoxville and company famous doesn't mean that they will make you famous. Do you really want to end up in the emergency room or the back of a squad car over a YouTube video?
3. Hidden camera videos. Unless you have a person's written consent, you should not videotape them. It's legally and ethically wrong. In the case of minors, you must get consent from a parent or guardian.

Get Equipped!
All you need to get started is a video camera, camera phone, still camera with video capability, or webcam. If you don't have any of these at home, you can start your shopping by checking out electronic review sites such as Cnet or even a retailer like Amazon. Read customer reviews in addition to the professional reviews on the site. Also think about the kind of videos that you want to shoot. If you just want to goof around with your friends, a digital camera with video capability might be your best buy. If you want to make professional quality films, then you need to look for a video camera. Decide on the make and model that you want to buy before you go shopping.

You will also need video editing software. Luckily, both Windows and Mac come loaded with some great software. Windows Movie Maker and Mac's iMovie are perfect for beginners. Once you have taken off the training wheels, you might consider one of the Final Cut packages for Mac or Adobe's Premiere for Windows or Mac. There are some online options like JumpCut and Eyespot but most online video editors are pretty weak when compared to their software counterparts.

Get Educated!

Your library has some great books on filmmaking including one expressly for teens! Check out Digital Filmaking for Teens by Peter Shaner and Gerald Everett Jones. You an also find some great DIY (Do It Yourself) videos on YouTube itself. Indy Mogul and Zero Budget have some excellent tips and tricks to turn your ideas into reality.

Get Ready!
You are armed with your camera, your editing software, and your knowledge of video production. In the final post, you will learn how to put it all together, shoot your first video, edit it, and put it on YouTube.

Discovery Exercises
1. If you can, shoot some video and play around with your video editor.
2. Watch some YouTube DIY videos.
3. Think about what kind of video you would like to produce. Do you want to make a music video? Movie? Do you have a special skill that you would like to share with the world in a DIY video?

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