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Tips on making a good video


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#1

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 17 August 2011 - 08:33 PM

How to make a (GOOD) Minecraft video

Here's a quick little guide on making not just a Minecraft video (lots of those) but...one that's good (not as many).

To preface, I've worked as a reporter (No, I'm not Tom Brokaw), cameraman, video editor and producer.  My work has been featured nationally (in the USA) and internationally as well on major television networks.  I've also dabbled on YouTube and have a few videos with over 100k views and one that's about to hit 250k so I think I know what I'm talking about.

I know a lot of you want to make the next cool YouTube channel and get millions of hits just like Yogscast but before you get ahead of yourselves, I've got a few pointers for everybody.

1. You need a good idea.

You don't need to enlist people into being in your video by filling out convoluted application requests.  You don't need someone to make you a super awesome video intro.  You don't need hot babes (couldn't hurt tho) and explosions.  

You need an idea...a good one.

Your video should be original, creative, inventive, educational, humorous, exciting and entertaining.  The more of those traits you can combine together, the better.

Wait, lemme guess...you have an idea already?  Is it..."Surviving the first night" by any chance?  If so, stop there.  Unless, you're going somewhere different with this we've all seen the ole' make a wood/dirt hut and then maybe start a mineshaft thing.  Also, with the addition of beds and being able to sleep through the night, it's all but pointless.

Original, Creative & Inventive:
If you can come up with an idea for something that hasn't been done before.  This may be hard at this point but do your best to come up with at least some original twist.  Just don't go all "Shyamalan" on us.

It doesn't hurt to get inspiration from others but remember, plagiarizing is usually frowned upon.  On the other hand, don't think that everyone who makes a log cabin or a lamp post is stealing your totally original ideas.

Think outside the square! Do something that hasn't been done before or do it in a new way.  Showcase a new/original mod or come up with novel solutions to problems in Minecraft using simple or complex means.

Also, remember you're not limited to the Minecraft game world.  You can make your own animation, cartoons, artwork or 3D models too!

Educational:
Teach people how to do stuff!  You can probably skip things like surviving the night, making sticks, etc. unless you have a novel way to do it in mind.
Things like redstone creations, making complex buildings, traps, elaborate minecart systems are all things that fall into that category and more likely to get views than something like "Dirt Huts 101".  

Humorous:
Walking into a creeper to get hugs and blowing things up with so much TNT it crashes Minecraft has been done.  Doing something that has been done before but with a funny twist can sometimes work.  Humor is great but again, try to be novel and original with it.  Also, try to appeal to a broad audience and age group with your jokes.

Exciting & Entertaining:
I've seen way too many videos where the player spends two minutes talking about looking for coal, finally finds coal then spends two minutes mining coal.  Don't just wander aimlessly and bore the audience to tears with your mundane observations of the game world.

Your video needs to have a goal or objective, a point or a message.  Before you begin making your video you need to ask yourself what's the point of this video?  What message do I want to convey to the audience?  For instance, a common (but cliche') message in many Minecraft videos might be "Creepers are prone to ruining all your hard work."

2. Prepare!

Ensure that before you start making a video you have all the proper hardware and software needed to make your video.  You should have a half-decent video editing program, a screen-capturing program and if you're narrating or talking you may want to at least "splurge" on a $10 microphone.  Avoid using internal laptop microphones if at all possible.

For roughly $30 you can pick up a copy of Sony's Imagination Studio 2 which comes with audio and video editing software.  Windows Movie Maker or IMovie just don't cut it.  Avoid software with "Easy" in the title.  Also, avoid programs like Pinnacle that have a limit on how many audio and video tracks (layers) you can edit.

If you're wondering how people get Steve or Creepers to do novel things like an animated dance and stuff you can't currently do in-game it's likely they're either using 2D animation software, Garry's Mod (a game popular for making machinima) or 3D modelling software like Blender, 3D Studio Max or Maya.  Of the three, Blender is the only one that's free.  The others will run you thousands of dollars for a license.

If you plan to make in-game machinima you'll also need to prepare a game map and install any mods or other stuff you'll need to make everything work how you want it to.

If you still find you need to recruit other players for your video production when you post about it, give as much information as possible.

If you post something like "Ima make a video!" then "Ima" gonna ignore it along with most other people as well likely.

3. Produce!

Once you've got a great idea and you've prepared you're ready to shoot/create your video, produce it and then publish it!

Don't rely on a team of people to do all the work for you.  If you put out a request for people to do sound, graphics and video editing then ask yourself...what do they need you for?

The Minecraft forums are littered with video application threads where someone wants a team people to do everything for them so can they can slap their name on it and no one has ever even heard of them.

Start small and start simple.  Try making a few good videos on your own to prove to people you're someone they would want to collaborate with and not just some kid who wants to make another "awesome" survive the first night video.

You don't need fancy graphics or 3d logos flying through the air.  You just need...a good idea.

Once you product is finished, you can publish it and promote it.  It's okay to post your video on a few forums but it will be better received if:

-It's not your first post.  Spend a little time on the forum first before blasting everyone with your must see YouTube video.

-You post your video on the proper board and you DON'T DOUBLE/CROSS-POST!

-Don't over-inflate how awesome and life-changing your video is.  Be realistic and don't write a check your video can't cash.

-Be prepared to receive either harsh criticism or such total lack of interest that you get no feedback at all.  When you post it, ask for constructive criticism if possible and be prepared to get non-constructive criticism in return.  The internet is a harsh place my friend.  It's not safe to go alone...

3. Finally...

Finally, I'd like to take a quick look at some Minecraft videos on YouTube that have gotten a bejillion views and how they did it.

"TNT" - A Minecraft Parody of Taio Cruz's Dynamite (10 million+ views)


This is a musical parody of the popular "I throw my hands up in the air sometime..." song, geared towards a Minecraft audience.

If you watch the video there's a lot of cool stuff in this video like a creepers dancing, which was done with Blender, like I mentioned previously.

More to the point though, it's got a basic and simple idea, a Minecraft parody of a popular song.  The video is timed to the music and also makes inventive use of note blocks for the song.  

This is Minecraft (8M+ views)


The video is a simple non-narrative overview of Minecraft, featuring music from C418.  The video was featured on the homepage of Minecraft.net which no doubt is one factor in how many views it got but what makes it stand out is it's creative use of camera angles and panning.

The creator probably (I'm guessing) used 2 players (an actor and a cameraman) and a mod like Single Player Commands to allow flying or possibly a mod that gives you access to a free camera mode.

You will find in order to make most videos like this that until Notch makes Minecraft more machinima friendly you'll probably need two players to pull stuff like this off.  It wouldn't hurt to get a second account.


Minecraft: The Last Minecart (8M+ views)


It's Minecraft...in real life!  Two lone players stage a breakout against the zombie horde!
These guys went all out with this video, costumes, graphics, video effects, actors and cameras.

They used two cameras and multiple cameramen to shoot this with post-production done in After Effects and 3D Studio Max as well as other software.

They may have begged, borrowed or stolen to get all the equipment to produce this video but don't expect to be able to top a production like this in your Mom's basement.

These guys had the resources and the people to pull this off.  You probably don't.  Remember, keep it simple and realistic.  Maybe start off by trying to make your own cardboard costumes and staging a sword fight and if you're ambitious adding some effects later.

Honorable Mentions:

An Honorable mention goes to the scale replica of the U.S.S. Enterprise in Minecraft (7M+ views).  Even though it was imported into Minecraft through a script/program it's still insanely incredible and massively complex.  The creator used a partial model he himself created in Google Sketchup working from blueprints and then imported it into Minecraft.

And another honorable mention goes to the simple but fun and educational Minecraft Rollercoaster. (6M+ views)

So to sum up one more time, get a good idea, keep it simple and don't forget to have fun!  If you're not having fun, we're not either!  Remember these tips and you could be well on your way to getting a million views too but...let's try to break 100 first! :P

Cheers,
NeedsFoodBadly

P.S. Please tell Red Warrior to stop shooting my food. :/

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#2

BackslashN

Posted 17 August 2011 - 09:40 PM

thank you. very good tips. That is exactly what i tried to do with my silverfish video. noone did it before and i thought i'll try to make a ingame video of how the silverfish could look like for people who are interested.


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#3

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:32 AM

View PostBackslashN, on 17 August 2011 - 09:40 PM, said:

thank you. very good tips. That is exactly what i tried to do with my silverfish video. noone did it before and i thought i'll try to make a ingame video of how the silverfish could look like for people who are interested.

That's neat yet...creepy. :P

Real silverfish give me the willies.

#4

cirby88
    cirby88

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:39 AM

What do you think of this I know its not the best but like as a first try at a minecraft skit

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#5

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:01 AM

View Postcirby88, on 18 August 2011 - 02:39 AM, said:

What do you think of this I know its not the best but like as a first try at a minecraft skit

It was mildly entertaining.  It started off alright, trailed off a bit in the middle but I got a kick out of the lava bathing at the end :P

Your youtube channel seems to be doing decent and as an added bonus you don't sound like a chipmunk :P

#6

cirby88
    cirby88

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 05:42 AM

Haha thanks! if your at all interested in my stuff I have a huge project coming soon! I'd love some advice and that and just so comments here is the threads we only have pics up so far but pretty soon we are gonna give a tour of what we have done and then the preview which I could definitely use help with

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#7

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 18 August 2011 - 06:14 AM

View Postcirby88, on 18 August 2011 - 05:42 AM, said:

Haha thanks! if your at all interested in my stuff I have a huge project coming soon! I'd love some advice and that and just so comments here is the threads we only have pics up so far but pretty soon we are gonna give a tour of what we have done and then the preview which I could definitely use help with

Ugh...Roleplaying?  Okay...I'll check it out...but this counts as a solid :P

I guess it's cool as long as you have some fun with it.

#8

LordBlockV
  • Location: Your housssse.....
  • Minecraft: LordBlockV

Posted 18 August 2011 - 08:26 AM

Wow. This looks like it was thought out really well. Do you, by any chance, make YouTube videos? Because if you do, I'd love to see them one day.
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geckonator said:

I'm going to hack bedrock in then surround myself, after hacking infinite armor, and a pumpkin, plus layers of obsidian over the bedrock i am sealed in, so I won't die. *stomach growls* ...NOOOOO

#9

Toilet_Ninja
  • Location: australia
  • Minecraft: Toilet_Ninja

Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:30 AM

Nice, I'm starting to make videos now, and this has really helped. Cheers!
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aw gees

#10

BackslashN

Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

View PostLordBlockV, on 18 August 2011 - 08:26 AM, said:

Do you, by any chance, make YouTube videos?
Did you read his post? In the second paragraph he talks about that.

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#11

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 19 August 2011 - 07:30 PM

View PostLordBlockV, on 18 August 2011 - 08:26 AM, said:

Wow. This looks like it was thought out really well. Do you, by any chance, make YouTube videos? Because if you do, I'd love to see them one day.

Yeah, like I said I dabble on YouTube from time to time.  I've yet to make a Minecraft video, although I plan to in the future but I can tell you as an editor and producer that this guide can apply to pretty much any kind of video you want to make.

#12

vidubzx
    vidubzx

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:27 PM

So yh....if Anyone Wants to Do a Multiplayer Series On a Server...But Can't Find a Server, Or you Do NOT Want to buy one...
You Can Freely use mine :)
IP - 77.111.249.115
Also Add me on Skype, If You Want to <3


- Dubz
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#13

mr_battery
  • Location: Canada
  • Minecraft: batterysex

Posted 20 August 2011 - 05:39 PM

On the subject of ideas, would mind giving my idea a once over?

Concept:
A how-to series containing PRACTICAL implications of redstone circuits. In contrast to my sig I claim not to be the greatest at redstone but I feel a lot of tutorials out there are vague and hard to understand thus mine will feature step by step processes and schematics for every build. This way after each step is explain one will be able to pause directly and not have to worry about missing anything important. I will not have anything overly complicated and some things will just be for looks (like electric indoor lighting) but when I release my "Masterplan" map everything will be open so that players can wander and SEE the circuits and how they work. My channel will also feature other builders who wish to show off either their inventions or just great big masterpieces.

I only have episode 0 up right now, like a teaser. I'm still in the planning stage (episode list and creating downloadable schematics).

Here is episode 0 for your viewing pleasure.

Love your haters, you created them.


#14

vidubzx
    vidubzx

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:29 PM

And Oh...Not Many people write That much for a Forum Post so Congratz :P
Read it all lol

- Dubz
PS : Hope you Enjoy My Server.
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#15

ryansworld10
  • Minecraft: lolzrofl

Posted 24 August 2011 - 03:19 AM

What do you think of these videos I made?
Some are more popular than others, but they are obviously different styles and released at different times.








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#16

FailedToOpen

Posted 24 August 2011 - 03:28 AM

If you're willing to give me feedback on a video I did that would be great!



I like your tips but theres no way these would apply to let's plays... which is sadly all people really ever do of minecraft. It's sad because minecraft can be used as a creative platform, which not many people do.

#17

BackslashN

Posted 24 August 2011 - 06:37 AM

I just finished a new video and want to know what you guys think.
What did i do completly wrong?
What is good?


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#18

NeedsFoodBadly

Posted 27 August 2011 - 06:33 AM

View PostFailedToOpen, on 24 August 2011 - 03:28 AM, said:

If you're willing to give me feedback on a video I did that would be great!

Not a bad video!  Just a simple showcase, with some simple edits.  I think it fulfills it's purpose.  

If you're showcasing a mod or a build, perhaps in future videos you could narrate a little and describe to the viewers what you're showing.

View PostFailedToOpen, on 24 August 2011 - 03:28 AM, said:

I like your tips but theres no way these would apply to let's plays... which is sadly all people really ever do of minecraft. It's sad because minecraft can be used as a creative platform, which not many people do.

Well, even with the Let's Plays people could use a script and could have a goal or objective of some sort.

Nobody wants to watch 99% of those videos, which mainly consist of 2 kids talking to each other and admiring a wooden hut they built for 3 whole minutes.  

And gosh...surviving your first night...no...just no. :/

Unless you have some sort of original angle on something that's been done a bejillion (real number) times then it might be best to skip it.

#19

The_Alpha_Dog

Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:20 PM

View PostBackslashN, on 24 August 2011 - 06:37 AM, said:

I just finished a new video and want to know what you guys think.
What did i do completly wrong?
What is good?



I love it!

#20

ryansworld10
  • Minecraft: lolzrofl

Posted 31 August 2011 - 11:22 PM

Would someone mind looking at my videos?
(read my previous post)

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