Filming gadgets for begginers

What I have been buying and what I have been producing with the equipment.

1172 words

*this is not publicity- I’m not getting any commission on any these products. These are my personal recommendations.

One thing that has been constant thing in my life is creating stuff. My brain works in different ways and I’m always trying to get all the things done, even though I don’t have time for it. Or at at least not all the time I would like to have. Again, this time around we have way too many distractions to get things done in a timely manner.

During Creative Writing school, I had a chance to film and edit a few of the content I was writing for. Tipping my toe in those waters, only make me want to go further. Last year, I apply for Film school here in Denver, but couldn’t take any credits out from the previous degree, so that also made me thing If I would take another two years to dedicate myself to something, when I could perfectly try to work on that on my own.

The idea of compromising with school again, at the age of 36, knowing what I know about schooling system here in America, was not an option anymore. I started then, gathering information from different Youtube Channels, that could mentor me into filming, without getting another 30k in debt.

It hasn’t been easy. I guess the worst part for me is still the editing. I enjoy editing, I just can’t find enough time to do it. I took some classes on SkillShare, and got most of it done, but Adobe Premier Pro is chaotic software for beginners. True to be told is, I do everything by myself. I’m just now learning how to plan on how to get my content organized in a way that it won’t get lost, or take forever to get it done.

Rule number one : Get a planner.

Last October, when I got my GoPro Hero 9, I found out about a website called www.wish.com . The first thing I bought was an extension pole. People use to film with their GoPro adventures and it was one of the Youtube Channels I subscribed advised me to get it. It was about 13 dollars and it would get here in about 30 days, or less.

My biggest problem was: the item I bought got here on time and I started collecting points to bet discount on different purchases. I’m a sucker for collecting points. Wish 1 X Amazon 0

From that point on, I check on Amazon first, check the urgency of what I need, then proceed to get it on Wish (and collect my points). I’m don’t have any rush to get the products, since I’m still a beginner and I’m testing out what works better for my filming or not. My biggest obsession so far has been lighting equipment.  I hate poor lighting as I had poor audio.

Here is the list of some equipment I have been buying to start my own channel. 

Portable Lights.

Rechargeable LED Photography Light with Battery on Camera Video Light for Youtube Facebook Blog Live Stream –  on Wish.com

A portable light that works like a Stadium lights. They are tiny but powerful. The first one I bought I got it on Rory Lights, and I pay 3x the amount for the same light I found on Wish, a year later. The difference is that the Rory Lights comes in a nice branding box, with some colorful filters.  You could charge it and it will last for about 3 hours. I tested in one of my friends private party, when the electric in the house we were vanished, the portable light saved us, even though this is not its main purpose.

The portable Tripod:

Portable Tripod for phone

The portable Tripod. I bought it on Amazon and the phone adapter I can’t remember where I got it. Its been a while, I guess this was technically my first purchase of all and I use it to make Stories on Instagram on my desk.  The Tripod costs about $10 on Amazon and the phone adapter about $2,00 on Wish.

GoPro Hero 9

Action Camera

GoPro Action camera deserves an entire stand alone blog post. People have been using the GoPro for travel content for quite some time now and I don’t want to lose this wagon. Its tiny, portable, the resolutions for filming are 5k and it comes with an app, QuickPro that sends the footage straight to your phone via WiFi.  It’s a little bit more of an investment, actually a way more than what we would like to pay, but its totally worth it, if you are looking for a reliable action camera.

DeadCat Microphone

Microphone

 Universal Video Microphone with Shock Mount, Deadcat Windscreen. I used it a few times and it works really well. If you have an Iphone, you have to get an adapter, to film it on the phone. It works well with DSLR cameras. 

Wireless Lavalier Microphone Portable Audio 

Wireless Lavalier Microphone Portable Audio was my latest purchases. I used to record a campaign video for my best friend and it worked well. It costed about $9,00 on Wish and it for here in 3 weeks.

Mount Cage.

Mount Cage

Another trial and error one with this one. It works great to put all the equipment together, like the lights and the microphone and it also can be placed on the tripod,  as you can see on the picture below.

The Tripod

Tripod

Josh gave me this tripod about 7 years ago, when I started to push my photography projects. I use it often, mostly to get stable shots around the house, when I’m taking photos of myself for the blog. Just like the one from the land page. I keep everything mounted in my office to film the content I have been working on.

I’m a newbie when it comes to film content. I have been doing for years, but only now I’m being able to get the quality I want. As I found out that I don’t need a lot of money to get the equipment, I’ve been picking what I think it works best.

Don’t let yourself  been pulled away of doing something , because you think you need Hollywood type of equipment to get it done. We all start from somewhere and in the end it all becomes a good story to be told when we are old sitting on a rocking chair on a porch.

On the next post, I’m going to write about the software I’ve been using.

I tested out all the equipment at once, except I used my phone instead of the GoPro. I’m talking in my native language, Portuguese, because the channel will be about my life here in America. I’m also working on the subtitles.

Keep trying, keep failing, keep creating.

If you have any suggestions about the tools you use on your blog/channel I would love to know! Let me know in the comments what kind of equipment do you use to film your content!

Here is a coupon if you want to try Wish – cwmkvbfb 

JSnelly

 

Writing Contest and the Creative Bankruptcy

 

Do you know when you have the perfect writing piece in your head, just right before falling asleep? At that moment, when you have a great idea and it seems like your blog post planned for the next morning is ready in your mind and when you wake it vanishes? That happened to me last night.

I woke up this morning and nothing came to mind about the post, except a few eloquent words that surprised even me. The only thing I remember from before falling asleep was the term “Creative Bankruptcy”. Stay with me a little longer and see if what I’m thinking about it makes sense.

Creative Bankruptcy

Have you ever participated in one of the Writing contests across different platforms? I did and after much thinking about it, I concluded that it all might be a scam to seed ideas. Have you ever thought that the paid ones, you might be paying someone with more influence than you, to steal your ideas and present them as like it was theirs?

jakob-owens-CiUR8zISX60-unsplash 

I’ve seen some people complaining on Twitter, and I don’t mean the random kid in a basement in Ohio, who writes about robots and zombies. I mean people that have some experience with the industry.

A few months ago, I read someone saying that they have been trying to pitch this script for a long time, only to find out, someone with more influence, just twerk some things on the plot and presented it as theirs.

Don’t pitch your ideas to random people

I was furious. That’s when I started to think about the Writing Contests and Creative Writing Schools, like Full Sail, that I graduated from a few years ago.

Full Sail has great teachers and very knowledgeable people. My only problem was with some of them who insisted that they had that type of influence in Hollywood.

That they could either find you a job or between the lines sell your ideas for their producer friend. Here is why I say that.

One of my Writing for TV teachers had worked in Hollywood for a great amount of time. He constantly said that he was one of the judges of the Emmy and he knew a lot of people. We get that. So in his class, we were given a few options to choose a TV show to write a spec script for, during the 4 weeks of class. My choice was Brooklyn 99.

Brooklyn 99 it is!

The show is amazing and if I had to dive in headfirst on something, for 4 weeks, it had to be something I’d enjoy watching. I started to study the characters, their story arc, why the series creator, writers, and producers had in mind when they created certain episodes.

I study it deeply. First, because I would love to be a tv writer, and second it was my chance to show I was good at something, for once.

After the first week’s assignment, I got a C-. When I asked him what was wrong, he simply told me “I know Dan, he is the show’s creator and he would never use that.”

The same teacher called me on the phone on a Thursday, to change the 3 acts completely. I had to skip work because that part of the assignment was due that Friday at midnight. I spent the entire day, exhaustingly working on it. I still got a C.

Maybe I was very in sync with the show, maybe my spec idea was passed on.

A few months forward when the new season of the show started some of the ideas I input on the spec was on the episode. Maybe I was very in sync with the show, maybe my spec was passed on. We might never know. I don’t think Full Sail will have control over that. No one has. We can have the same ideas, you might just be more prone to get it done than me. Or know the right people.

Last year when I participated in the Nickelodeon Writing contest I was pretty confident I was gonna place. I had to write a spec and an original comedy piece.

The spec I chose was Pen15, which was easier to write because I lived in the same era as the characters. The year 2000. Since I had two scripts to write in 4 weeks, I had to rush. It took me 3 weeks to write the Pen15 spec and 3 days to write my original since it was based on my life.

We can use your ideas, and you won’t have how to prove it was yours. Ever.

Once I had everything ready and before submitting the scripts, I had to sign a term, that I give Viacom all the rights, and any ideas they used that look like yours, are mere coincidence. What I understood was: We can use your ideas, and you won’t have how to prove it was yours. Ever. We have your release form.

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash 

That gave me chills on my spine. If you use my ideas, at least give me credit for it. Or pay me for a coffee. Something. Before hitting the submitting button, I paced around the house.

Pouring rain, with trees shaking with the wind and the power about to go out. I looked at the window and thought to myself “Maybe I will see this show with someone else’s name on it and pressed the submit button.

Doogie Howser MD.

Back in my writing school days, one of my first assignments was to write a spec or a new version of Doogie Howser MD. I wrote about Doogies Kids, who had the same intelligence as him, and they were twins, a boy, and a girl.

Fast forward a few years, Disney+ comes with a new version of the show. It aches my heart just to think that they might have received my spec and once again, their experience and influence, which I don’t have, made it better and sold the idea I created. Creative Writing School For the Entertainment Business sounds a bit sketchy by now.

I’m not saying by any means that someone stole my idea at school, but I wonder how many people from the same school or others, think about the possibility of that situation happening too.

That’s one of the reasons why I think these contests are what I call a Creative Bankrupt. A term I heard on youtube while a filmmaker was talking about the entertainment industry and how creativity is only to make money, and not for entertainment purposes anymore.

They will make the tones of money, while you were snatched with 70 dollars for your idea

My thoughts on that are: You have a great idea and you paid to be in a contest, they tell you you need to work on this and that (if you pay the higher fee, for feedback) and you might be giving this person an idea that it will make the tones of money, while you were snatched with 70 dollars.

Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

I’m not saying it’s not worth it. It depends on every person, I participated in the free ones, even though I learned to read the fine lines before submitting. Everyone should do as they wish. Contests are fun and they give you a good idea of timing to work on a project. But like everything else, it’s all about the money and business.

They don’t want to invest in projects they don’t know if they will ever get the money back. That’s why we also have an array of The Rock movies, Marvel, and 17 seasons of Grey’s anatomy. We always see the same people, movie after movie and tv shows that raised this new generation.

It’s always the same people, with the same movie over and over.

That’s why it is probably so hard to break into the industry. It’s been corrupted for God knows how long. I believe youtube is the best way to break in for creators. I’m putting all my eggs in that basket now.

You do all the hard work, to someone come and steal your idea. That’s rewarding.

 

It would be a great idea to start a spec script company to be used by upcoming filmmakers, like film students and film enthusiasts so everyone would have a chance to have the same opportunity to shine. It’s something I will have to develop still.

Please let me know in the comments if you think your ideas were used by some writing contest or some of your teachers passed your ideas along to someone with more influence in the industry.

Stay Healthy, Stay Sane.

J.G.Snell

A Letter of Encouragement.

A letter of encouragement. For all of us.

Another year comes to a wrap. This year was one for the books, for all of us. We will never forget 2020, for the rest of our lives. Just like that special event, that you keep in your memories, we are going to talk about 2020 forever. It’s not a year we want to forget either. At least I don’t.

This year started promising, I had plans to go back to California to take some workshops, finally, get my drivers license, and maybe, just maybe, start a little production company, where I would write sketches, film it and post them on youtube. Oh! I was going to Disney too, to see a friend from my teenage years. Nothing.

When March 15 hit, I remember seeing that clown on TV, saying everything should be closed because of the Virus, and they wanted to avoid overcrowding the hospital system, so we should all stay home until April. To flatten the curve. Today is December 15. Nobody talks about to flatten the curve anymore.

During this time, I saw restaurants and businesses’ closures. I saw friends losing their jobs, I saw family struggling to get by. Something I also learn during this time is that I’m surrounded by resilient people. People that don’t give up and keep moving. All of them did.

Somehow, we made it work.

In adverse times, we look for better ways to improve our lives. Some of us had finally the time to turn that hobby, that was on the back of the drawer, into a career. We found new ways to sustain ourselves and somehow improve our life quality. I started paying attention to what I eat and how I eat. I’m not very religious, but I took some time of my day to pray and be thankful.

I’m thankful for being alive and healthy. I’m thankful because I finally had the time to pursue my dreams. I have this blog for two years, and only now I had time to dedicate myself to it, put my voice out in the world. To learn about it and to focus on the message I want to spread.

For all the people that lost loved ones, I’m terribly sorry. For the nurses that worked night and day, without seeing the family members and all the stress caused by the endless work, I salute you and appreciate you. The true heroes. Now the vaccine is coming, we lift up our heads again and march to continue our lives. Hugs and physical contact has never been more appreciated than now.

For all the creators that kept us sane!

The awkward creator that lives in me, salute the awkward creator that lives in you!

And for all my friends reading this, a huge imaginary hug from me, and a shout out! We did! We managed 2020 the best way possible! For all the creators out there, I know how hard some days were, but we did it! We are the reason people didn’t lose their minds completely. We are writers, musicians, content creators, video game players, reality tv producers, screenwriters and illustrators. It’s because of us, people could keep their sanity.

So now, when people turned around and say your art/film career doesn’t matter, ask them to read the legislation book for entertainment. Binge-watch the Senate channel.


Enough of throwing shade now.

The endless quarantine didn’t finish with my plans, I just postpone it. I still want to go to California and take the screenwriting workshops, I still plan to go back to Disney, and I still plan to live my life to the fullest. Even if I’m stuck at home for a little longer.

Thank you, 2020.

Thank you 2020 for giving me the chance to know more about myself and not be into the cloud of just surviving another day.

For the first time, I had the chance to appreciate every day as its own, because of the uncertainty of tomorrow. After this year, I will not take anything for granted.

I will make sure to pay attention to my actions and the energy I’m transmitting. Make sure to look up and enjoy the scenery instead of looking down at my phone screen. Dance my weird dance moves and laugh at myself. Let my inner child come out whenever it’s necessary.

Call my parents and tell them I love them and make sure to see them soon. Watch all the Disney movies. I wish you don’t take anything for granted, and you also, had enough time to adjust the sails, like Dolly Parton once told us.

What are your plans after the quarantine is over? Let me know in the comments or on my social media. I complain about it, but I’m always there. Complaining, of course.

See you soon!

Take care and Stay Healthy

J.G.Snelly

What I learned about Blogging in 10 months

We read a lot about how to start a blog, the correct niche, what works, and what doesn’t. What nobody tells you is that the road can be bumpy and it’s not that easy to write and make 10K a month working from home. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it. 

I’m not making money yet, what I’m sharing are a few steps to make it easier, and what I would like to know before I even started it.  

Here are some tips on what worked for me so far.

Choosing the right plan and platform. 

First and far most, choosing the website to host your blog will be a huge deal. I worked with most of it since I have been blogging with different platforms for 14 years. When I started, I used Blogger, which has a simple interface, and it’s easy if you want to test out your content and your niche.

I turned to Wix to host my Portfolio for Creative Writing school and it was chaotic, I couldn’t work with the columns. 

So when I decided to have my website and blog, I got WordPress basic, and once I started seeing a growth in my audience I upgraded to a Business account, that allowed me to choose in a variety of themes, Yost SEO among other important plugins

The niche is the most important aspect. 

When I first started, I had plans to write about my experience as an ESL writer in the USA, who has just graduated with a Creative Writing Degree. It worked while I was at school, but I didn’t have much to say after. I didn’t get any jobs in my field and decided to go full-time blogging. In the meantime, I learned about the audience I wanted to focus on and saw good potential if I stick to the subject. 

In the meantime, I realized that people like reading about: Food, Travel, Functional tips, like moving, adapting, creating, and Trash reality tv shows we all watch. 

Do your research about what you would like to talk about, your audience and what can you write about the subject. If you like Beauty and Fashion, make sure to be on point with what you writing, don’t derail. I do that a lot, as while I write about immigration and how life is here for an outsider, I also talk about the tv shows I enjoy watching.

In the past couple of months, I learned how to focus. My blog is a lifestyle blog and I write about my life here in America as an immigrant, the food I eat, and the places I visit. 

Social media is your friend (some more than others) 

As I’m still learning how to use Pinterest, I’m focusing on learning as the fantastic tool everyone its been telling me it is. Scheduling Pins has been a blessing and Canva is an amazing tool. What its been keeping my audience steady is some Twitter accounts like @usblogsretweet and @allthoseblogs where they do daily sharing threads with blog following and comments. Twitter has been my major traffic tool.

Schedule your pins to save you time. 

 Recently in my extensive research about how to improve the traffic on the blog, I learned about Tailwind. I’m still using the free version, but you can subscribe and schedule up to 400 pins a month. Marketing is what takes most of my time, as I do everything myself. Researching, writing, editing, posting, sharing, making pins, publishing it, tweeting, retweeting, engaging. It’s a full-time job. And only my ego gets paid.  

Participate in blogging groups and engage in social media. 

Being part of blogging groups will help you to stay motivated and learn more about what works or not. You will find out the necessary tools to improve traffic and realize it’s hard for most of us, beginners. I’m a part of a few Facebook Groups like Blogging for beginners and Creative Bloggers, where I receive daily updates on other people’s progress and some people asking the same question I had for the longest time and getting a few different answers.  

Keep a posting schedule. 

When I first started, I was posting once a month. And not sharing with anyone. I had no confidence about what I was writing and didn’t know that it is indeed a business. It’s not a hobby and if you want to succeed, but you will also have to put some time and dedication into it.

Unless you started with a whole team, that you can delegate tasks, so it doesn’t get hard on anyone. You will have to have a schedule and work it like a company to see results like a company. 

Post your own pictures, if possible. 

I’m trying to take photos related to what I’m posting, it’s better for the SEO. Most times, I use free stock image websites like PixalBay and Unsplash. Be careful of copyrights. 

Photo retrieved from Unsplashed

Create a Seo strategy and google analytics.

When you apply for the Business Plan at WordPress, the website offers you the plugin Yoast SEO, to help you to improve your chances to improve your traffic. Google Analytics will help you with extensive information about where your traffic is coming from. 

Don’t believe the hype. It’s hard and it cost money to make the wheel go round.

I have seen plenty of pins on Pinterest on how to grow your income to 10K a month blogging from home. I’m not even close to selling anything on my website, as I’m still applying to affiliated links this week, and the blog its been running for 10 months. I would not know how long it will take for me to make some income. 

Successful people tend to let you know they made it, they just don’t want to tell you the struggle it is. There is no point in being honest. And believe me, their advice is never free. All this free information comes with a course on how to make that money. I understand that it’s a business, but don’t trick me with a Pin that says one thing, and when I got the page, it’s all about your sales. 

What they also don’t tell you, is that you have to invest money in all these tools that they tell you to use. 

Believe in yourself as a random influencer believes in herself. 

I’m too awkward to even try to influence anyone.

First of all, believe in yourself and your content. There is nothing worse than finding a boring blog that says everything the same way the other ten thousand are saying. Be creative, be bold, be loud. I follow some blogs for a few years now, and they all have one thing in common, they are original and have original content. 

One of those is from Molly Yeh https://mynameisyeh.com/ She lives on a farm, cooks, and writes about her simple life, I follow her journey since 2015 and she inspired me a whole lot. Molly got her cook show called Girl Meets Farm, on FoodNetwork and that’s only one example of how far a successful blog can take you if you are true to yourself. 

About two months ago, I worked on a dinner event bachelorette party, with Chef Demeatrie, and the guest was just a super normal girl, who asked to take photos of the table we had just set up. “I’m an influencer”, she said and my mind immediately led me to “Great for you, for believing in yourself” 

I’m not an expert. I keep learning as I go.

My blog is still growing and I’m constantly improving. The steps above are what works to improve my traffic and get noticed. This week I will work on Affiliate marketing and Legal pages to add to my blog. I will let you know how it goes, as I promise I won’t sell classes next week!  

Be Safe! Stay healty!

J.G Snelly

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Exit mobile version
%%footer%%