Creating a Video From Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Planning for B-Roll

You know, I've been hammering this already, just using it to tell the story and illustrate key points. This is where we kinda lean on notes from the interview. I took mental notes as he was speaking. He talked about when you walk in, so I knew I needed to get one of those shots. He talked about rollin' around, so I wanted to make sure I got some of that stuff. He talked about different disciplines in the way of fighting, so I wanted to show more than just people punching each other. I wanted to show maybe some jiu jitsu or some wrestling or something like that to kind of show the breadth of what they did. Identifying actions is super important. What is it that drives this gym? Because remember what I said earlier today, right? I said there isn't much in the gym that's interesting. I can't just take a shot of something like a punching bag and expect that to be compelling. The story's about the people in the gym, so the people in the gym have to be in B-roll, right? That had to be a dire...

ctive decision for me. Someone else may have not done that. I think that I did the best job I could going in, knowing what I new, but maybe someone else would take a completely different direction, and that is the beauty of this whole thing. Just because I did it a certain way doesn't mean that it should be done that way, and I think when we look at the final edit we can critique it, we can review it, and we can take a look and go, you know what? It may have been better to do it in this other direction, and kind of do that assessment. Do that self-assessment. And right here, actions driving B-roll, what I mean by an action is finding something that can be definitively determined as a beginning, a middle, and an end. Opening mail is an action, right? Putting on shoes is an action. In the case of this gym, guys flyin' around each other are actions. It's great, and to that point, you can do a lot in camera to help emphasize feeling a mood. So what you can do is flip your shutter speed up to capture more, faster action to kinda make it feel faster. So in some instances I captured some of the more experienced athletes at a faster shutter speed, and that gave them the sense that they were just moving lightning fast. But for some of the lesser experienced novices, I captured at my standard 50th of a second because I want people to relate to the footage. So, if I'm new to this and I saw a novice flying around like they were Rambo, that would be intimidating to me, and so I purposely capture different people at different shutter speeds to help convey different emotions. And maybe it paid off, maybe it didn't, but I think what it does is it, for me, helps me continually be focused on the content that I'm creating and delivering out. So that's just something that as I was capturing the content I was like, oh gosh, I should flip. And these are things that you learn throughout the process of doing this that you realize, oh, emotions should be captured at this faster shutter speed just because I want this effect, but I can also capture emotion at this shutter speed to convey this other effect. So it's something that you'll gain experience in and you'll gain as you kind of do this own thing, but hopefully that little nugget will allow you to kind of leapfrog and get further along the road when you get kind of actually start to do this kinda stuff. Last thing is getting the same thing from different angles. A lot of times that is really what really nails it for a lot of people. You can get someone pouring a glass of milk from here, you can get it from front, left, right, top, from their perspective. As you do these things... Now, I'm kind of... I was kind of limited here. I couldn't get in there and be like, yo, I'm gonna stack a GoPro on myself and let's do this, but... I could have strapped a GoPro to somebody. I could have done these things, but I think that would've been disruptive, and again from the perspective of my interpretation of the shoot, I wanted to give it the feeling that... for people who hadn't been there the first time. So, for me, if I would've strapped a GoPro onto somebody, that would be too real, and what if that was uncomfortable for them, what if they didn't want to do that? So always looking back towards who your viewer's going to be and who that person that's watching your film is gonna be so that you can truly hone in that message and deliver a piece of content that's truly gonna be... It's gonna move the needle for that person. It'll move the needle for that business. Question? How do you balance your B-roll to your A-roll? Good question. It's how do I balance my B-roll to my A-roll? So, it's funny, you don't. You don't. There isn't a magic formula to balancing B-roll in an edit. The way that I edit: I get all of my interview into the timeline, I clean it up, meaning I get all those gaps out of the way, where it's like, I'm asking the question, he's responding. So I clean out all those gaps, and then I have manageable statements. So then what I do is I start putting all of my footage together on my timeline that's gonna be... Okay, here's my statement, and I start cutting it and cutting it and cutting it and cutting it. And then when it comes to B-roll, I listen to the end... I listen to my final statement, my final narrative, and then I try to find footage that will fit that narrative. It's a gold mine search. It's like whack-a-mole. So I'm listening and he goes, oh, when you step into this gym. Okay, I've got a piece of footage like that. I'm gonna take that, boom! It's like, oh, there's a lot of diversity in this gym. Oh, cool! Person, girl, guy, person, boom, done, and I start just grabbing clips and just dragging them to the timeline. I'm not even putting them in place yet, I'm just dragging. Drag, drag, drag, drag, drag. Just get the clips that I think one, would fit the edit, and then two, are just visually interesting to me. Things that are visually interesting because, as someone who is visual, I'm like, okay, well that could be cool, than could be cool, and then they have a bin of just B-roll clips that I think make the cut. So as I review B-roll it's like, okay, cool. In, out, drag. Oh, in, out, drag, in, out, drag, and I'm just dragging to the timeline. It's free, guys. It's free, just keep dragging. And then what you do is just go, and you're like, okay, cool. Will this work? No, it doesn't. Will this work? No, it doesn't, and you start deleting right away. So there isn't a balance. There isn't a set number of oh, here's how much should go to B-roll. I think what it is is once you get a feel for the flow of an edit, that's when you know there's too much or too little B-roll. I remember I thought I was done and then I felt the edit just slow down, and I was like, oh, I need more here. Boom, put more stuff in, and I was like, oh, this is better. And then I started to fine tune all of it too because when you start adding a soundtrack, when you start doing all that other stuff that helps elevate the quality of your B-roll, then you're kind of almost in that moment. So as we talk about recording from different angles, try to find actions that can be recorded, but this is a really great way to move an edit along. If you guys remember the first first video I showed you, there were multiple angles of that person pulling up the print out of the print washer and multiple angles of them putting the print away. Don't rest until you absolutely positively have recorded the every angle of every action that you can because that is really what's gonna drive you forward because we, unfortunately, live in a very very ADD mentality where we can't pay attention for longer than a few seconds. And I know the way of editing now has slowed down and we're taking longer moments between cuts, but we're still in the way of short form editing. Much more in tune to the rapid fire cutting so that we can see more and spend less time. I think that is what we really have to pay attention to. So, how am I doing? You know B-roll, right? I mean, you never thought you could spend this much time talking about B-roll. When I was a photographer in San Diego, one of my friends, Chris, came along on all the shoots 'cause we had a business together. He was the videographer and my other friend, Chris, yeah, we're two Chrises, my other friend Chris was the other owner and I was the other owner, and we kinda had this business that was... It was hilarious, it was so college and so young. We were just shooting pictures out of the back of a truck, basically, and we'd roll up and it'd be me and Chris and Chris in a Foreigner. We'd load out with the gear and Chris would be like... The videographer Chris, he would follow us around all day, and I'm like, dude, what are you doing? You could've left hours ago. He's like, man, B-roll. What are you talking about? He's like, every time you guys do something different, that's something that I can add into the edit that makes this edit different. And that really clued me in, even before ever I started doing video, of how important B-roll is. Because he could've walked away after the ceremony, right? He could've been done, but he stayed throughout the entire day so that he could capture all those little nuggets of motion that we could put into a video, and then, then he was done. So you're not doing less work as a videographer. You're doing the same amount of work that you would do as a photographer, and that's kind of the beauty of it is as photographers we put in such long hours already. We already put in so much passion and sweat and tears into Photoshop, so what's putting sweat and tears into learning the ins and outs of Premier or Da Vinci. We've already done it. We've done it once, let's just do it again. Come on, just strap it up and go. Let's go.

"A tumultuous amount of technique and process info given by Victor in this class. Just wonderful. Well done." - Michael UK

Creating a film or video is a decision-making process from beginning to end. From what type of story you want to create, where to film, how to capture audio, editing your story together - the entire process can be overwhelming and confusing. Victor Ha will make this process attainable by laying out the foundation to set yourself up for success in the planning and pre-production phases. Victor will show you how effective planning can make your shoot and edit faster and easier. Understanding this workflow and adding video to your portfolio can increase your business and expand your creative offerings. In this class, Victor will cover:

  • Pre-production techniques like creating shot lists and shoot schedules 
  • How to use your DSLR to capture video 
  • Capturing the right footage for the edit 
  • How to piece together a rough cut in Adobe Premiere Pro CC 
  • Producing multiple pieces from one shoot 
This class will take you step by step from concept to completion so that you can begin creating films with your clients and friends within 48 hours.

"Love this class! Victor really knows how to break things to simple language so you understand and retain. He also teaches you all the fundamentals before you ever fire up your camera. Victor is Ha-mazing!" - Jerry Suhrstedt



  • m'k? ok? k? right? As others have said victor has lots of energy and lots of good stuff going on - but there are some really irritating ticks in this one making many sections of these vids almost unwatchable: after just about any explanatory statement - especially where it seems Victor is less sure of the technical rationale - he concludes each observation with an "ok?" and then leaps into the next sentence. On waveforms and scopes (vid 8) for example: we start with a discussion of an Atamos monitor " tells me how saturated i am in relation to that center point, ok? These are things that may be so daunting and scary [???] when you look at it, when you talk about it, but again, i didn't know about these three years ago and i was still doing content. I'm only telling you about this now because i think it's important for you to learn about what we call waveforms and scopes, ok? So waveform: confusing. Really really confusing, ok? [!!!?????} But it's a great way to check yourself on set, ok? Because there's things sometimes [hand waving gestures] we just don't know where we're at and we just have to check the overall scene value, as opposed to the exposure of a person, ok? So... And then at the end of the next run through this rather large if unmotivated section he asks "any questions"? here's where John Grengo would run a short exercise to see how folks were processing the information just imparted. It's not inspiring confidence, either, is it, to start by assuming /asserting that a concept is confusing - especially before it's been introduced. It suggests that it's still confusing for the instructor. The rest of this section continues in this way: with the ok's and concept jumps - by the end of the section, somehow the monitor as gear has entirely disappeared and we end up in adobe premier, and da vinci "Bring these values down in production - not in post" though, victor asserts How? with what? Victor doesn't make the connection between how the Atamos makes this "in production" adjustment possible (does it? i'm guessing) - or what the tradeoff is IN doing this adjustment in post - with the tools premier or davinci has with its various scopes. "Did you guys understand the concept there? i see some heads nodding. I love teaching: this is great." Actually, no, it's not clear that people really get this: so how about a scenario to test what to do to see if people get it? But really how about finishing the discussion about the monitor? We then get into vectorscopses (Victor doesn't distinguish between vectorscope as the tool and the chart generated by the scope - or why "vectors" vs any other kind of representation) we're then presented with a chart from the scope -but not the image from which the graph is generated - so we have no visual reference for an image that is "hue shifted, ok?" vs. not hue shifted. "the further the colors are away from center the more SATURATION you have. How cool is this tool" - how about showing an example of such an image? Still looking at this chart we learn: "You can immediately tell that your blues are oversaturated and shifted in hue, right?" - Again, seeing the image to map to this chart would have helped understand what was being asserted. "you show the chart, BOOM, perfect white balance" - YOu show the chart to what? when? "everything is on vector except the green that is slightly shifted" On vector? What is that? "Use this target in post" - Now we're talking post again. What happened to do this in production? So if post can do this and Davinci 12.5 is "free" - why buy the monitor? What we still don't know: the role/value of the monitor that has a vectorscope - where "vectorcsope wil save you" - which one? monitor or post? Kind of a big hole when that's a piece of kit well over a grand. How many students are going to go add a 1300 piece of gear to their camera for doing corporate profiles? how crucial is it? Plainly Victor is excited about it, and it may be fantastic. Intriguingly when talking about the monitors - esp the less expensive of the two Atamos models, he doesn't talk about why else one might want one - what the 4:2:2 ratios they offer mean (perhaps head to Ryan Connolly's Guerilla Filmmaking for that) How does this massive section end? Clean your sensors; have a monopod; bring a white card and light meter. What?? I'm sorry there's only a thumbs up or thumbs down for this rather than some kind of scoring. it sounds like i'm slashing this. I'm not. But there are some basics that would make this material even more effective and accessible. - Mr. Ha could watch himself on video to see all the "ok's" and work to kill them - they seem to be a sign of nervousness lack of clarity /confidence as shown in this section. - When going through (for photographer concepts) use more images - he has lots of example vids in his first course - same thing needed here. - use example scenarios a la grengo (and good teachers everywhere) to test a concept rather than saying "any quesitons?" and feeling validated from head nodding. - complete the circle: if talking about gear - talk about the gear before skipping into a new concept. I still have no sense from this of whether or not these monitors have real value - should be on the list ahead of a new camera body or glass - or are just treats if you have everything else. Again, lots of useful material; the course is worth it for the grounded progressions through the cycle of video crafting, but if you can only afford one vid course in the Victor Ha set, the HDSLR basics is a better organised, illustrated and presented course.
  • Victor is an incredible instructor, clearly passionate about teaching videography to photographers. His teaching style is engaging and energetic, and the content is interesting and useful. I was very fortunate to be part of the audience for this course.
  • Victor is a wonderful, knowledgeable and enthusiastic teacher - I learned so much. Thank you.