Creating a Video From Start to Finish


Lesson Info

Researching the Client

Moving from location, let's talk about researching the client. Now, this is fun for me. I get to learn as much about the client before I meet them, okay? In the same way that I got to read bios of the students attending this class. I got to get to know you guys a little bit, you know? I'm really bad with names, but when someone says, "Oh hey, Real's here," I'm like, "Oh, I read that!" So I have this attachment of learning who you guys are. Some of you guys have quit your jobs to pursue content creation. Some of you guys are passionate about making documentaries. Some of you guys are passionate about doing real estate videos and providing content for other real estate agents. There are things that I listen, and I read, that I was like, "Oh, wow." Some of you are travelers, bloggers, you know? These are things that really get me going, because it gets me excited, okay? So, when you take time to research a client, it will allow you to really step in their shoes for a little bit and unders...

tand what their day-to-day is like. So, who is the client today? That's the first question you've got to ask. Who are they today? So I went to the website. Ivan Salaverry, MMA, that's Ivan there. It's just a basic website, talks to you about what they do, how they do it, Northwest premiere. So it's a mixed martial arts gym, it's an MMA gym, it looks to be like, you know, all ages, you know, there's like, girls there, so it's pretty diverse, okay? Just from looking at the home page. Next thing is, let's take a look deeper. What do they say about themselves? What do they say about themselves? Home of Team Ivan, a Seattle-based mixed martial arts competitive team, led by UFC veteran Ivan Salaverry. I kind of latched onto this, right? I kind of latched onto this little bit: big to small, young and old, a complete novice to seasoned pros. That kind of, like, spoke to me a little bit, as something that I typically don't see when it comes to an MMA gym, inclusiveness, right? Usually, they're pretty exclusive, so that kind of clued me in a little bit to what the direction of their gym could go, and informed the questions that I was gonna write. Any and all skill, fitness, and athletic levels are welcome and supported here at ISMMA. So, just by doing a quick look, alright, and then, what I'm not showing here are the reviews that I found about the space. They got a 4.9 out of five, in terms of their customer service, in terms of the experience there. And that really spoke to me, people are reviewing them really, really well. So, that's kind of things that I researched and kind of tried to figure out. So then there's a, you know, a whole thing here about Ivan and his gym, and him. So this comes to the question, like, where do they want to be tomorrow? 'Cause this is who he was, or who he thought he was, when he started this gym, and I think this gym right now is 10 years old. This gym is 10 years old now, so you read here and, you know, I think when a business first starts, they have to lean on the experience of the owner, right? I'm starting this new business, I've got wealth of knowledge in this thing I'm starting a business on, you should come to me because I have this knowledge. It's a very, very traditional way of starting a marketing message about a business. And it's worked time and time again. Hey, I've come from this space, I have an intimate knowledge of this space, come to me so I can teach you about this space, right? That's like, just education. It's very, very organic in that sense. You want to learn from the expert. But as time moves on, as technology changes, as technique changes, you can't say anymore, hey, I came from this space, I am an expert in this space. Think about it, I graduated college in 2008. And for me to think that my college degree is beneficial and relevant now, with all of the new advances in technology, all the new advances in social media, in communication, I was a Sociology major. So understanding all the new dynamics in social construction and subcultures and that stuff, I have no understanding of the present-day development of subcultures in America because I haven't learned it. So I can't say, well yeah, I was a Soci major, so I know this. Yeah, I know basic sociology and how it applies to the concepts that are happening today, but somebody coming out of school has much more leverage, has much more understanding and intimate awareness. So at some point, he's gonna have to change his message. At some point, he can't be the expert anymore; he has to be a place where people come to become experts, okay? So that's where you ask the question, who will they be tomorrow? And when you ask the question of who will they be tomorrow, what is the expanded mission statement? Their mission statement was, "We're a gym. We're the premiere gym, blah blah blah." The expanded mission statement is that other block of text that I saw: young and old, all levels, skills. So now I'm thinking what this piece can become, okay? Do they have an expanding customer base? I think so, just looking at their website, right? However, I'm assuming they have an existing clientele that we can't alienate, right? If I'm, like, a true MMA fighter, I do not want to go to a gym that I feel like cannot advance me and my skills. So we have to be considerate of his history. If you abandon the history full sale, and go towards the new customer, you've sold out, in their opinion, right? So we have a responsibility to the older clientele. We have a responsibility to Ivan. We have a responsibility to their history, and we have to acknowledge that history, but also look forward, because in looking forward, we're providing a future proof to the business. These are all the things you're thinking about. And this last most important thing is, the film must remain authentic. Authentic in the way that Ivan is, and you can't get that until you speak to him, okay? That's just a note to say, hey, I've got a huge task ahead of me, I've got a lot going on. I need to create a piece where I'm not alienating their history, I'm looking towards an expanding customer base, and I'm focusing on an expanded mission. This is pre-production. This, right here, is pre-production. Thinking about the story you're going to tell, and thinking about what elements you're gonna be needing to bring up when you meet the client face to face. So as you look at this, who are they gonna be tomorrow, this is Seattle. You think I'm crazy, no, I'm looking where they are, and then a quick Google search of MMA gyms pops up, like, six different gyms within a 10-mile radius. Right? You have to do your homework here, because they're relying upon you to help them differentiate themselves from the other competitors that are coming into the space. And this space, in particular, is so important because 10 years ago, it wasn't the way it is now. You know? Just talking to Ivan and talking to people who live in and around this area, it's exploded over the past 10 years in terms of development, in terms of new population, in terms of demographics, it's completely changed. So in order for him to be relevant in this area, we have to also speak to this area, okay? So this is what I mean by research. This is what I mean by putting in the time. This is what I mean by, like, taking a second to really, truly, fully understand your client before you step into the room with them. And it takes time. It takes a lot of time. And if you don't have it, make it, okay? Because this will help you become so much better. And again, haven't even touched that stuff yet, right? Don't touch it, not yet, we're not even there yet. So now, here's what I ask myself internally: what are they missing from their story? They've got a whole lot of "what," they have a whole lot of, they have a whole lot of "what," and what does that mean? Well, they say what they do, they say what you're gonna learn, they say what's it for, and they say what will happen if you stick with it, okay? That's every gym. Think of any other gym. You're gonna come in here, you're gonna do a circuit training, you're gonna come in at nine, you're gonna put your shoes on, you know, the da da da da da, and when you stick with us, you're gonna be awesome. They have a whole lot of "how." They tell you how you're gonna learn, how they'll teach, and then, how you will benefit. Again, same thing. What are they missing? You already know it, they don't have a lot of "why." I want to be a part of a culture. I want to step into a place where I have an ability to really reach people and be a part of a family, okay? So, why is this important to them? Why do they do this? Why do they care? And the story is not about his fight career. That's gone, it's been done, it's 10 years ago. This story could potentially be about why he chooses to coach, and what inspires his desire to instill knowledge in others. This is a story about what drives his passion and why he loves this sport. That's my interpretation. That interpretation needs to be able to change, but that's my interpretation going in, which drives the question, okay? Kind of expanding on that, I think it might also be important, maybe you're gonna get into this, about his customer, his target audience, and what do they get out of the deal? Right. So bringing in, you know, his information about why, but also talking about why they should be part of his business. And I think that that answer comes as a byproduct of answering why he does something. 'Cause you always get what someone's gonna get after you kind of first ask those few questions, okay? Well anyway, moving on, how do you research the competition? Because, how are they communicating? What can you do to differentiate? And don't waste time. You don't want to spend a lot of time researching the competition. And in my brief study of researching the competition, they have a different focus, a different message, but they're trying to reach the same customer, okay? Their message and their focus is like, "You'll be fast and strong," you know? Whereas Ivan's is like, inclusive. Come be a part. So there immediately, I found a major difference. And it's really, really quick. So as we kind of do this, let's talk about making our shoot easier. Don't make it about the equipment. That's a typo. Don't test the equipment on your shoot. I thought it said something else. Anyway, keep it simple and build on prior successes. So, when you guys take a look later, I had a rig on this thing. I stripped it down to show you that I could still capture everything I captured on this setup. I don't need a lot of equipment. Equipment makes it easier once you learn the equipment. And once you've used a shoot with a certain part of equipment, add things and layer equipment on as you 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.