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Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 6 of 37

Researching the Client


Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Lesson 6 of 37

Researching the Client


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.

Class Description


  • Confidently make a movie from start to finish
  • Expand your photography skills to motion pictures
  • Tackle pre-production and post-production essentials
  • Capture video and audio expertly
  • Edit in Adobe Premiere Pro and Audition


Photography and videography have several things in common -- but what about factors like audio and telling a story using video editing? In this filmmaking class designed for photographers, learn how to use the DSLR or mirrorless camera that you already have to capture high-end videos. In this start-to-finish course, you'll master everything from planning to post-production. The goal of the class is to teach anyone how to create a video from start to finish.

Dive into video production from the planning and pre-production phase, where you'll learn how to choose an idea, scope out locations, research the client, and more. Jump into video gear -- and what's really necessary on a low-budget -- and learn the essential filmmaking tips for recording. Discover how to capture excellent audio and tackle those B-Roll shots.

But this filmmaking course doesn't just teach you how to use editing software -- you'll learn the editing process, start to finish, from storyboarding to exporting. Work in Adobe Premiere Pro to perfect your footage and Adobe Audition to fine-tune that audio. Tweak color in DaVinci Resolve. Add soundtracks, titles, and keyframes. Then, finalize and export your project.


  • Photographers eager to add motion pictures to their repertoire
  • Beginner filmmakers
  • Self-taught filmmakers ready for additional insight

SOFTWARE USED: Adobe Audition, Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve


Previously a photographer, Victor Ha is now a filmmaker. His experience working with both stills and motion pictures helps him guide other photographers through the same process, from photo to video. He's known for his straightforward, practical teaching style that's easy to follow along with.


  1. Class Introduction

    In the first lesson, meet your instructor and learn what to expect during the class. Know what's up ahead by pinpointing the goals for this class at each production stage.

  2. Putting Ideas Into Motion

    Start the filmmaking process with an idea. Learn how to flesh out ideas and turn them into successful projects.

  3. Client Profiles

    Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

  4. Choosing Your Subject

    Video projects start with a subject -- but just how do you choose? In this lesson, Victor discusses how to narrow down your ideas to choose the best one.

  5. Scouting Locations

    Part of the planning process is scouting out different locations, an essential part of pre-production. Learn what to look for when scouting out different locations and how to spot good camera angles. Then, work with that information as you prep for shooting.

  6. Researching the Client

    Understanding the client -- and what they are looking for in a video -- sets the stage for a successful video project. Learn how to research your client and the essential pre-production questions to ask.

  7. Choosing Equipment

    You don't need an elaborate amount of gear to shoot video -- Victor goes through the essentials for video, and how that list may change for different products.

  8. Waveforms and Scopes

    Waveform monitors show a visual of the video's exposure. Using waveforms along with vectorscopes can help you get the best results in camera as you shoot. While confusing at first, these tools offer big advantages on set.

  9. Shooting Strategy

    Build a strategy to organize those thoughts from pre-production and create a shooting schedule for the project. Incorporate these factors into a shooting strategy for success.

  10. Interview: Setting Up for Success

    The interview is an essential style for filmmaking. In this lesson, learn how to set up an interview for the best results, including audio suggestions and pitfalls to avoid.

  11. Prepping for the Interview

    Before you head into the interview, have a list of questions -- and practice asking them. Master the essentials for interview prep, including research.

  12. Capturing Audio

    Video and audio go hand-in-hand. Gain tips for capturing the best audio for your video, from dual system sound and setting levels to working with audio gear.

  13. Capturing Room Tone

    By recording the ambient noise in the room, unwanted background noise is easier to edit out. Learn how to capture the room tone and tricks to create better audio by adjusting the room.

  14. Audio Q&A

    Audio is scary stuff -- learn from the most frequently asked questions from students like you.

  15. B-Roll: 3 to 1 ratio

    B-Roll is supporting footage for your video, helping to add interest and fill gaps. In this lesson, learn why B-Roll is important -- and how much you need to shoot.

  16. Planning for B-Roll

    B-Roll should help tell your story -- so what should you capture, especially when the scene doesn't seem so interesting? Find out how to plan for B-Roll and ideas for the most interesting shots.

  17. 5 Rules to Capturing B-roll

    Use these guidelines to capture better B-Roll for your project, from gear tips to determining what's important.

  18. Using B-Roll to Shape an Edit

    B-Roll is secondary footage -- learn how to tackle video editing with B-Roll in mind. Then, jump into editing with Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.

  19. Introduction to Footage Review

    After recording, you may have hours of footage -- how do you decide what goes in and what stays out? Make footage review less daunting by tackling your fears first.

  20. Asset Management

    Organizing footage saves time and helps you get a jump start on that edit -- but the organization doesn't have to be elaborate. Learn how to manage the assets for your film project.

  21. Edit Setup

    Before you edit, preparing helps get the film project off on the right foot. Learn how to prep for editing, from working on audio first to identifying mistakes.

  22. Edit Audio in Adobe Audition

    Victor suggests photographers edit audio first to get the aspect that we're least familiar with out of the way. Build an understanding of audio editing and skills for using Adobe Audition, including eliminating that room noise.

  23. Syncing Your Footage

    Set up for a successful edit by creating "goal posts" and allowing enough time to reach each one. Start working on the edit by laying out the timeline and syncing footage.

  24. Conceptual Storyboarding

    Building a storyboard guides the edit and helps you tell a story, without meandering away from what's important. Create a successful story -- and learn why Victor creates his later in the process -- by working with a storyboard.

  25. Editing Choices

    Video editing is full of choices -- but you can always change your mind. Learn how to get over hurdles and make the best choices for your filmmaking project.

  26. Selecting a Soundtrack

    Soundtracks give your edits a tempo -- but what song should you choose? Victor talks about choosing neutral soundtracks, avoiding songs you already know, understanding copyright, and everything you need to know about soundtracks.

  27. Building the Rough Cut

    Start turning that storyboard into an actual edit by building the rough cut. Learn how to shrink down long footage, decide what to cut and what to trim, and start organizing footage.

  28. Refining the Story

    Take that rough cut and turn it into something less rough. Start moving footage around to match that storyboard. Victor explains the "meat and potatoes of editing" -- going through footage, listening, cutting, and repeating that same process again.

  29. Adding B-Roll

    With the shape of the video in place, work in footage from the second camera and B-Roll footage to fix continuity issues or simply add more interest. Develop not just an understanding of the editing software, but a workflow for editing your film project.

  30. Rough Cut to Final Cut

    Move from that rough cut to the final cut with an overview of the last stretch of the editing process, including mastering transitions, color edits, and polishing that timeline.

  31. Color Grading in DaVinci Resolve

    Create color-graded videos inside DaVinci Resolve. Learn how to use the software, import and export, and color grade your project.

  32. Three-Way Color Corrector in DaVinci Resolve

    A three-way color corrector allows you to fine-tune RGB values. Walk through the basic color correcting process to correct issues like color cast.

  33. Export from DaVinci Resolve to Adobe Premiere Pro

    With the color correction finished, be sure to export your file properly for a seamless transition back into Premiere Pro.

  34. Add a Title in Adobe Premiere Pro

    Adding text and titles in Premiere Pro is simple. Learn how to add text frames to your video project without leaving Premiere Pro.

  35. Export Project from Adobe Premiere Pro

    Once your edit is finished, it's time to deliver. Learn how to export your project from Premiere Pro.

  36. Adding a Keyframe

    Keyframes are simply markers in the video that signify the start and the end of a change. In this lesson, Victor uses keyframes to adjust the audio of only a small portion of the video.

  37. Creating Multiple Projects from Your Edit

    With the main project done, what else can you build from your material? In this lesson, Victor discusses additional options to add to smaller supplemental projects to your main work.


Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video