Creators Call-Out: "I'm Thankful For..."

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, it's a good time to contemplate what you're thankful for and, presumably with work and school winding down a bit, an even better time to make a video. What's more, your video might end up on our homepage and/or on TV on Thanksgiving Day.

This year, ABC News' Good Morning America is asking for videos about the things in your life you're grateful for. They'll pick some of the best ones and broadcast them on Good Morning America on Thanksgiving morning. You can upload your videos here.

Need some inspiration?

julianattaway uploaded this video of kids at day care sharing what they're thankful for:



dare2bxabigail talks about the difficult times her family has been through, yet how many things she's grateful for despite the bumps in the road:



wilvan is thankful for memories he shared with his dad and created this sketch to express his gratitude:



So what are you thankful for? Your family, your health, your dog? Upload your videos on the Good Morning America website for a chance to be on TV on Thanksgiving morning.




Behind the Scenes with iJustine

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iJustine recently let YouTube users in on her video production process via this video packed with tips (and delightfully un-self-conscious dances on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade):



Over on her blog is a full equipment list and this sage advice: "One of the BIGGEST misconceptions I think people have is that you NEED to have all kinds of expensive equipment to shoot great videos. No, you do not. A lot of videos that I shoot on YouTube are all done with a little tiny camera or my iSight and edited on my Mac." Click here for the full article.




Creators Call-Out: Make a Video About Hunger in America

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This month, in honor of Thanksgiving and as part of our YouTube Video Volunteers program, we're asking you to make a video on behalf of your nonprofit organization tackling the issue of hunger in America, for a chance to be featured on the YouTube homepage on Nov. 25. So grab your cameras and submit your video by midnight PST on Saturday, Nov. 21. The top three submitted videos will go on the homepage.

Please make sure to read the complete rules before submitting your video and tag your video "ytvideovolunteers" so we can find it. If you need some food for thought, here's a film entry from nsmith345, documenting how a local food pantry in Queens, New York, serves its community:




1080p HD Is Coming to YouTube (& Creators Call-Out!)

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(Cross-posted from the YouTube blog.)

We're excited to say that support for watching 1080p HD videos in full resolution is on its way. Starting next week, YouTube's HD mode will add support for viewing videos in 720p or 1080p, depending on the resolution of the original source, up from our maximum output of 720p today.

As resolution of consumer cameras increases, we want to make sure YouTube is the best home on the web to showcase your content. For viewers with big monitors and a fast computer, try switching to 1080p to get the most out of the fullscreen experience.

Just how much larger is 1080p? Take a look at the following screenshots from this video:


Standard - 360p


HQ - 480p


HD - 720p


HD - 1080p

Have an HD camera? We would love to see your awesome 1080p videos! Be creative and choose subjects that really show off the beauty of your camera. We will run the best examples on our homepage in a future spotlight.

And those of you who have already uploaded in 1080p, don't worry. We're in the process of re-encoding your videos so we can show them the way you intended.

Billy Biggs, Software Engineer, recently watched "Toy Story 3 - Official Teaser Trailer [HD]."




Creators Call-Out: Veteran's Day Videos

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Next Wednesday, on Veteran's Day, we'll be honoring soldiers and veterans on the YouTube homepage and blog, and we'd love to include community-inspired videos. If you're a soldier or veteran with a story to tell, an organization providing support to veterans, or a citizen with a family member in the service, we'd like to hear from you. Upload a video by Monday, November 9, 2009, and tag it with "ytveteransday" to make sure we can find it. Here are a few examples to get you started:

User WaxxIK interviews his uncle about Vietnam:



A WWII veteran speaks about being the youngest member of the 84th Division:



A profile of the adaptive sports therapy program for injured soldiers at UCLA:




Ask a Ninja Co-Creator on 10 Years of Digital Filmmakering

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Kent Nichols, the co-creator, director and producer of AskANinja.com (aka digitalfilmmaker on YouTube), recently celebrated 10 years as a Web auteur. Here are his thoughts on reaching that milestone and the technology he's employed along the way, reprinted with permission from his blog. (If you want to see the original post, click here.)

Writing this and not coming off as a grumpy old man is tough. But we truly are living in the most exciting time ever to be a filmmaker. I am approaching the 10th Anniversary of my leaving college to become a professional storyteller, and in that time we have seen such an amazing growth in the capabilities of the tools and an intensification of the competition. It’s almost unthinkable where we will be in the next ten years.

When I started editing movies I used the first iMac with Firewire and the first version of the iMovie. The 1.0 of iMovie didn’t even have an “undo” feature. I had to save a lot and revert back. I was so excited when 2.0 came out and there was an undo. Render times for DV were atrocious and hard drive space was scarce (you couldn’t even fit a whole DV tape onto one drive).

Now most laptops can churn out DV, and Harddrives are spacious. Render times and space still get eaten up by HiDef, but that will change and soon we’ll all be working in 4k…

Back then I bought a Sony TRV-900 for $1800. It cost as much as my car at the time. It was a 3-CCD 1/4 Camcorder that recorded to Mini-DV tapes in Standard Definition. Feature films were shot on this camera, films that made it into festivals, and into the theaters.

Now I bought a Canon 7D SLR that shoots beautiful stills and video for that same $1800. It has an imager that’s as larger as Super 35mm film and shoots in High Definition with replaceable lenses.

Back in 2000, my friends at the comedy schools I attended and where I met Douglas Sarine, no one was thinking about putting their stuff on the internet. I was showing them films like 405, Hard Drinking Lincoln, and others to get them excited.

Now I go to parties that have 500 people all with their own web show. All seeking funding, all looking to be the next Ask A Ninja or LonelyGirl15 (and some of them not knowing what Ask A Ninja and LonelyGirl15 are…).

So in summary, in terms of tools, now has never been a better or more exciting time. If you can’t mange to get your vision realized with whatever level of tools you have available to you, you lack imagination. Every Mac for the last ten years can edit video there is a new or used one available at your price point. Most stills cameras from the last 3 years can shoot video, as well as most cells phones, and then there are the amazing and high quality HD camcorders too. The tools are there, go tell a story.

In terms of competing for scarce resources, now is probably the most daunting time. Anyone can be a producer and director, and you’re only going to stand out if you’re talented and lucky and persistent. LA is a great place, but it’s also a place where there will be thousands of other just like you. If you stay where you’re from and become undeniably good you’ll eventually get here.

I had no choice, I grew up in Southern California, but it’s very expensive and isolating without a family (and that “family” can be a close-knit group of friends too, but those are very hard to find in LA…).

Go tell your stories, and keep getting better at telling them. And always remember to care more, that will get communicated to your audience.




Video: Basic Production Techniques Webinar

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For those of you who missed our "Basic Production Techniques" Webinar with Videomaker magazine, here it is in full:



(Advanced apologies for the poor sound on the recording.)

Stay tuned for announcements about future Webinars, and leave a comment below if there are topics you'd like to learn more about from YouTube or our partners.




Video Template for Blogger

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The Internet is amazing. How else could developers from disparate countries build things that have the potential to be used by millions around the world? In this case, Dante Araju of Brazil, Abu Farhan of Indonesia, and Aneesh of India have developed a video template for Blogger, making it even easier to showcase YouTube content on your blog.

The "BloggerTube" template renders the blog's index page as a grid view of your YouTube video blog posts with a polished, professional presentation:


In addition to looking good, "BloggerTube" makes it easier to post YouTube videos to Blogger. The template examines your post content and automatically replaces YouTube video URLs with the embedded video.


Check out the BloggerTube demo and learn how to install BloggerTube yourself.

Thanks Dante, Aneesh, and Abu for bringing us a great YouTube blog template.