My Equipment List: ShaneDawsonTV

, , , ,


From time to time, we see questions in the Creator's Corner forum asking for advice on the best tools to use to make videos. So we thought it might be helpful to ask popular YouTube users which products got them to where they are today; one nugget of essential advice for any videomaker, and which of their own videos they're proudest of.

Shane Dawson of ShaneDawsonTV and ShaneDawsonTV2 was kind enough to be our first subject. Here are the tools of his trade and some important words of wisdom:

Camera: Panasonic GH1

Lighting: Pro light box kit

Plug into camera microphone

Final Cut Pro


"Make videos that YOU would want to watch. If you aren't enjoying your own videos, chances are no one else will!"

Proudest video:
"'Happy Fatherless Day.' It was a chance for me to open up about my childhood and help other kids deal with the troubles of having one or no parents. Reading comments on that video makes me realize why I make videos in the first place, to connect to others. It's an amazing feeling."

Leave a comment on this post with other folks you'd like to hear from, and we'll do our best to include them in this series.

February Homepage Opportunities


For a sneak peek of homepage spotlight opportunities coming up in February and how you could submit your videos for consideration, click here.

Catch Up on Howcast's Live Filmmaker Roundtable

, ,


If you missed Howcast's live-streamed roundtable last week on DIY filmmaking, the whole thing is now on their YouTube channel:

Here's a summary of tips revealed during the talk, based on Howcast's Tweets during the event:

  • Production design tip from Tripp and Jenna: Always hold onto your old props!
  • Best place to find actors? Craigslist.
  • Good advice for casting: don't be creepy. Meet at a coffee shop for a reading. Get a good sense of the person's acting skills by having them play out a few emotions for you.
  • Keith Heyward says for stop-motion animation, you need a tripod, patience, lighting, and still HD camera.
  • Plan out everything in advance. "We'll fix it in post" is not an attitude that's advised!
  • Lighting: Michael Sanchez says all you need is a 60-watt light.
  • 2000-watt lighting kits annihilate electricity bills. You don't usually need professional lighting. Try to hack it on your own.
  • Final Cut pro is the preferred editing tool for these filmmakers.
  • Get as close as possible to your on-camera mike when recording.
  • Filmmaking is a collaborative effort -- don't be afraid to ask people for help.
  • Amazon and B&H photo recommended as good places to buy equipment -- but do a lot of research before buying anything.
  • Tripp and Jenna buy everything online to get cheaper deals; used equipment can be great, too.
  • The industry's going to HD cameras, but you don't need to spend lots of money on one. If you're making videos for the web and they'll be compressed, having an expensive camera doesn't matter too much.
  • Always include links to your work so people can find you. Market yourself in a smart way.
  • Explore the web and see what others are doing. Get to know people by commenting on their work, get a dialog going and start building up your community. You never know how you could help each other out.

Learn the Secrets to Low-Budget, High-Creativity Filmmaking

, , ,


[Cross-posted from the YouTube blog.]

On Wednesday, January 20, at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET, Howcast will host a live-streamed roundtable on their YouTube channel, featuring four young filmmakers talking about how they make creative videos on a shoestring budget. They'll discuss about the supplies and skills needed to be a great DIY filmmaker, how to film and star in your own video, ways to use everyday objects for special effects, and how to choose friends to appear in your videos. They'll save the last 20 minutes of the hour to take your questions live.

Please register for this free event here so we know to expect you.

Get Inspired: Simple Tips from a Seasoned User


Creator's Corner mainstay rewboss has just uploaded an insightful video for those who frequently wonder: "What should I make a video about"?

His three essential points are:

1. Be yourself
2. Inspiration is everywhere
3. Experiment

...and he's got some more advice in this forum topic. It's worth checking out.

We've also produced a video full of easy-to-execute project ideas from YouTube users. Please do share your own ideas here in the Creator's Corner, and let's surface them for the wider YouTube community!

Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "How to Be Inspired."

Creators Call-Out: Honor MLK With YouTube and Washington Post



[Cross-posted from Citizentube blog.]

Martin Luther King Day is just around the corner on January 18, and to honor of Dr. King' s legacy, the Washington Post is inviting its readers and the YouTube community to share which of his words are most memorable and why.

Using YouTube Direct, you can submit your YouTube video response on the Washington Post's own website. Washington Post editors will be sifting through your submissions and keeping an eye out for a selection to be featured on both the YouTube homepage and on on Monday, MLK Day.

Here's a video of some of the Washington Post's star journalists reciting a portion of the famous "I Have a Dream" speech:

Dr. King inspired many people from all walks of life while he lived, and his great orations have ensured that his legacy will live on for generations. Just about every schoolchild in the United States, and many around the world, have heard his speeches and listened to the messages within. So, what parts moved you? Do you have a favorite section that means something special? Or a phrase that you find particularly moving or powerful or thought-provoking or even controversial? What are you memories or impressions of Dr. King and the words he left behind?

We want to hear your voices.

There's not a lot of time, so we hope you'll get started on your video soon. Visit the Washington Post site to see other videos and to submit your own.

And here's a link to some of Dr. King's most famous speeches.

Olivia Ma, News Manager, recently watched "Oxfam Haiti Emergency Appeal."

Mefeedia's State of the Vlogosphere



Mefeedia recently tracked over 110,000 vlogs for its annual "State of the Vlogosphere" report about vloggers' preferred platforms and syndication strategies.

Among the trends cited:

  • People create YouTube channels every day, but fewer are creating their own video blogs to complement their channels.
  • International vlog numbers are growing faster than the U.S.
  • After English, Spanish-speaking vlog are growing the fastest.
  • The average pro-vlogger syndicates their video to 3.6 sites.
Read the full report here.

Creators Call-Out: Videos to Support the Arts



(Cross-posted from the YouTube blog.)

With awards shows like the Golden Globes, Grammys and Oscars just around the corner, it will soon be the season to celebrate some of the world's most high-profile artistic achievements. But on YouTube, many of you celebrate the arts every day -- for example, you might favorite a video that features a grade-school chorus, watch a film in the Screening Room, or upload a video of your recent dance performance.

At the same time, organizations that support the arts -- from museums to orchestras, ballet companies to musical education programs -- are sorely in need of funding and promotion. That's where you can help. YouTube Video Volunteers and guest curator Dr. Phil want you to create a video that shines the spotlight on an organization that advances the arts in your community or on the national stage. The top three video creators will see their name in lights on the YouTube homepage at the end of the month. Watch this video to learn more and hear how Dr. Phil is supporting the arts himself:

We hope you'll use your artistic talents to help your favorite organization. You could write a song in favor of your city's modern art museum or make a short film about a nonprofit that supports music in schools. Use your creativity to make sure that the arts continue to flourish.

Submissions are due on January 23 and can be entered at

Ramya Raghavan, Nonprofits & Activism Manager, recently watched "Good Transparency: Cost of Food."