AskPat 421 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 421 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today.
We have a great question today from Jon, but before we get to Jon, I do want to thank today's sponsor which is Lynda.com, a platform with over 3,000 on-demand learning video courses to help you strengthen your business, tech, and creative skills. You can check it out for free for 10 days and get access to all the courses. Everything from all the different software you might use and training for that. From business consultation advice to growth hacking fundamentals, productivity skills tax fundamentals. All those kinds of things. Access to 3,000 on-demand video courses, high quality ones. Not just little YouTube videos, but really well done, in-studio-quality stuff for 10 days, for free. Check it out at Lynda.com/AskPat. That's Lynda.com/AskPat. Check it out.
All right, now here's today's question from Jon.
Jon: Hey there, Pat. Jon Loomer here. When we were out in San Diego for Social Media Day, I mentioned that I had refinished a basement recently and created a little studio. One of the challenges I have right now is space saving. I've got a little corner of the room that I've planned to do video recording. I've got a white wall. I haven't done any video, and one of the reasons is it's so cluttered over there, because as you know, with the photography lights, they're enormous. I've got to move them all around. I can't just have an area where I turn on the light, turn on the camera, and I can record, because it's so cluttered over there. I've been researching trying to find lights that are space saving for photography. Something that maybe you'd just hang on a wall. I don't know what it would be, but something that would work. Given your experience with all this stuff, I just am curious if you have any answers to that? I appreciate it. Any thoughts you have. Thanks, Pat.
Pat Flynn: Hey, John. What's up? Thank you so much for the question today and it was great to see you in San Diego and I'm glad you called in because this … A lot of people are doing videos now. A lot of people are doing Periscopes. They're understanding the power of YouTube and that sort of thing. It's hard, because you want a nice place where you can just walk in and press record. For me, that was one goal that I had when I moved into my new home, was because I wanted to do more video. Video has been very successful for me, but I stopped doing it because it just was so difficult to have to set up and then take down and then set up again and take it down. I wanted someplace where I could walk in, and there's a lot of different strategies you can use in a tight space to make that happen.
Now, I have a garage and we actually, going into this new home, made the garage a video studio, which actually doubles as a dance studio for my wife and my kids, because it's a wood floor and everything with mirrors and stuff, which is kind of cool. Anyway. In a small space, there are some things you can use to your advantage. In terms of the camera, you might have to try and get a wide-angle lens. Something that's going to allow you to have your camera still be close, however, to be able to zoom into a frame that you'd want. The reason I mentioned this is because there's a lot of great lenses out there. For example, if you're using a Canon, it's the F 1.4 or the 1.4 F aperture, 50 millimeter or even the 35 millimeter. Those work very well. You can get amazing quality, but you have to be somewhat far away in order for those to work well. Especially if you want to use the “bokeh” effect, which is when you are in focus and everything behind you in the background is out of focus. You need to be away from the background, and then the camera needs to be even further away from you, and it's going to be difficult to get that effect. A wide-angle lens, you're going to get less of a bokeh effect or that blurred effect, but you're going to be able to frame your picture a lot better as well, and have a little bit of wiggle room, as opposed to some of those other fixed-aperture, fixed-zoom lenses.
Beyond that, there are some things you could use to your advantage, like I said. Because it's a small space, you might not need as many lights as you might think. I know which lights you're talking about. Those big cowboy studio box lights. If you can, and you have it in your budget, I would narrow those down. I actually have gotten rid of those myself, because the LED lights are much better. LED, and they're better because they're space saving. They also don't produce a lot of heat, and when you're in a tight space, if you use regular lights, it's going to heat you up and you are going to get all sweaty. That's something I've noticed. Your forehead is going to start to shine in video, and it's just not going to be good, but if you have LEDs those don't warm up and it's going to be much better.
If you also have a reflector, this might be something to experiment with even before you go move on to LEDs, but one of those big, round reflectors that kind of fold up if you fold them. They're like a little circle, and then they pop open. One side is usually gold. One side is usually silver. I've used in the past, my smaller office, back before I moved into this house, the reflector and one light. One light and the reflector actually creates almost like two lights and it's not bad.
Again, with the video, you want it to look great, but if you're just starting out and especially if you don't have enough room, you don't want that to stop you from actually producing the videos that you know could be helpful. You need it to be decent, of course, and you don't want to shoot where it's blurry or it just doesn't look right or you look like you're in a horror film, of course. I say that because of the lighting, not because of the way your face looks or anything like that. You're a good-looking man, Jon. What I'm saying is, you want the lighting to be decent. I would play around with it and try to get it to a point where you know that it's going to work well. The reflectors can help with the space inside the room that you're in to kind of eliminate one of the lights as well. Whenever you get it to a point where it is working, I would mark on the floor with the blue painter's tape or whatever. You don't want anything super strong that's going to ruin your floor, but the blue painter's tape. Just make an X where the legs of the tripods that hold everything up go and everything. Just so that, even if you have to take it down later, you know exactly where it's going to go again with the next time you shoot. That's how I would kind of recommend. You try it out.
And now, if possible, I would try to get another room to have some workspace in. I know Caleb Wojcik, for example, I was over at his apartment and he turned his garage in his apartment into a video studio, and it's great. You can actually check it out. I think he did some behind-the-scenes stuff before. You can check out Caleb at DIYvideoguy.com, and see what he's working with there. He's got a fairly tight space, but he's been able to make it work for him as well. Those are some of the things that can help you as well. Another thing that's pretty popular, I'll tell you, these are a little bit more pricier, I feel, are the ring lights. These are lights that, kind of LED lights that go right to where the camera. You know your lens almost looks through this ring of lights and it really puts a nice bright light on your face as well. That can help with some of the light on your face so it doesn't look like you have all these shadows and horror-looking type stuff. Look up ring lights.
A great resource is of course, Amazon, or B&H Photo, which is a really cool warehouse in New York that has a lot of photo and film stuff as well. Really quick, John, I just want to wish you the best of luck and, you know, it's hard for me to answer this question for you because … I would love to see your space if you wanted to shoot me a video or something and show me what you're working with. I think you're in San Diego, because you were at Social Media Marketing Day in San Diego. Maybe I can check it out sometime and help you out and show you what I have to work with too.
Anyway, thank you so much for calling in. I really do appreciate it, and really just keep trying things out. Keep experimenting. LED lights are great for reducing the amount of equipment you're using in terms of the big box lights versus the LED lights, and then using a reflector could be a cheap alternative as well to save space and utilize the light that you already have in there, too. Plus, of course, daylight, if you have windows in your space, try to record when the light is shining in. It's going to give you the best lighting, better than any other light. Again, try to work with that. Although, of course, because the weather changes or cloud cover happens, it could affect your videos. Just so you know. Daylight's always the best thing. Record outside even if you can. Yeah.
John, wishing you all the best. Thank you so much. We're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For anybody else out there who has a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You could ask it right there on that page.
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Thanks so much for listening in today. I appreciate it, and a quote today from Drew Houston, the co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. He says, “Don't worry about failure. You only have to be right once.” Cheers, take care, and I'll see you the next episode of AskPat. Thanks guys.
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