What makes a filmmaker credible? What about a filmmaking educator? Is it experience on a feature film set, or a TV series, or a documentary film? Is it experience teaching others? Or is any of that relevant anymore?
A couple years ago when we were looking through ideas for new courses, we considered the usual avenue for educators. That meant seeking out filmmakers who have the professional background to support what they’re teaching. And that meant a resume with film or TV productions, ideally titles that are recognizable and celebrated for their achievements. After all, we want to learn from the masters of our craft, right?
But today our world is vastly different than even a couple years ago. Today, it’s safe to say the majority of up-and-coming filmmakers are not going to traditional film school, and they’re not yearning to become crew members on a Hollywood feature film production. They want to become YouTubers.
In fact, becoming a YouTuber has now become the dream for every child around the planet. So long astronauts, presidents, doctors and lawyers.
But being a YouTuber doesn’t just mean vlogging and gear reviews. Every style of filmmaking has reached YouTube, from narrative features, to comedy series, short films, documentaries, animations, travel and cooking, soap operas, game shows, and more.
The difference between aspiring to become a YouTube filmmaker versus the traditional career pathways is simple: there are no barriers on YouTube. Anyone can get started, all you have to do is begin.
Bonus: clearly all the other desired jobs are just part of being a YouTuber. Especially being a Doctur. Oh you kids.
Becoming a YouTuber
So who better to teach YouTube for filmmakers than Kitty Peters of Atola Visuals? In a few short years, Kitty has rapidly grown her filmmaking empire from a boutique video production company to a leading YouTube channel, active communities on Twitch and Discord, and celebrated social media platforms.
Kitty graduated with a cinematography degree from Columbia College in Chicago, but that’s where she and the traditional filmmaking path split ways. Kitty has defined (and redefined) the role of a digital media producer today, collaborating with a vast variety of brands while innovating visual storytelling styles and techniques along the way.
Most of all, Kitty knows the power of YouTube and how it can transform your life and career. And along the way, you get to build a community of like-minded creators who are following you every step of your journey. Now we can see why every child aspires to become a YouTuber - you get to own your life, career, community of friends and colleagues, all while doing it on your own terms.
Starting a YouTube Channel - The Course
So are you ready to start your own YouTube channel? In this course, YouTube guru Kitty Peters guides you through the entire process, from choosing a niche, setting up your studio, breaking through the constant challenges, and figuring out how to make money along the way. There's no better time to join the YouTube creator community, all you need is the desire to begin and this course to show you how.
Below is a summary of the lessons you’ll learn in the course, and remember you can watch the first lesson free. MZed Pro members can stream the course now, and there's also a very handy workbook that you can use to follow along with the course as you start your YouTube journey.
Click here to go to the Starting a YouTube Channel course and begin watching - the first lesson is free!
Planning and Mindset
If you’re reading this, then it’s highly likely that you’re interested in starting a YouTube channel. You have to build a strong foundation when you’re starting out, which can be tricky if you’re not sure where to begin. In this episode, we’ll help you decide what you should be talking about in your videos. We’ll also discuss the importance of being consistent, knowing your goals, and dealing with negative opinions. Knowing your niche is key, so great job for taking the first step!
How to Set Up Your YouTube Channel
There’s a lot of detail that goes into setting up your YouTube channel. We’ll run the whole process with you, from getting a new email, choosing your channel name, and adding a channel description. From there, we’ll teach you how to customize the layout of your channel, manage your videos, and choose relevant keywords. Your channel might be the first thing new viewers will see, so it’s important that it’s customized to your brand and personality.
You have now set up your channel and you’re ready to shoot. Where do you begin? After you figure out the kind of videos you want to make, the next step is to generate ideas around it. In the pre-production phase of your shoot, learn how to create a script, attach b-roll shots, and finalize a shot list. This is a big chunk of the production process, so make sure it’s of value to yourself and to your audience.
How to Set Up Your YouTube Space
You’re ready to shoot your first video! What do you need? One of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need is a camera. There are so many options out there, so we’ll help you figure out what kind of equipment you’ll need based on the type of content you want to make. Remember, equipment is only secondary to the most important thing about your videos: the story. In this episode, we’ll help you narrow down the tools you’ll need to get started.
Editing Workflow from Start to Finish
Post-production is the last big chunk of the production process, so it’s important you know what your editing workflow is. This episode is about optimizing your storage options, managing your files, putting your videos together, and choosing the right audio. While it may seem like there are many small steps necessary to be successful with editing, it will definitely be worth it in the long run. After all, this is the stage where your story comes together.
Before You Hit “Post”
Once you’ve exported the final version of your video, you’re ready to post it! But, first a couple of things you need to know. We’ll go through the steps to uploading your video: from writing the best title, choosing the appropriate keywords, and making the best thumbnail. After that, you can finally upload your first video. Give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far!
Putting your video out there is one thing, but promoting is a real key to success. It won’t matter how amazing your video is if no one sees it. There are many ways to promote on YouTube, but the tool you need to be familiar with is social media. Each social media platform has its perks, to enable the best promotion for your content. Take the time to study each one and see what works for you.
YouTube is a very good platform to reach out to other creators. Along the way, you will find people who support you and as that grows, so will your community. There are so many ways you can do that, which we’ll be talking about in this episode. We’ll also teach you the importance of reaching out to other YouTubers and how else you can grow.
Now that you’re creating a flow of content, it’s time to look into collaborations. Think of it as making friendships that will help you grow. There are many ways to reach out to other YouTubers, but there is, however, a right and proper way to do so. Growth is something you can’t really do alone, so be open to the many opportunities YouTube has to offer.
How to Stay Motivated and Succeed
No matter what YouTube is to you, at the end of the day, it’s still very much a job and a business. It can get tiring. It happens to all YouTubers. It’s important that you have the right mindset when dealing with negative comments and burnout. The next step is figuring out how you can sustain your motivation and adapt accordingly. Just like anything that’s worthwhile, YouTube will challenge you. How you deal with it is up to you.
Perks and Money
YouTube can be a great business. As a YouTuber, you could gain access to free products, sponsorships, and find side hustles, most of which should be relevant to your brand. We’ll walk you through the world of AdSense, affiliate programs, and Patreon. Think of these perks as a way to further support your YouTube brand so you can support yourself financially while creating the best content possible.
Bonus Tips from Other YouTubers
At this point, you should be more familiar with the world of YouTube than when you first started the course. However, there’s no such thing as too much info in the world of YouTube! In this final episode, we’ve invited some YouTubers to share with you some key pieces of advice you can bring on your YouTube journey. At the end of the day, this is your YouTube channel and we’re excited to be here to support you!