YouTube is one of the most used media platforms in the world. It has opened doors for literally anybody to create and publish a video to the world. However, doing so might not seem so straight forward to those creating their first YouTube video. How do you make a YouTube video with limited equipment or resources? If this sounds like you, do not be discouraged. We’ve put together a step by step guide on how to film and edit a Youtube with whatever resources you have. 

How Do You Make a Video on YouTube

Create a video script or treatment

To make a video for YouTube you must start with an idea. Getting this idea down on paper (real or digital) is important to define your idea. Create a treatment and/or video script as the blueprint for the YouTube video. 

While this may sound like a large task, it helps to think of the general idea of your video and add details as you continue to revise your script. In this video, Think Media lays out the various components of a video script such as the hook, content, and call to action. 

How do you make a video on YouTube  •  Writing your Script

As you can see, dividing your script into a hook, content, and call to action can help you organize your video script as you write it. A more general idea to keep in mind when writing your video script is a story. Whether your YouTube video is educational, a vlog, or any other variant, think of it as a story. Every story has a beginning, middle, and end that creates a full story arc. 

If your YouTube video contains a lot of voice over or dialogue, consider using a StudioBinder’s screenwriting app to create a detailed video script. 

Learning How to Record YouTube Videos

Determine your style

YouTube videos have a wide spanning spectrum of genres and style. From vlogs to educational tutorials to comedic skits, various successful YouTube channels have different styles. It’s important to determine the style of your YouTube video early on.

The style you choose will determine the choices you make for your video’s lighting, backgrounds, locations, props, music, and even camera equipment. 

A large part of your video’s style is curating the mise-en-scene. The term mise-en-scene refers to everything in front of the camera. Learn more about the elements of mise-en-scene and how it contributes to style, mood, and tone in our video breakdown below. 

How do I make a Youtube video  •  Understanding Mise en Scene  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Once you determine your video’s style and have a script for your video, it’s time to start planning your YouTube video shoot. The first step of this is to shot list your video. 

How to Shoot Video for Youtube

Shot list your video

A shot list is a document that maps out everything that will happen in a scene of a film, or video, by describing each shot within that film or video. It’s especially important to list your video if it will be more visual and have a large focus on cinematography such as travel videos. 

Even if your video is less visual, shot listing will make you better prepared for your shoot. Having a shot list means you will have an exact blueprint of what you need to shoot during production. Check out this video on how to create a shot list using StudioBinder’s free shot listing app for your YouTube video. 

How do you make a video on Youtube  •  Shot listing  •  Subscribe on YouTube

When using the StudioBinder shot listing app you’ll be able to define various characteristics of your shots. The first characteristic is the shot type. This means defining a shot's size and shot’s frame. For YouTube videos, using varying types of shot sizes can result in a more engaging YouTube video. 

How to film a Youtube video  •  Every Shot Size Explained  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Another shot characteristic you’ll be able to define in your shot list is a shot’s camera angle. Utilizing different types of camera angles in your YouTube video is an effective way to create more dynamic shots that hold meaning. What kind of meaning can different shot angles have? Check out the video breakdown below to learn all about shot angles. 

How to film a Youtube video  •  Every Camera Shot Explained  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Finally, another defining characteristic of a shot is the camera movement. If the shots use different types of camera movement such as a camera tilt, camera pan, or a push in, you can make note of that in your shot list. Why would you want to use camera movement in your YouTube video?

Camera movement can make your shots more engaging. But they can also help tell a story. Check out how in the video below. 

Ultimate Guide to Camera Movement  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Be sure to shot list the B-Roll of your YouTube video and plan out each shot to create cinematic shots. Creating a proper shot list will also make your shoot go smoothly and efficiently. 

What You Meed to Make a Video for YouTube

Gather your camera equipment

Once you know what type of shot and camera movement you want, it’s time to gather the camera equipment that will help you capture these shots. 

The first type of camera equipment to consider is your camera lens. This will depend a lot on the shots you’ve shot listed as well as the style of your video. For example, vlogs typically utilize wide angle lenses to capture a large area from close up. Here is a full breakdown of camera lenses and the visual properties of every type of lens.

How create video for YouTube  •  Camera Lenses  •  Subscribe on YouTube

As you can see, different lenses can heavily impact a shot and how it looks and feels. This is why determining the style and shots of your shoot prior to gathering equipment is vital. 

Other than lenses, take into consideration the different types of camera gear you will need to capture the camera movements you desire.

If you’re interviewing a vlog, educational video, or interview, odds are you’ll need a tripod. 

But if your YouTube video is based on travel or action sports, you might want to consider a gimbal. If you’re not sure what camera gear you’ll need to achieve the shots you desire, check out the full video breakdown of camera equipment in the video below. 

Camera Gear: Every Type of Camera Rig Explained  •  Subscribe on YouTube

If you are on a budget or are working with limited resources, don’t be discouraged. There are creative ways to shoot YouTube videos solely with a single lens and tripod. If this is the case, be sure you give energy to planning and curating a solid lighting setup.

How Do You Make a Video on YouTube 

Lighting setups

Great lighting can often completely change how a video looks. It can elevate a rather amatuer looking video into a professional, even cinematic video. You may be tempted to just turn on the lights in your room as they are and shoot. However, don’t be afraid to put in just a bit of effort into your lighting. Even just a bit of effort will go a long way with minimal resources. 

One of the best principles to follow when lighting any scene is the three-point-lighting setup. Whether you are working with simple household lamps or the best video lighting kits, three-point-lighting will add depth and dimension to your shots.

Three Point Lighting StudioBinder

Lighting setup for Youtube video production

Lighting can make an impact on how professional and how cinematic your YouTube video will look. You can even get creative with your lighting using different colors to further engage your audience. Check out this video that compares a YouTube video lit with normal household lights as they are versus a YouTube video with an intentional lighting setup. 

Lighting for YouTube Videos  •  Make Your Videos STAND OUT!

Even if you don’t have the best lighting equipment, you can use normal household lights and bounce them to create softer lighting. You can even use natural light from windows and frame your shot to use the natural light as a fill light or key light. The point is to be intentional with your lighting and how you frame your shot create a more cinematic, higher quality YouTube video. 

How Create Video for YouTube with Great Sound

Don’t forget about sound

If you plan to shoot YouTube videos regularly, it’s important to try and invest in a decent microphone. Even a standard shotgun mic mounted to your camera is better than scratch audio from your camera’s internal microphone 

If you are conducting interviews, moving while talking, or filming with multiple people, consider investing in multiple LAV microphones that individuals can wear. Sound quality makes a huge difference to the overall quality of a video. Keep in mind that with YouTube, some viewers are going to be listening through headphones where quality or lack thereof will be more apparent. 

How to Shoot a Good Video for YouTube

Shoot the video

Now that you have your script, shot list, camera equipment, and know your lighting setup, it’s time to shoot the YouTube video. If you followed the steps above, this step should go rather smoothly. Simply get every shot on your shot list and every shot not on your shot list that you end up wanting to shoot. 

When it comes to shooting the video, it’s important to understand the technical aspects of shooting. Whether you are shooting on a DSLR camera or a mirrorless camera, understanding the exposure triangle will help you shoot the highest quality video possible.

The first aspect of the exposure triangle is aperture. This is important for properly exposing your shots as well as capturing the depth of field that you desire. For YouTube videos that have a lot of talking heads shots, aperture is important to capture a crisp, shallow depth of field.

Learn more about aperture in our video lesson below. 

Ultimate Guide to Camera Aperture  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Another component of the exposure triangle you should understand is ISO. Understanding ISO is vital to producing high quality video. High ISO values can produce noise that makes video appear gritty or even amatuer. Learn how to set your ISO to produce the shots that you desire in the video below.

Camera ISO and the Exposure Triangle Explained  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Last in the exposure triangle is shutter speed. Shutter speed is important for making the motion in your YouTube video look crisp and clear. It’s also important to understand shutter speed when exposing your shots. Learn everything about shutter speed in the ultimate guide video below. 

Camera Shutter and the Exposure Triangle  •  Subscribe on YouTube

YouTube is arguably the video platform that utilizes the most wide ranging frame rates. Frame rate affects how motion appears in video. Cinema has a standard frame rate of 24 fps. Television has a standard frame rate of 30 fps. YouTube, however, is the wild west. 

It’s up to you to determine what frame rate to shoot at. Not sure which one will best suit your video? Check out the video below to understand the effects of different frame rates. 

Ultimate Guide to Frames Per Second Explained  •  Subscribe on YouTube

Depending on what type of YouTube video you’re creating, you might have primary footage to shoot, also known as A-roll, as well as secondary footage, known as B-roll. For your B-roll shots, consider using high frame rates to create great looking, slow motion B-roll.

How to Edit a Video for YouTube

Edit your YouTube video

Once you’ve shot your video, it’s time to edit it. Learning how to edit a video for YouTube starts with learning an editing software. The standard softwares to choose from are Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro. If you’re on a budget, however, consider using DaVinci Resolve which is available to download for free and has plenty of editing features. 

Another free software is YouTube’s own YouTube Video Editor. Check out the video below to learn how to use YouTube’s video editor to edit your very own YouTube video. 

How to edit a video for Youtube with the YouTube Video Editor!

No matter what editing software you use, it’s important to consider the pacing of your YouTube video. Pacing is determined by how quick or long your cuts are throughout the video. 

Again, the style of your YouTube video will inform you on how to edit it and what pacing to create. For example, narrative videos will probably require continuity editing. Vlogs, however, embrace the jump cut throughout. Find other videos that inspire you and take note of how they edit their videos. 

Another thing to consider when editing your YouTube video is music. YouTube will flag any video that uses copyrighted music. So using music that is either public domain, stock, or royalty free music is your best bet.

There are plenty of great sites for royalty free music that will have a great song choice for your video.

One of the great things about YouTube is its embrace of creative freedom. Whether you are shooting a vlog, an educational cooking show, or a sports commentary talk show, YouTube allows creatives of any level to create the video they desire. Hopefully this guide has given you the structure to create your very own YouTube video. But keep in mind, the lines have to be filled with your creativity and your vision. 

Up Next

Best Stock Music Websites

If you’re creating your first YouTube video, don’t forget about music. Like we mentioned above, music can elevate the production quality of your video. And there are great online resources to download royalty free music. Check out our complete list of the best stock music websites in our next article. 

Up Next: Stock Music Sites →
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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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