Behind the Scenes


 I love filming for YouTube! Whether it’s a DIY, comedy video or a Q&A, I always try my hardest to make the best video for my viewers.

Today I shot a video all about life-hacks for dogs (check out my blog post on them), and whilst shooting I decided that I would make a behind the scenes blog post. So here it is, from beginning to end of our filming “routine”.


1. Inspiration


A good place to start when making a video is to have an idea or some inspiration as to what its subject is.

For me, majority of my video inspiration actually just pops into my brain. I consider myself to be quite an imaginative/ arty person, so I don’t find it too difficult to come up with video ideas. However, if I’m ever in need of some inspiration for a video, I actually like to look back on personal experiences.

Now this won’t necessarily work for everyone, as everyone’s minds work differently. But for me, having had a lifetime of experiences with dogs, it’s not that hard to come up with some doggy inspiration.


2. Planning

 After I’ve found my video idea, I like to write it down.

I do this because my memory is very forgetful. There have been too many times where I’ve had an epic video idea, and then I forgot it.

My solution for this, get a journal!untitled

This is my journal. In it I write down any video ideas that spring to mind, so if I do forget them, they’ll be written down here.

untitled 2Apart from having random scribbly notes for video ideas, my journal also serves as my video planner.

This basically means that once I’ve found a topic for a video, I’ll start brainstorming for it. Sometimes I might write a quick script for things I want to remember to say in the video, other times I’ll put down four or five points which represent important notices.

Each video is different in its planning. I’ve been known to sit down with the dogs and have a meeting with them to “discuss” a video (crazy, I know!).

But even if a certain video is more important than another, I will always do the basics for my planning, and that is to write out the videos structure.

* Usually with the help of the sheep *

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3. Film

Now as much as I love the pre-filming steps of making a video, the filming part is definitely my favourite.

Because this is the part my viewers see, I like to make it as professional as I can. It’s quite literally lights, camera, action…plus microphone, journal, that final hair and makeup check and the pooches.

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So because my filming setup is quite big, I decided to split the filming section of this post into three parts. Let’s go!

3a. Lights

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Proper lighting is something new to our YouTube channel, and it has already made a massive difference to our film quality.

I really do suggest that if you are thinking about getting into YouTube or even film making, get yourself a set of lights before you do anything else. Not only will it help to bring your subject forward and brighten them up, but it will also improve the quality of the film and help the definition.

What we are currently using are softboxes. I absolutely love them because they produce natural lighting so it’s not obvious you have lights on you. Also, they’re not that expensive! Have a search on eBay and you’re sure to find a great deal!

 3b. Camera and mic

This is the part which will make your video or film.

You can have the best lights in existence, but without a camera, there’s going to be nothing to watch…and without a mic, you might not be able to hear anything either.

The camera I use is a Canon 600d and I love it! I usually film with my standard 18-55mm lens on, and for more arty shots I change to my 55-250mm or my old school canon 50mm lens.

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I have owned my trusty 600d for a few years now and although the newer Canon models are very tempting, I’m happy with my current film quality (plus I can keep a few thousand dollars).

For a long time I didn’t use a microphone as my 600d already has a pretty good one built into it. But my mind was changed when I discovered that microphones play multiple roles in making videos.

For the longest time I used voice memo’s on my iPhone to record voiceovers. Then I discovered that mic’s have the capability to plug into your laptop and act as voiceover microphones…seems pretty obvious now huh!?

As well as this, they allow you to beat the common videographer issue of wind. See that fluffy looking thingy? Yep, well that’s called a dead kitten (it actually is!) and what it does is it prevents your microphone picking up the sound of wind. Awesome right?!

Now the final thing that sold me on actually getting a microphone was that it obviously improves the videos audio. I thought my videos already had pretty good audio without a mic, but once I heard the difference between videos with and without mic’s, I was like “yep I need one!”.

3c. Focus and Background

Once we’ve got our lighting on and our camera, mic and tripod all put together, I set up my background and focus.

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My background is pretty simple.

It’s basically my bed and side table with a lamp, some cushions and fairy lights…plus my toothbrush, I ALWAYS forget to remove my toothbrush from the shot!

My background isn’t anything special, it might even be boring to some, but I like it. I think if I didn’t have fairy lights I would find it boring, fairy lights make any background look good!

The hardest part about my setup is focusing myself.

Because I do all my filming alone, there’s no one to put me in focus. Usually I either use my hand and struggle to hold it in the place my face will be whilst manually focusing the camera, or I put something where I will be sitting and focus on that, then remove it and take its place.

There have been times where I’ve filmed an entire video and only when editing realized I was out of focus the whole time, man is it frustrating! But that’s what being a YouTuber is all about.

Now before we move on, here’s a behind the scenes photo of what our set looks like from behind the camera.

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4. Hey guys it’s Laura!

If you’ve ventured over from our YouTube or have seen any of our videos, you’ll know this is how I start majority of my videos.

I’m not sure how I came up with it, I think I just said it one day and it caught on.

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Something that none of my viewers see is the many attempts I take to get the perfect sentence. Sometimes I can say the same sentence seven times before I get it right. This is usually because I paused in the wrong spot, mispronounced a word, forgot my lines, wasn’t smiling or looking happy to be there or just got word diarrhea and was rambling nonsense.

It happens to the best of us.

But once I finally get the result I’m after and all my filming is done, I edit.

5. Editing

Editing is definitely the step that takes the longest.

I’m often quite happy to sit down for hours on end and edit videos for my channel, but sometimes it will take a few days to get it to a point where I’m happy to publish it.

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There’s never any coffee left!



I love editing! It’s not just cutting clips and putting them together, there’s more to it than that. There’s filters, titles, fancy fades, music to add, sound effects and so much more!

You can really transform the footage you took from ordinary to something spectacular with a bit of patience, imagination and a good editor.

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I like to make my videos entertaining and special to watch, so this is why I take my time in editing them. I want to get them as perfect as I can, but keep the real me there too.

This is why I will often leave in mistakes I make whilst filming, to show that I’m not perfect. Plus I find them funny to watch!

6. YouTube

The last step is to publish the final result.

As I make my videos for my YouTube channel TheDogBlog, I publish my videos through the Tube *me trying to be hip*.

Once my video is live on my channel, that’s where the views, likes and comments happen. It’s also where you guys give me feedback on whether or not you liked it.

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So I hope you guys enjoyed this little behind the scenes post into how I make my videos. I gave a lot of my video secrets away, but at the same time I enjoyed it!

That’s it from us for now, we look forward to blogging to you again soon!

Love Zac, Lucy and Laura xx

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