1. How to Save $500 on Equipment

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Cheap Camera

Don't buy an expensive camera - it's online video, so no one will tell the difference between a video that was shot on a $5,000 camera, or shot on a $150 camera like a Flipcam or Kodak Zi-8.  Flipcam is being shut down by their parent company (Cisco), so you can find unbelievable deals on them these days... often less than $100.  A Flipcam is what I use.

Inexpensive Lighting

Don't buy or use lighting, or a studio - instead of blowing $1,000 on lightboxes, muslin, frames and stands, just use.... drum roll please.... natural sunlight!  Not only will you save money, but tons of time too.  If you've ever tried to setup lighting  - especially in a small room or office - you know that you can easily spend 30-60 mins fidgeting with things to avoid shadows or "hot spots" (glare) on your / your subject's face.

Best Video Editing Software

Don't but expensive editing software - make no mistake, a $5,000 editing program can do amaaaaazing things (broadcast-quality in fact) in the hands of a skilled operator.  Here's the thing - for you and I to get to that level would require dozens and dozens of hours of practice.  PLUS - the accomplish what you and I want to accomplish in our basic, blog-style marketing videos doesn't require movie magic - we don't need lazers, crazy intros, or any other form of glittering editing magic.  We just need an intro, body, and outro.  That's it.  So purchase accordingly - get Screenflow for Mac (the best setup, and only $100), or if you're on a PC (my condolences) you can use Camtasia or Sony Vegas.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

jane shafrin November 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

hi i just sent you a note from perry marshall's group.

i have a flip video cam, but i cant recharge it because it takes 8 hrs or so, and i dont know how to get my laptop not to shut down while the cam is attached via USB. Now that would be a great way for me to get started, if i could only recharge my flip. I paid almost $200 for it and i am very unhappy with this problem. Any ideas? I already spoke to gateway tech support and their directions didnt solve the prob.

PS I did make a video with a professional guy

Youtube put links next to my video to all my competitors when i uploaded my video! eeekk

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Tim November 16, 2011 at 2:24 am

Hey Jane, so nice to meet you :)

To solve your problem of your laptop turning off while you're charging your FlipCam, simply.... don't use your laptop at all. Yes, that's right, there are other ways to charge your FlipCam. You can buy wall chargers from eBay and Amazon for really good prices, usually under $20 (be careful of shipping costs). Here's an example: http://www.amazon.com/Flip-Video-Wall-Charger-Extension/dp/B0041T1X20/ref=pd_sim_sbs_p_3

If you want to put videos up on your site, but don't want to use YouTube because your competitor's videos and links show up, then simply... don't use YouTube. Not sure how we savvy you are, but you can upload / host your videos with Amazon S3.... super affordable, and completely free of distracting video suggestions and links. You would use a free program like Cyberduck to upload the video file to Amazon S3. Once uploaded, Amazon S3 will give you a URL to paste into your website to make the video show up. You might need to install a video player (if you use a Wordpress site, Viper's Video Tags is a solid plugin)..... whoever does all of your video work will easily understand everything I've said here.

Hope that helps!

Tim :)

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Jane November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

WOW how come no one else thought of getting a wall charger! maybe staples has one, or there is a battery store in my town i will call them. amazon might ship free

you are really smart!

i was using bits on the run to host my video, they were pretty good,

Reply

Tim November 16, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Glad you are pleasantly surprised with the usefulness and effectiveness of the tips here on this website :)

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