We recently caught up with Luke Brown from Our Family Film School, who kindly gave us an exclusive interview:
Tell us about the Our Family Film School
Our Family Film School is an online community that aims to teach everyday people how to shoot, edit and create amazing videos with their mobile devices.
We’ve just launched our first course called ‘Family Video Stories’ which teaches parents and grandparents how to shoot and edit with their mobile phone and craft the everyday moments you capture of your kids into meaningful family video stories. The course is aimed to be a lot of fun and includes loads of fun video activities to do with the kids and step by step how-to guides such as filming the school concert, creating a highlights video and backing up your mobile media.
Why decide you decide to create an online course?
When my son turned 7 he had a massive Star Wars themed party. I decided it would be a great idea to re-create the Star Wars Rogue One trailer only starring the kids at the party. It was a lot of work, but I pulled it off and after I played it back at the party I had parents coming up to me saying “That was amazing I wish I knew how to do that.” So that gave me the idea to teach other parents to make videos with their kids.
But the more and more I explored this idea, the more I came to the conclusion that these days so many of us have all of the best memories of our family on our phone. Sure, we might share some on social media, but not all of them. And every year the media in your phones camera roll grows and grows and you just drown in content. So, I really wanted to help parents craft these precious memories into family video stories.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when filming with a mobile phone?
A lot of people will be guilty of this, it’s such a simple thing and can make a massive difference to your videos. When you film video for family videos or for your business you need to film in landscape mode and not in portrait. This is because if you ever play the video back on a computer or TV it will have black bars on the side. Now I know if you’re filming for Snapchat or Instagram you can film like this, but for videos that are important to you, you should always film in portrait mode.
What’s the secret to recording good sound in a video?
The microphone on your mobile is designed to record sound that happens close to it, after all it is a telephone. Therefore, when it comes to capturing audio for your family videos, it will sound okay if the subject is near the camera, but terrible if they’re a long way away or not very loud. So, you should always try to get as close to the source of the sounds as possible. If you’re serious about capturing better quality video you should invest in an external shotgun mic like the Rode Video Mic Me.
Do you have any tips for using video with social media?
If you’re a business, video is the best way to tell your story, share updates and add personality to your brand on social media. My tips would be to use video often, be in it yourself, be authentic and make sure that the sound quality is good, as if people can’t hear you clearly, they’ll turn off.
Another tip would be to add subtitles to your video, where possible, as most people are going to watch them with the sound off.
What are your favourite equipment or apps you like to recommend?
There are now so many great apps and hardware to help you capture better quality videos and photos on your mobile. When it comes to editing my favourite apps:
- iMovie for iOS
- Cyberlink Action Director for Android.
When it comes to filming I love using Filmic Pro, because it allows you to have total control over what you capture – but it is a bit advanced.
When it comes to hardware my favourite toys are my Moment wide angle lens which expands your field of view and makes it easier to film everyday events and the Rode Video Mic Me, which is a cheap shotgun mic that clips onto your mobile and helps you capture better quality audio.
How did you get interested in video production?
When I was a teenager, I really wanted to get into comedy, and because I wasn’t that funny I thought a good thing to do would be to get into the industry as a camera operator, video editor or writer. During my career, I have had the opportunity to work on a few exciting comedy projects, but I’ve spent most of it working in corporate video, multimedia and digital marketing.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I used to be a videographer on Hamilton Island, where I would be regularly harnessed out the side of a helicopter filming yachts through the Whitsundays as well as working on large events and conferences. It was amazing and really launched my career in corporate video, multimedia and marketing.
What do you love most about what you do?
Everyone says that if their house was burning down the first thing that they would grab would be the family photos, but these days no one prints their photos and all of our family’s precious memories are stored on our mobile devices. I love the fact that I can use the skills that I’ve developed through my career in digital media to help people to craft their family memories into something really meaningful, something they can be proud of. Because after all the story of our family is the most important story we have to tell.
What are your favourite movies?
The Blues Brothers, Fight Club and Snatch.
Do you have any predictions for the film industry?
I think that over the next few years we’ll see a massive increase in the amount of high-quality user-generated content. Cameras, drones, and mobiles are just so cheap these days and the quality is so good that there is no reason that you can’t spend a few hundred dollars and have all you need to produce your own drama series, a fishing show, or travel documentary.
This trend has been there for a while, but I think the difference now is that as we are getting exposed to more and more content people are getting better at telling stories with video.
Do you have any plans for the next 12 months?
In the next few months, I’ll be launching an online course to teach business owners how to make great videos to promote their business online. An add-on for this course will be an editing service where businesses can shoot their own videos and get us to edit for them.