• Canon7D
Society has become visual-oriented. That is not going to change anytime soon. And yet there is a glut of poorly produced, bad and plain boring videos on YouTube and elsewhere. - Photo from Philip Bloom

What is required to produce compelling videos?

Three thoughts are crucial and shape everything I attempt to incorporate:

Inform - inspire - technically pure.


Tell a compelling story. Aim to give information adds value to the viewer; something that they will want to know.


Be creative, illustrating that the time of the viewer is being respected.

Technically pure:

footage should be exceptional and not distract from the story. Audio must be understandable and be mastered.

Here is my breakdown:


I use a Rode NTG-2- a unidirectional mike designed to eliminate noises outside of the immediate zone of the speaker direction. I do not want the passing bus or the lawn mower in the distance. Also, I record on a Zoom H4N digital recorder and sync in post. Each scene is started with a hand clap- that digital spike is matched up to the hand clap with the video track. Audio is then mastered to -6db in audio software, using a compressor and equalizer. In studio, I utilize a compressor/limiter with a TBone tube microphone which records a hot signal in warm tones.

Audio is the very first step of good video. Focus your attention here until you have a developed your skillset and can consistently produce good audio.


I shoot in 1280x720 HD 25 frames per second (PAL). Mostly I use a Canon 17-55mm f2.8f lens, with a short focal length (f 2.8) to blur out unwanted background. If lighting us too bright, I use a variable Neutral Density filter to drop light coming into the lens in order to get the desired f- stop. Also, a very low f-stop is used to eliminate unwanted video noise. Never ever shoot without a histogram.


This is the crucial element in video footage. Presently I utilize soft boxes with cold-lighting. 7 28 watt neon lights, with 5600 kelvin color temperature is brought close to the subject. Most often I use a three light setup: Main, fill and highlight.


I prefer Newtek Speededit - mainly because it does not require rendering to edit - which aids in the workflow, plus it will take the QuickTime Mov files directly from the Canon camera. Additionally, I use After Effects to colorized edited footage.

On the iPad I shoot via Filmic Pro, because it implements a video histogram and an audio meter. Editing is done on two apps: iMovie and Pinnacle Studio. Pinnacle Studio allies me to drop in a piece if footage and the audio track stays in sync with the video - something I am yet to master in iMovie. Also, pinnacle Studio renders the footage to a smaller footprint/size, which aids in uploading when I travel. WLAN speeds are notorious for being slow when in a hotel or guest housing.

Previous entries that might be helpful:

Producing videos - Part 1

Producing videos - Part 2

Producing videos - Part 3


Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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