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I Forge Iron

Making a How-to Video


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Turn the volume down or better, off. Gas forges are worse than wind on mics and no I don't want to listen to a power hammer for 20 minutes. You can dub in narration later.

Keep the light BEHIND the camera!

Rehearsals aren't cheating!

Frosty The Lucky.

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The largest problems in videos I have seen is camera shake, lighting, sound quality or lack of sound quality, and following a script both for the action and dialogue.

All these can be overcome with testing and practice. Digital media costs nothing. Make one test video to see what needs changed before you make the 2nd test video. Watch EVERYTHING both in the foreground and in the background. Eliminate or cover what is not important or you do not want seen. Your dog is the best dog you own, but knows nothing about how to make a video and should not be allowed to make a cameo appearance or become a distraction.

Edit the raw footage until it no longer resembles the original but actually looks finished and polished. DO NOT get fancy with titles, introductions, etc. We want to see the video not the new filter on your soft wear program. The introduction should be only seconds long, not the main part of the video.

Do you have permission to use the background music which most like is copyrighted? If you played it yourself, did you get permission from the copyright owner to use their work as part of and in your video production?

When the finished product is complete show it to a limited audience for review. Then take it back to the editing room and fix anything that needs fixed. 

All this takes time. All this time makes for a good video instead of a camera phone recording.

Edited by Glenn
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I will not quote Glenn's post above (See thread "Making a how-to video". Read it. But having written for tv shows when there was much of a young man left in me, I know you have to have an idea (1), then a plan (2), then a script (3).

I have seen videos of guys who ... well ... thought they were TV stars or some offspring of Carson : they talk, and talk. I do not need this self praise. I'm interested in forging.

Remember, always, that you can bore people in ten seconds.

Look at the best out there and develop your own style from their's. Or just plain copy their style. You might not be original but you might have a good video.

Two of the good ones I've seen : Torbjörn Åhman, Brent Bayley. A third : Brian Brazeal. Check out these guys. There are others. ... Technicus Joe on chain forging ...

Let me put it this way : a good idea of a how-to video is not enough. You have to work it out so that someone who is not into blacksmithing would like to get involved. Unless you are a Brian Brazeal or a Mark Aspery, your video, competing with I dont know how many others out there, better be d... good. Work!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bad videos are so easy to make!  :D


One thing I've noticed a lot of is.... ego.  When I watch a video, I want to see a pro doing something.  Watching an amateur hammer away on a chunk of railroad track, well, no.  Yet, these folks have no shame and want the world to see them making a tomahawk out of a rail spike.

Gary Huston is another one that makes good videos.  He has problems with his camera switching focus on close-ups, but it's almost become his trademark and can be rather humorous.  Definitely an accomplished smith and his voice-over work should be studied by anyone wanting to make a video.  The British accent makes everything better.

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