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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Filming Families: The Modern Family Video

Courtney Holmes

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Spark That Inspired Me


What Are Family Films?


Gear for Family Films


Camera Settings for Video


Frame Rates & Slow Motion


Picture Profiles & Color Grading


Settings for Audio Capture


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

I'm so excited to be here. Not gonna lie, it's a little bit nerve-wracking, but I am so thrilled to share with you guys all of my, I guess, it's really just a lot of my heart here that I've just laid out. So, I am going to take you through all of the content that we're going to through at the beginning and then we'll get into it. Before we start, I just wanna get, like, a show of hands from the audience, what, how many of you are completely brand new to video? So, many of you have been shooting video but you haven't really done a lot of editing yet? Okay, and how many of you have made several films? Awesome, okay, so it's like my brand new people are at the back, and my more experienced people are in the front, which is great. Okay, okay, so, here's the thing, here's what we're going to go through over the course of this class. So, gear essentials, I'm going to take through what I use for my family sessions, so this is not going to be a huge gear demonstration because I don't use a lot...

of gear, but I think that's what makes this so awesome is that you can make these without a lot of gear, and so I'm gonna show you how I'll do that. Camera settings: so I'm gonna talk to you through the camera settings that you need to know before you switch over to video, for those of you who are already shooting video, just making sure that you are doing the right things. Slow motion: I'm gonna talk about this cause this is a really, like, I use this a lot through my films, slow motion. I'll talk about what it is, what it's used for. Audio capture: how to capture it and the impact that that makes. Exposure for video: so, how exposure settings impact your footage. So, that's specifically is going be covering things like shutter speed and the rules for that. Stabilization and focus: I'm gonna run you through how to stabilize your camera when hand held and also the manual focus techniques that I use. So, a lot of people ask me about stabilization, that's one of the biggest things, so I'll take you through a lot of that information as well. Camera movements: we're gonna go through the purpose of camera movements, including how and when to use them, so more than just, here's what they are, I'm gonna take you through why you would do them and where you would use them in your films. Shifting mindset: how to shift your mindset from photographer to filmmaker using the knowledge that you already have as a photographer, and then applying that to making films. Filming a scene: so, as you can see, it's a lot of content already, right? Filming a scene: how to approach and film a scene that'll give you the shots that you need for the edit. So, this is really just specifically looking at approaching a scene and kind of knowing what you need to shoot, in able, in order to, have the shots that you need to edit with later, okay? B-roll: so, what B-roll is, and its use as a storytelling tool in filmmaking. So, how that adds to your films. Light: how to look for and film in different types of light. This is something that I don't cover as heavily in other things, so this is kind of new for this class, and it's something I'm really, really passionate about that light is a big feature in my films, so, I think it's really important to cover that. Photos to video: how to switch back and forth, that's another thing I get asked a lot, is how do you go back and forth when, how do you know when to go back and forth, and then the logistics of how to do that. Shot lists: so, we're gonna, at the end of, I think, segment four, we're gonna talk through shot lists and ideas for your first film. I would, if you're new to this, it's, like, you don't pick up a camera, start taking pictures, and then immediately go shoot clients, right? So, it's the same kind of thing, you start out practicing with things that inspire you, things that motivate you, and so, we're gonna talk through ideas, and then build a shot list for you to create your first film. Or, even just a personal film, if you've already made films before. So, client prep: I'm gonna go through how I prep my clients, and how the things that I will say to them, particularly with wardrobe, things that are specifically video in mind, so you kind of take some of this and add it to what you're already doing for your family sessions. Guidance for clients: I'm gonna run you through how much guidance I give, if I give guidance, when that happens, and my thoughts on that whole process. Song choice: looking for music, what to look, what to listen for, how to find the right song for your brand and your clients. So, you need to kind of work out what's gonna be best for both. And then editing: editing 101, the basics of organizing, importing your media, building your film. Gonna run you through, we'll have, the behind the scenes footage from the session that we did on Sunday, so we're gonna take that into Premiere Pro and I'm gonna run through my whole thought process, you're gonna see me do that from scratch. So, that's awesome. Editing and then delivery methods: I'm gonna talk you through the way that I deliver family films to clients and what I use to display the photos and video in a cohesive way. And then marketing tips: so, I'll give you some of my marketing tips, there's also a little bit of information about pricing in there, too, I don't have that listed there, but little bit of information about pricing and marketing, and just some ideas to get you started and incorporating this into your existing photography business and some of the strategies that I've used that have worked for me. Okay? So, my friend Sarah, Sarah Black, is an Australian photographer, and she had this on her Instagram, this quote, the other day, that she said, and memories can lose their edges so quickly, and it just resonated with me so strongly. So, when I was, I grew up in South Georgia, Valdosta, Georgia, and my dad used to make home movies of us, like, they're the old school with the big video camera on his shoulder, and I feel like, for me, my memories of childhood are kind of fuzzy, not, I don't know why that is, but they're kind of fuzzy. The ones that I remember the most are the ones that he videoed. The ones that I've watched over and over and over and over, throughout my childhood, throughout my adulthood. I've gone back and watched them now, and so, I, this resonates so strongly with me because it's sort of like, I feel this calling to preserve memories because I think that being able to watch them just strengthens them in your mind, and I know that our culture has this traditional storytelling thing that happens with your grandparents, and they tell you stories and you have all of this in your mind. I feel like we're kind of losing that, a little bit, these days. It's not happening as much, we're moving away from our families. We're not all living as close together as we used to, and so, you're kind of losing that and having videos of childhood, to be able to keep, for however long, you know, 20, 30 years, however long they last, is priceless. And, it helps you just cement those memories in your mind. So, I never really thought about how much of the time what he was doing was so important. I didn't realize, like, how important what he was doing was, like, I was really annoyed, actually, that he was filming us all the time. But, now, they are the most treasured things that our family owns are these videos, particularly because they've got family members in them that have passed away since then, and to be able to go back and listen to them, to see them. I wrote a blog post for CreativeLive the other day that was about how my grandfather passed away last year, and at the end of his life, he had Parkinson's, and I remember a couple of years ago, sitting in my parents' home and re-watching the videos that my dad had made when he was able to stand up and speak to a room, and through my childhood, I remember him as this, you know, charismatic man who could own a room, he was a preacher, and everyone loved him, and he was just such an incredible speaker and storyteller, and so for him to lose that later, was really, really hard for us, I think. And, then to be able to see a video of him back then, now, it was, yeah, it's priceless, especially now that he's gone as well, and so, it really, really hit me in that moment how important capturing the things are now that you don't really realize, like, you don't think about it, you get stuck in your everyday, and you think, you know, it's gonna be like this tomorrow, so why bother getting the camera out, and documenting it today, but it is important, so important to do it.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Shot List Worksheet Template
Shot List Worksheet Example
Ideas for Your First Film
Discount Code

Ratings and Reviews

Adam Nicholls

Worth a watch! Courtney provides a clear and organised class, she is also very passionate about what she does which is always nice to see. She has a great back story which is fantastic. This course is good for beginners who have some knowledge in photography and want to learn more about video. I would recommend that people do not refer this class to the bible of filmmaking as I feel you can expand further on what Courtney teaches. Some useful tips for beginners but some methods I personally feel can be taught differently. I feel a gimbal is a useful bit of kit if used correctly. You can still use a gimbal when in manual mode providing you follow the basics rules! Obviously if Courtney prefers not to use a gimbal then that's also fine but I wouldn't discourage students from exploring useful filmmaking tools. Slow motion can be achieved with 50/60fps however I feel other frame rates should have been discussed like 120fps. I liked that Courtney engaged with the students as it gets them involved and will help them remember what they have learned during the class. Thank you for taking the time to share some of your knowledge

a Creativelive Student

Courtney's work is absolutely amazing and inspiring. I feel lucky that she has chosen to share her process and that this class is available! After watching all the videos and trying my hand at this video thing, I am feeling really encouraged and inspired to do more- both personally and professionally. I appreciate the way that she breaks things down in the video and that she shares her thought process. A really great course!


Courtney’s course completes me! I have storytelling “holes” in my film previously, but this course helped fill those holes to create a flow and a film with emotion. Not only is the course wonderful (and well worth every penny) but Courtney is wonderful as well! I had such an amazing experience at Creative Live!!!!

Student Work