We used Design Hill to make our logo as well as recent modifications to it. It's a pretty cool platform where you outline your specifications in a contest, then a bunch of designers will send you mock-ups to try to “win” your business. You get to interact with your favorite designers and, in the end, pick one to make your final design. If you're interested, we do have an affiliate link for them where you get 15% off: changinglanesrv.com/designhill
We get asked fairly often about how to get the music in our videos. We use EpidemicSound.com, Musicbed.com, and Artlist.io for all of our music under a creator's license (royalty-free). We know that some of the tracks are in iTunes, but many are not. The best way to find out is to use the Shazam app or ask Siri “what's this song” (Siri uses Shazam) as the music part plays in our video. If it's available, Shazam should recognize it and show you where you can download it.
We use Final Cut Pro X for our primary editing and Apple Motion for our stinger / intro.
Between the two of us, we have 2.5 full-time jobs. ? I (chad) work in IT (systems integration and automation development) and have been with the same company for 18 years and have telecommuted for the last 9 of those years. Both of us work on our channel – Tara does all of our editing, which is a full-time job, and I also spend about 30 hours a week on it also. Nomad life is a great fit and we're so happy we can share it through our content!
Our primary camera is a Canon EOS R wth RF 24-105mm (amzn.to/2MYKdRz) with Rode Video Mic Pro Plus (VMP+) (amzn.to/2YWCaf6). We mount this on a DJI Ronin-S (gimbal) (amzn.to/2YU1YbD) whenever practical to get smooth footage.
For out and about stabilized footage, we use a DJI Osmo Pocket (amzn.to/2KsuBVh) for B-Roll and some vlogging. But the field of view is a bit narrow for vlogging, so we also bring a DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) for that.
We use the GoPro Hero7 (amzn.to/2KEJBhY) for some vlog-mode shots and as a secondary angle camera when using the Canon if the light is good. When we're walking around filming something like an RV show, the Canon / Ronin, and Osmo Pocket are what we use most.
On the motorcycle (Lucille), we use three GoPro Hero7s (amzn.to/2KEJBhY). One mounted in a Karma Grip (amzn.to/2Kr9JOc) (Tara manually filming), and two mounted in various locations using Go Pro Jaws Flex Clamps, as well as the DJI Osmo Action (amzn.to/2GYxriE) mounted directly on the handlebars.
For aerial shots, we use the DJI Mavic Air 2 (amzn.to/2NW8yrb).
Editing is one of the most time-consuming aspects of running a youtube channel for sure! Editing will take more or less time depending on how particular one is about audio, color grading, timing, etc. Most professional editors will say about 1 to 1.5 hours per minute of edited video, and that's about right. For us, a 30-minute video takes about 40 hours of editing. If you don't know, Tara does all of our editing and takes great pride in the quality of our videos. She has gotten faster over the last couple of years, but it just takes a lot of time to make a good video! I've seen Tara spend a whole day just finding the right music! But, editing is only part of the equation when it comes to an overall channel.
Every video starts with a plan. That plan can take between an hour and up to several hours depending on the detail and research involved.
Follow that with several hours of filming, depending on what it is. Sometimes the filming takes place over several days for projects and such. Sometimes the video is filmed while we're out seeing a new place, going on a ride, etc. Even that takes time to set up. We run 4 cameras for every ride! Then the “talk” portion has to be filmed also.
Once everything is “in the can”, Tara starts the editing process to tell the story of what we're trying to convey. That part is a real art, and she has gotten better and better over time in my humble opinion! That process usually includes 2-3 watch-thru sessions with both of us, making tweaks, then a final watch before uploading.
After upload comes writing the blog post and description for youtube, adding all of the metadata, links and so on. Then, the video, blog post, and social media posts are written and everything is scheduled for release.
Once a video is released, we read every comment, reply where appropriate, answer emails, comments on social media, etc. That part goes on every day, but is most busy on Monday, after a video release. About 20 hours a week is spent just managing social media. More if we make posts during the week.
Those are just the things related to a video. There's a lot more involved on the business side (partnerships, etc).
Long story short, when we're not out doing “stuff”, we're working on the Channel. Always trying to do just a little bit better than last week! I (chad) work a 9-5 during the week, working on the channel on breaks, lunch, and after work till around 9 or 10 at night. Tara gets up way before I do ? , and works all day editing, resting when she needs to (for her chronic Lyme). All told, we put over 100 hours a week between the two of us into the channel and we hope to make it our primary income at some point where I can quit the 9-5 and focus on the channel. ?
Our video files are super important to us. Not only the videos waiting to be edited but also our past source media and project files. Sometimes we talk about a place or event long after that video is released and it's nice to have access to that footage for B-Roll in a current video. But that's TONS of data (currently about 25TB and growing constantly) and we live on cellular data. It's definitely a challenge making sure we always make sure we have two copies of everything in separate locations. This is the process we've come up with:
- After every shooting day, the contents of our SD cards are copied to our 16TB NAS (RAID-5 drive redundancy – 12TB effective). Files are organized as:
/YYYYMMDD-Location(or Event)/MMDD-Event/CameraName (e.g.
20190523-MesaVerde/0525-RideToDurago/(GoPro1, GoPro2, Canon, etc.))
- The NAS (stays in the RV) is synced to a 10TB External drive (using Chronosync), which is placed in our truck after sync. If something happened to the truck or the RV, we'd have a copy in the other.
- Once the footage is used for a Location, it is copied to a Dropbox folder on my local hard drive AND an external 4TB drive “Archive X” and deleted from the NAS. Still two copies. Our dropbox folder structure is organized into 4TB chunks to match the external drives – Archive 1, Archive 2, and so on…
- Dropbox will eventually sync the folder to the cloud (we have an unlimited business account with Dropbox). Once it's in the cloud, I can mark that folder as “online-only” on my local hard drive. That deletes the local copy leaving just an empty shell identifying the file. This free's up space for the next round.
What we're left with is all of our unused (newest) media on the NAS and 10TB Drive, and our archived footage in the cloud (Dropbox) and a local hard drive.
What we really like about this approach is that all of our archived media (currently over 18TB) still appears to be on my local drive that's only 500GB (Tara's editing laptop has 2TB SSD). I can search for any old footage we might want to use as if it were all local. Then, we have the option of marking the file local (to download it) or grabbing the Archive disk for that folder, which is usually the fastest option.
We recently had an archive disk go bad and it was a simple matter to replace the drive, download it from dropbox to a new drive. Yes, it took a couple of weeks to get all 4TB downloaded, but we lost no footage.
One last note: Before archiving our FCPX file, we prune it by deleting all render files, optimized media, and proxy media. All of the info that is the “edit” remains as well as the source media. The rest can all be recreated by FCPX very easily.
We archive both the original footage AND the FCPX project file which has exact copies of most of that footage (but buried in the FCPX project file with our folder structure removed). When Dropbox does it's sync/upload, it's smart enough to recognize the source media files buried in the project are duplicates of the source media in the Location folder and does not upload them twice. Rather, it makes a link on the back end in dropbox so there appears to be two copies of the files, but there is really only one and it was only uploaded once.