FREQUENTLY ASKED—

What CAMERA DO YOU recommend?

It's the most common question I answer. You’re lucky—most cameras are pretty great these days, but of course the one I recommend is one I use: the Panasonic GH5In a lightweight body, the Panasonic GH5 shoots 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, features focus-peaking and a built-in intervalometer to shoot time lapses. I’ve used this camera line since the Panasonic GH1 in 2010, and shot my documentary Sriracha in 1080p on the Panasonic GH3. 
View my entire kit of filmmaking gear here.

 

HOW do you make money on YouTube?

I don't make a lot from ads—or rather, it's not enough income to live off of. One of my most popular tutorial videos makes approximately $45/month in YouTube ad revenue. But most of my YouTube-related income isn't from advertising. It's from affiliate links. For the filmmaking gear I'm already using and talking about—if I link to those products on B&H or Amazon (whom I already order from), those websites give me a percentage (under 6%) of sales leading from those clicks. That affiliate link revenue amounts to over half the income generated from my YouTube videos.

 

WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR MAKING A DOCUMENTARY?

I collaborated with CreativeLive to produce a 5-hour, 16-lesson class on the subject, but I also share lots of free tutorials and behind-the-scenes videos on my YouTube channel. You can even watch my entire documentary Sriracha with director's commentary, and read this article I wrote for Videomaker about making Sriracha.

 

HAS YOUR DOCUMENTARY BEEN PROFITABLE?

Yes—amazingly it has been! 
I explain which platforms I used to sell my film, and share the actual revenue and expense numbers in this article.

 

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Every week, we answer your filmmaking questions on the Hey Indie Filmmakers podcast.