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 GH4In a lightweight body, the Panasonic GH4 shoots 4K MOV files, features focus-peaking and a built-in intervalometer to shoot time lapses. I’ve used this camera line since the Panasonic GH1 in 2009, and shot my documentary Sriracha in 1080p on the Panasonic GH3, which I still use as a second camera body.
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 income is 60% of the money I earn from 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.