Filmmaking & Storytelling with Casey Neistat

Project 1A: Find Your Idea

It’s time to find your film idea!

Welcome to Day 1 of the class! We hope you enjoyed watching Casey find the idea for his spontaneous film.

We want you to start creating right away, so in this project, you’ll follow along with Casey and begin by finding the idea for your first movie of the class.

For Casey, an idea is merely a starting point before he picks up his camera. Ideas are a source of motivation to start creating a movie, and can come from all sorts of inspiration in your environment. Don’t worry too much about finding the perfect idea right away. Instead, embrace the spontaneity of looking around your environment, and select the idea that feels most compelling. What’s important about your idea is that you find it interesting enough to make a movie about it.

We encourage you to follow along with Casey’s process and build your story as you go, so don’t focus on planning your movie too much at this stage. Your story will unfold more once you begin filming your movie in later projects.

What to do

  • To start, explore your own environment for sparks of interestingness until you’ve found 3-4 ideas for a movie. Take photos along the way.
    • Pick an environment that is meaningful to you to explore. For Casey, this is the neighborhood around his studio in New York City. For you, it could be a walk around your own neighborhood, looking through things in your basement, a drive around your town, walking around your apartment, or any place that excites you.
    • Explore your environment—walk, drive, skateboard—and keep an eye out for anything that you find interesting that might turn into a promising film idea.
      • As you find each potential idea, take a photo of what sparked the idea to help jog your memory when it comes time to select one and share it with your peer group.
    • Remember that a film idea can come from anything: an item that sparks a memory, a place that makes you feel inspired, local customs or quirks.
      • If you feel stuck, try to open your mind and remain observant of your surroundings. Remember the variety of things that sparked Casey’s ideas: a fire escape, a chop saw, a bakery, snowboarding, and an airplane seat.
      • What’s important is that your idea comes from your environment. Try to lean into the spontaneity of finding a new idea, rather than digging back for a more premeditated idea. That’ll come later in the class.
    • Keep in mind that the “interestingness” is often a layer below the surface of the idea.
      • For example, Casey was inspired by a chop saw on the street, but the most interesting angle on this idea was the way the noise impacted his filmmaking.
      • Similarly, he was inspired by a fire escape near his house, but the interestingness came from an old photo he had and the nostalgia that fire escape induced.
    • Continue exploring until you’ve identified 3-4 solid ideas that you feel interested in and could turn into a movie.
  • Once you’ve found a few ideas, pick the one that excites you the most.
    • Once you have a handful of ideas, select the one that is most exciting and interesting to you.
      • For Casey, this was the idea about creating an instructional video on purchasing a counterfeit handbag in NYC’s Chinatown.
    • Remember, your idea doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect or completely fleshed out at this point. What’s important is that it excites you enough to make a movie about it. Like Casey said, his ideas are the motivation that “pushes him off the cliff” to start filming.
      • You might even find that your idea changes while filming! This is okay, and all part of embracing the spontaneity of making a film.
  • Finally, introduce yourself and your first film idea to your peer group.
    • Once you’ve selected your idea, it’s time to share it with your peer group!
      • Upload a photo that’s representative of the idea for your spontaneous film.
      • Be sure to add a title to your post that gives your peers some context for the story you’re going to build.
    • In the description, feel free to share a little bit about yourself, what brought you to this class, and more about the idea for your movie.
      • Some helpful starting points may be what excites you about your idea, your underlying story angle, or how you’re thinking this might translate into a movie.

Project 1B: Shoot Your Spontaneous Film

It’s time to start filming your first movie!

In this project, you’ll film your first movie of the class, based on your idea from the previous project.

Remember: Casey shoots his film chronologically. He moves from the setup through the main action, climax, and resolution of the narrative, and captures just what he needs to move from one story beat to the next. He keeps the story in his head and focuses on what he needs to shoot at each moment.

In a similar way, you’ll head out to wherever your movie takes place and begin filming. You’ll capture shots that set up your story, capture your action and climax, and bring your film to a close. As you film, you’ll find bits of interestingness to move your story along and keep your film visually interesting.

To challenge yourself to focus on the story, we encourage you to only use your smartphone (or a similarly basic camera) to film this movie, avoiding complicated cinematography and instead focusing on straightforward, simple techniques to build your skills as a storyteller. Like Casey said, “It’s not the gear that makes the movie good, it’s you.”

What to do

  • If you haven’t done so yet, figure out the angle you’re going to take on your idea.
    • In Casey’s case, he considers a few different angles about his counterfeit handbags idea, like their quality or the companies whose bags are being counterfeited. Casey’s favorite angle is an instructional video about tourists purchasing the bags because that’s what he finds most interesting.
    • For your own movie, consider what about your idea is most interesting to you, and how you can hone in on that angle to create the most compelling story. If something strikes you as interesting, it’s likely that others will find it interesting as well. Finding the angle of your story will help you share the underlying universal truth or feeling that your story uncovers.
    • Remember: Casey uses his angle as motivation to “push him off the cliff,” and start filming. So, just figure out enough to get started. It’s okay if your story evolves as you film.
  • Begin shooting your movie, starting with the setup of your story.
    • Casey shoots his movies chronologically, which enables him to keep the story in his head and keep track of how his viewers will eventually experience his movie.
    • As you begin filming, start by considering how you can best set up your own story.
      • At the top of your movie, it’s helpful to use establishing shots to convey your “set” and introduce the first act of your story.
    • Remember there’s no one “right” shot to get, and you can film multiple takes to capture your environment in different ways, and choose which is the best option later on in the edit.
  • As you film, capture shots that add bits of interestingness and progress your story through the main action and climax.
    • As you progress throughout your shoot, keep your story top of mind, remembering where you are in the narrative of your film, and what you might need to capture to move from the setup, to the climax, all the way through to the resolution.
      • Keep in mind at each point of filming that you don’t need to focus on capturing the entire story in a single shot.
      • Remember how Casey explores his environment for all types of interestingness. Sometimes he captures larger shots, like traffic behind the hot dog stand, and sometimes smaller ones, like “Hip Hop Jewelry” or the row of ski masks.
    • To effectively hit different points in your story, explore new techniques for storytelling and filming.
      • To keep your visuals interesting, try different types of shots—wide, medium, or close up, for example—to convey different sorts of information to your viewer and establish different moods with each take.
      • Try getting different takes or angles of the same thing. For example, Casey shoots the handbag setup from across the street behind a garbage can, using both his front- and back-facing cameras, and placing himself in and out of the shot to get coverage on this moment in his film.
      • To illustrate your story clearly, try taking some moments to speak directly to camera. This allows you to explain where you are in your own movie to the viewer, take stock of what has happened and what’s about to happen, and situate the other shots in your movie with more context.
  • Keep filming through the resolution of your story, and wrap your shoot.
    • Just as you did for the setup and main action of your story, focus on the resolution of your movie as you near the end of your shoot.
      • Here, it’s helpful to think of the journey you’ve been on so far, from establishing your story, the events of your shoot, and the main climax. Try to find a resolution that feels satisfying and brings your story neatly to a close.
      • Remember, at this point in the shoot, Casey got stuck and had to step back from his shoot, keep observing his environment, and persist to find a way to wrap his story.
    • When in doubt, it’s always better to shoot more rather than less, so don’t be afraid to get some extra takes or establishing shots just in case. When you get to the edit, you’ll be happy you did.
    • Once you have enough footage to bring your film to a satisfying close, it’s time to wrap your shoot.
  • Finally, upload and share a take from the shoot that feels representative of how your shoot went.
    • Once you’re finished with your first shoot, upload one of your clips using the Upload Video button below.
    • Think of this take as a “teaser” for your film. You can upload your favorite take from your shoot, a take that feels representative of your story or idea, or even the shot you think might come first in your film.
    • Add a description to reflect on how your shoot went. You might want to share what went as expected or not, what bits of interestingness or story beats you found along the way, or how challenging or exciting you found the process of spontaneously shooting a film.

Project 1C: Start Your Edit

It’s time to start editing your movie!

In this project, you’ll start to edit your film, and build out your story through the first act. It’s time to take all of the hard work you put into your shoot and turn that footage into a cohesive, compelling narrative.

You’ve just seen Casey take all of his raw footage and begin editing it into a movie, working chronologically. He begins with his introduction, selects music, and continues to build out his story by carefully selecting and incorporating his shots. He continues this process until he reaches the end of his first act, establishing his story but not yet getting into the main action and climax of the movie.

Using the techniques Casey demonstrated and your own creativity, it’s time to take your footage and begin editing your movie. If you’re new to using editing software, be sure to check out our Intro to Video Editing Software, and refer back to it as needed.

What to do

  • To start, begin a new project and import the footage you filmed in the previous project.
    • In your editing software, begin a new project file and import all of your footage.
      • If you shot chronologically, your footage files should import in order and be relatively organized for you to begin your edit.
      • If you didn’t shoot chronologically, you might want to organize your files into bins based on where you think they fall in the story, or the location you shot at.
    • If you’re working with a large amount of footage, it’s good practice to edit on an external hard drive. If you don’t have one, you can still begin work on your first movie, but might want to consider investing in a drive, especially if you plan to keep creating films after class is through.
  • Then, start editing your video by introducing your story and setting the tone with music.
    • Starting at the top of your edit, introduce your story and then continue to edit your movie chronologically through the first act, the setup of your story.
      • As you edit, remember that story is king and each decision you make should move your story forward.
      • Because there’s no right way to edit any single moment, you might consider different techniques as you progress from story beat to story beat, selecting what feels right.
      • For example, Casey uses an engaging, gripping hook for his counterfeit handbag movie, but has used a more careful, methodical build for previous videos like “iPod’s Dirty Secret.”
    • When adding music, choose a song that complements the mood and pacing of your movie. Remember that there are a number of ways to find the perfect track:
      • Like Casey, you can search through SoundCloud to find undiscovered artists and potential collaborators, and use their music in your video with their permission.
      • You can also look through free libraries like the Free Music Archive or YouTube’s Audio Library, or paid services like Epidemic Sound or PremiumBeat.
      • If there’s a well-known track (like a pop song) that’s perfect for your movie, you can use that as well, but note that you won’t be able to monetize your video and it may limit your ability to share it online.
  • Continue editing until you’ve established your story but haven’t reached the central action (the end of the first act).
    • Continue building out your edit until you feel that the story, tone, and pacing of your movie is established. This is the end of your first act, when you’ve set up your story but haven’t progressed through the main action or climax of the narrative.
      • If something isn’t perfect, don’t be afraid to push past it, as you’ll be reviewing your work in a later project to tweak your movie to your liking.
      • Remember throughout your edit that the “story is king.” As you add and adjust your footage, ask yourself how it supports your story and better helps you convey that story to your viewer. Cut anything that doesn’t progress your story forward in the edit.
    • Make sure to experiment with different combinations of dialogue, establishing shots, and music to see what feels right for your story.
      • You might want to blend your background music with dialogue and sound present in your clips, or overlap the audio of different clips to manipulate the pacing and efficiency of your story.
      • You can see how your B-roll, establishing shots, takes while talking to camera, or POV shots play in the setup of your story.
      • There’s no right or wrong way to edit a movie, and the more you try out different tricks and techniques while editing, the more you’ll land on the ones that lend your own spin and style to your movie.
    • Once you get to the end of the first act, it’s time to take a break from your edit to share your progress with your peers.
  • Finally, export your edit in progress and share it with your peer group.
    • Export your working edit and share it with your peer group by uploading your video file using the Upload Video button.
    • At this point in the process, your edit doesn’t need to be perfect or polished by any means. The editing process can be daunting, and there’s no right or wrong way to tell your own story.
    • Be sure to submit your edit in progress on time, so that your peers have a chance to review your work and leave their feedback!

Project 1D: Finish Your Movie

It’s time to finish your first film!

In this project, you’ll finish the edit of your first movie of the class, and polish and share your film with your peers.

By now, you’ve seen Casey continue his chronological edit from the end of his first act through the bulk of his story and all the way to a satisfying conclusion, before reviewing and tweaking his work. Using the techniques Casey demonstrated and your own creativity, it’s time to return to your edit and finish your first movie of the class.

As a reminder, if you’re new to editing software, you can always refer back to our Intro to Video Editing Software lesson.

What to do

  • First, remind yourself where you left off in your edit.
    • Return to your edit (you might want to watch through your work to remind yourself how you established the first act of your movie) and continue building out your story.
  • Continue editing through the second act of your story, including the main action or climax.
    • Like when you last edited your film, remember that the story is king, and the decisions you make and techniques you use while editing should advance your story.
    • Incorporate more of your footage in the edit and transition into the second act of your narrative.
      • Your second act is an opportunity for you to share the bulk of your story. This is typically where the main conflict or climax of a narrative would occur.
      • For Casey, once he has established his goal of buying a counterfeit handbag, the second act of his story involves him approaching the salesmen and purchasing the tote bag.
  • Finish editing through the third act of your movie, bringing your story to a satisfying resolution.
    • Keep editing your movie from its climax through to the resolution of your narrative in the third act.
    • The third act generally occurs after the bulk of your story, where your viewer can digest what they’ve just seen and reflect on the main events of the story.
      • In Casey’s video, his third act happens after he has purchased the bag and returns to his studio. He runs into his friend, reflects on the process of buying the bag, and eventually decides to give the bag away.
      • Bringing your movie to a satisfying conclusion can be one of the most difficult parts of the editing process, so don’t be afraid to try out a few things to get it just right!
    • Once you’ve finished editing the conclusion of your movie, you’re ready to review and polish your movie.
  • Then, review your work by watching and revising your edit until you get it just right.
    • Watch from the start of your edit, and pause whenever you reach something that you want to change.
      • You might want to adjust moments where the pacing feels off or you’re not reaching a threshold of interestingness for your viewer. For example, if a shot lasts for too long or loses your attention, or if something seems redundant when watching your movie back, you can trim that excess.
      • You can also look for places where you can heighten the interestingness of your movie by adding something. For example, Casey added a police chirp to the top of his counterfeit handbag movie to increase the tension of his opening scene.
      • You might find audio issues during playback where you want to adjust the volume of your audio clips. To test the audio for his viewers, Casey likes to review his video through his computer speakers instead of headphones.
    • Remember how Casey approaches his reviewing process: The video is not complete until he can watch from the first frame to the last without pausing to adjust something.
      • Don’t be afraid to review your video multiple times until you’ve decided it’s just right and tells the story that you want to tell. If you’re still noticing things you want to tweak on your third and fourth watch, you’re developing your eye as a filmmaker and creating your own style.
  • Finally, export your finished movie and share it with your peers.
    • Save and export your progress to a single video file. Once you’ve exported your video, it’s good practice to watch it down once to make sure there weren’t any errors in the exporting process.
    • Upload your video file to share with your peers for their feedback. Congratulations on finishing your first movie of the class!
      • To upload your video, you can use the Upload Video button in the share menu.
      • You can also add a YouTube URL using the Link Video button. We encourage you to upload your completed video to your YouTube account. It’s a great way to make your video easily shareable with friends and family, and to start or continue building your own channel.

Project 2A: Share Your Idea

It’s time to find your film idea!

Welcome to Part 2 of the class! We hope you’re proud of the spontaneous film you created.

In this part of the class, you’ll create a second film, this time a more ambitious and cinematic movie. Instead of choosing a story spontaneously, you’ll try to create a movie based on something meaningful and important to you, and you’ll elevate your story with more sophisticated filmmaking techniques.

In this project, you’ll follow along with Casey and select an idea from your own experience. You can make a movie about one of your hobbies or interests, a relationship, a personal struggle, an issue you care deeply about, or anything else that comes to mind while brainstorming.

Remember that for Casey, ideas are simply the motivation he needs to start making a movie. While you’re digging into your own life and experiences to find this idea, you don’t need to have the entire film planned out beforehand. Even though you’re selecting a more premeditated idea, you’ll still have room to develop your story and embrace some degree of spontaneity in the shooting and editing processes.

What to do

  • To start, think about your own life and experiences and come up with 3-4 potential ideas for a film.
    • Remember that your idea can come from a number of different starting points. To get started, consider some of the examples that Casey gave:
      • Consider making a movie about a friend or someone you have a close relationship with, like Casey’s videos about fatherhood or his relationship with Candice.
      • You can think about a principle or a concept, like the importance of paper straws, the struggle to stay fit and healthy, or how you relate to those older and younger than you.
      • You could think about a meaningful place or location, like your home, your office, or the neighborhood you live in.
      • You could also create videos about something that is important to you, like your car or Mark Rober’s videos about the things that he invents.
    • The ideas that Casey presented are springboards for you to think about your own personal interests, so set aside some time to really dig through your experiences and consider what is important to you.
    • Continue reflecting until you’ve identified 3-4 solid ideas that you feel interested in and could turn into a movie.
  • Once you’ve identified a few options, pick the idea that resonates with you the most.
    • Once you have a handful of ideas, select the one that is the most exciting and interesting to you.
      • For Casey, this was the idea about the Ray-Ban videocamera sunglasses, because sunglasses and cameras are such a big part of his identity.
    • Remember, your idea doesn’t necessarily need to be completely fleshed out into a story at this point. What’s important is having an idea that’s exciting and interesting enough for you to want to turn it into a film.
  • Finally, share your second film idea with your peer group.
    • Once you’ve selected your idea, it’s time to share it with your peer group!
      • Upload a photo that’s representative of the idea for your premeditated film.
      • Be sure to add a title to your post that gives your peers some context for the movie you’re going to make.
    • In the description, feel free to share why you chose this particular idea and what excites you most about turning it into a movie.

Project 2B: Shoot Film #2

It’s time to start filming your second movie!

In this project, you’ll film your second movie of the class based on the idea you came up with.

Remember that Casey used his second film as an opportunity to explore more complex and sophisticated cinematography. He captured a wider variety of angles, shot in multiple environments, and thought carefully about how to frame and film each bit of his movie.

In a similar way, it’s your turn to challenge yourself as you shoot your second movie. Keep all of your storytelling tools in mind, and build on your cinematography skills. Like Casey, try to add a moment of magic and interestingness into every shot you capture.

If you plan on using your smartphone to film again, that’s great! If you have more sophisticated gear, here is an opportunity to get creative and push yourself to use your tools creatively.

What to do

  • Begin shooting your movie, and figure out how you will set up your story.
    • Just like for his first movie, shooting chronologically enables Casey to keep his story in his head and track what his viewers are seeing.
    • Throughout your shoot, try to challenge yourself to get multiple angles and extra takes, pushing yourself to frame things creatively and to give yourself plenty to work with in the edit.
      • Get used to doing this while filming your early establishing shots to help you build this habit throughout your whole shoot.
    • As you start filming, consider how you can creatively set up your story.
      • Casey decides to use an extended intro, fixing the GoPro in his door monitor. You might find that you want to take a roundabout way into your story, or dive right into the setup. You can also film enough to give yourself options later in your edit.
      • Once you’ve filmed your introduction, continue filming until you’ve successfully captured what you need to set up your story.
  • Continue filming and capture the main action and climax of your story.
    • Continue your shoot, and keep your story top of mind. Remember where you are in the story and what you need to capture to move from the setup of your story into the second act (the main action and climax).
    • Remember how Casey captures different environments in unique ways: capturing a lot of motion when moving from one place to another, filming his POV (point of view) when entering a store or public place, and getting lots of stationary angles when he’s in a familiar place like his studio.
      • In addition to trying out new camera angles, you can also explore different modes of storytelling: speaking to camera, talking to other people or characters in your movie, or trying to convey your narrative with creative visual aids, like Casey’s mirror with text written on the back.
      • Again, focus on getting plenty of footage to give yourself a lot to work with and push your creativity when you sit down to edit your movie.
  • Keep shooting through the conclusion of your story, and wrap your shoot.
    • Once you’ve shot the setup and main action of your story, find a way to bring your movie to a satisfying resolution.
      • If you’re having trouble finding a way to end your movie, reflect on the journey you’ve been on so far and what excited you about your initial idea. In your conclusion, try to bring your story full circle and capture the core feeling you want your audience to feel.
      • For Casey, the third act is his opportunity to deliver on the promise he made when he set up his story. Now that he finally has the glasses, he shows off what they can do and offers his thoughts on them.
    • Before wrapping your shoot, take a final moment to see if there are any additional interesting shots you can capture of your setting, again focusing on ways you can creatively frame them and enhance your cinematography.
    • Once you’ve filmed your entire story from setup to close, it’s time to wrap your shoot.
  • Finally, upload and share a take from the shoot that feels representative of how your shoot went.
    • Once you’re finished with your first shoot, upload one of your clips using the Upload Video button below.
    • Think of this take as a “teaser” for your second film. You can upload your favorite take from your shoot, a clip that feels representative of your story idea, or a shot you’re really proud of capturing well.
    • Add a reflection on how your shoot went. You might want to share what you expected from your story idea and how it played out, how you challenged yourself to level up your cinematography, or where you found something particularly challenging or rewarding.

Project 2C: Start Your Second Edit

It’s time to start editing your second movie!

In this project, you’ll edit the first act of your second, more ambitious and premeditated movie.

You’ve just seen Casey take his raw footage and begin editing his second movie, again working chronologically. He begins with his introduction, selecting music and setting the tone for his video. He continues editing until he gets to the end of his first act, when he has purchased his glasses but not yet gotten into the main bulk of his story where he makes them his own and tests them out.

Again, if you’re still getting used to using editing software, be sure to check out our Intro to Video Editing Software, and refer back to it as needed.

What to do

  • To start, begin a new project and import all of your footage.
    • In your editing software, begin a new project file and import all of your footage.
      • If you shot chronologically, your footage files should import in order and be relatively organized for you to begin your edit.
      • If you didn’t shoot chronologically, you might want to organize your files into bins based on where you think they fall in the story, or the location you shot at.
      • If you shot using multiple cameras, it’s helpful to organize your footage into different bins, to keep yourself efficient in the edit when looking for specific footage.
  • Then, start editing your video by introducing your story and setting the tone with music.
    • Beginning at the top of your edit, introduce your movie and set up your story.
      • Remember that Casey’s introduction is more of a long, drawn-out aside where he fixes his door camera.
      • You might want to take a roundabout way into your story as well, or jump right into setting up your premeditated idea.
    • When adding music, choose a song that sets the tone for your story. Again, there are multiple ways to find music for your movie:
      • Like Casey, you can search through SoundCloud to find undiscovered artists and potential collaborators, and use their music in your video with their permission.
      • You can also look through free libraries like the Free Music Archive or YouTube’s Audio Library, or paid services like Epidemic Sound or PremiumBeat.
      • If there’s a well-known track (like a pop song) that’s perfect for your movie, you can use that as well, but note that you won’t be able to monetize your video and it may limit your ability to share it online.
  • Continue editing through the first act of your movie, when you’ve established your story but haven’t reached the central action.
    • Continue editing to build out the tone, pacing, and story of your movie. For this film, try to push yourself to get creative with your editing techniques.
      • Try to use your music in creative ways, working with the risers, rhythm, and breaks in the song to make your transitions feel natural and satisfying.
      • You can play with the opacity on shots that have a lot of motion to create a feeling that you’re traveling through space during transitions.
      • Text and title graphics are a great way to highlight important narrative points in your video and draw your viewer’s attention to a specific moment.
      • Focus on using your elevated cinematography in unique ways that complement your shots and your story. For example, when Casey has a lot of shots of the same thing (like his door peephole), he doesn’t dwell on them for too long. Instead, he shows his viewers the many angles of his door in rapid succession to keep the interest high.
    • As you work on your edit, don’t forget that “story is king.” Be sure to use your toolkit in a way that ultimately enhances the story you’re trying to tell.
    • Once you get to the end of the first act, it’s time to take a break from your edit to share your progress with your peers.
  • Finally, export your edit in progress and share it with your peer group.
    • Export your working edit and share it with your peer group by uploading your video file using the Upload Video button.
    • At this point in the process, your edit doesn’t need to be perfect or polished by any means. The editing process can be daunting, and there’s no right or wrong way to tell your own story.
    • Be sure to submit your edit in progress on time, so that your peers have a chance to review your work and leave their feedback!

Project 2D: Finish Film #2

It’s time to finish your second movie!

In this project, you’ll finish your second movie of the class, and polish and share your film with your peers. Congrats on making it this far in the class!

By now, you’ve seen Casey complete his entire second film, working through the way he approached each sequence and beat of his story. Now it’s your turn to pick up where you left off, complete your edit, and review and polish your movie until it’s complete.

Remember that if you’re still getting used to using editing software, you can check out our Intro to Video Editing Software, and refer back to it as needed.

What to do

  • First, remind yourself where you left off in your edit.
    • Return to your edit (you might want to watch through your work to remind yourself how you established the first act of your movie) and continue building out your story.
  • Continue editing through the second act of your story, including the main action or climax.
    • Picking up where you left off, move from the first act of your narrative to the second, where the main action or climax typically happens.
    • Continue to focus on building out your story in a way that showcases your best footage and makes use of your storytelling and editing toolkit.
      • For Casey, his second act is all about having the glasses and making them his own. Again, he focuses on shot variety and making punchy sequences cut from a lot of different shots and angles. This makes it seem like he was shooting on multiple cameras, even though he just used one.
      • You can also experiment with how you blend your music and the sound that’s native to your footage. For instance, in one scene, Casey uses the sound of a moving trash can to break us out of the song.
    • Once you’ve edited the main action of your story, you can start building out the conclusion in the third act.
  • Finish editing the third act of your movie by effectively concluding your story.
    • Keep editing your movie through the resolution of your narrative in the third act.
    • Here, focus on bringing your narrative to a satisfying close, tying together what you’ve set up and built out in the first and second acts.
      • In Casey’s video, his third act involves testing out and reviewing the glasses that he purchased and customized.
      • Try out a few different approaches if necessary to bring your story full circle. This is a great opportunity to reflect on your original idea and the footage you actually got, and find a way to tie it all together.
    • Once you’ve finished editing the conclusion, you’re ready to review your movie.
  • Then, review your work by watching and revising your edit until you get it just right.
    • Once you’re done editing through your video for the first time, watch it back to see how you can polish your work.
      • Again, look for moments where the pacing feels off or where you lose interest as a viewer.
      • You can also adjust places where the music or vibe of your movie doesn’t align with how you want a moment to feel.
      • As you watch, try to cut out anything that isn’t essential to moving your story forward.
    • Remember that Casey used this as an opportunity to reshoot something that he wasn’t happy with, effectively changing his ending to make it a more authentic story.
      • If you’re watching back your movie and you feel like something isn’t right about the footage you got or the story you’re telling, try reshooting select shots to make your movie more authentic to what you’re trying to say.
      • This is a great opportunity to record yourself talking to camera or doing a voiceover, to make sure that your idea is being conveyed accurately.
  • Finally, export your finished movie and share it with your peers.
    • Save and export your progress to a single video file. Once you’ve exported your video, it’s good practice to watch it down once to make sure there weren’t any errors in the exporting process.
    • Upload your video file to share with your peers for their feedback.
      • To upload your video, you can use the Upload Video button in the share menu.
      • You can also add a YouTube URL using the Link Video button. We encourage you to upload your completed video to your YouTube account. It’s a great way to make your video easily shareable and to start or continue building your own channel.
    • Congratulations on finishing your second movie of the class!

Make a video & share your experience

Share your experience, spread the love, and win cool stuff!

Congratulations on finishing the class! We hope you’ve had an awesome month of learning and making music.

If you did, we’d love to hear about it! Submit a video below describing your experience and what you loved about the class. Your video will help us spread creativity and the love of music with more people. The best videos will be featured on the Monthly website and shared with Casey.

Also, by submitting, you’ll enter the Monthly + Casey Neistat giveaway, where you’ll have the chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Thank you for joining this Monthly class and helping us pioneer a new way to learn online. Sharing a video will help Casey and us bring the class to more students around the world. Your help and support mean a lot!

What to do

  • Record a video testimonial about your experience and what you loved about the class.
    • For some ideas to get you started, you can talk about:
      • What you liked most about the experience
      • What you learned
      • How you feel about your finished films
      • What the projects were like
      • How you connected with your peers
      • How you found the 30-day structure
      • Who you recommend this class to
      • How you think this class is different from other online classes
  • Feel free to keep it simple! You can use your phone or laptop camera to record the video. Just make sure that when you’re talking to the camera, there’s no background music and that we can see you clearly.
  • Submit the video file or YouTube link below.
  • Just so you know, by submitting your video, you’re giving permission to Monthly to use the video on our site and for promotional purposes. You can always let us know if you’d like us to remove your video from our site.
  • When you submit the video below, it won’t be shared to your Learning Path or Peer Group. If you want your peers to see it, you can share it as an update!
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