Naturally, the first step in making a video is picking out what toys I will be making a video of. Usually I just pick up whatever toy strikes my fancy and go for it. Sometimes I like to put together a themed month [Action Works-Space Sheriff Month, Kakuranger Month, etc.]. Theme month or not, I usually gather three-five different toys and put them aside. I will usually open the toy at this point and map out what I need to take photos of in my head. I also like to make sure I get all of the features down so that I don't miss anything [See: Daibouken video. I forgot to flip-up the knee guards
Saturday mornings is when I take all of my photos. I usually begin around 10AM and finish around 2PM or so. I generally take photos and video of a month's worth of videos in one day. I do it this way because I rely on the sun to light my videos. This allows the lighting to be more or less constant over a series of videos. I have a large window that provides the ample lighting needed. Here is where things get dicey...
During the summer months, I get plenty of light. This is a good thing, however, I have to shut all air conditioning and fans off when I'm filming actual video. It gets HOT. Since toys are getting more and more electronics-heavy, I'm left with quite a shoots of very sweaty filming. Mecha videos are ideal for the summertime since they seldom have electronics, or if they do...they're limited. The extra lighting helps, also.
Winter time shooting is a different beast, but actually quite similar. It's cold, and I have to shut off the heating for the same reason as I do in the Summer. The main issue is sunlight. During the Winter months, the sun just doesn't enter through my large window. Earlier is better, that's all that can be done about that.
Seasonal differences aside, the production is pretty straight-forward. I use the backside of a large 4' by 3' poster from a department store. I usually lay it at about an 100 degree angle [propped on a chair] for maximum lighting. Since I am working on the floor, I am usually laying down to snap pictures, but standing when I take overhead shots of the packaging and such. For added stability I sometimes lay some excess hardwood flooring underneath the posterboard.
All in all, I usually finish four toys in about four hours. Depending on what I am shooting I usually end up with 300-400 new images/video from a shoot.
Importing and Editing
After this I usually import all of the new files. Then...I take a much needed shower and possibly a nap. Later that night, I get to work on the editing. The first thing to edit is the music. Sometimes this is as simple as fading one track into my end title card. Othertimes, I have to get very creative. In videos like my Lexus LFA video I had to create a much longer mix of the song I wanted to use. The original song was about 3 minutes long, so I looped the middle of the song two more times to make it a 7 minute track. This was one of my simpler edits. Some of the more complicated ones have taken up to an hour to edit a song to seemlessly blend to be longer, shorter, or just more comfortable. One track that comes to mind was the bit of music I used at the beginning of my 250th video. It is the title music from the Kamen Rider ZO film. Even though it was originally a 30 second track, I cut out parts from the beginning, middle, and end to get the desired sound.
Aside from the hackjobs I do on little bits of music, I do assemble BGM on top of Mecha image songs for the Mecha videos. This is where my CD collection comes in to play. I own...tons of CDs. I actually buy them. Tokusatsu fans might be the most "gimme!" group of fucks on the planet, but I actually keep it real and buy shit. Consequently, I'll always have the music. Long after it goes out of print, I have it. So finding tracks is as simple as going into my music library, listening, taking notes, and numbering the tracks I like. Then I edit everything together into a single mp3.
The actual editing is typically a breeze. Since most of what I do is in the prep work, I have a rough cut of the video in my head before I even open my software. I lay the music down first, then I start with the opening title cards. From there it's drag'n drop. No matter what software you use, it shouldn't be any harder than this to make a toy review. From there, it's just trimming and shortening to make the pictures and video fit within the music. This involves some maths, usually, especially on Mecha video. Once I have the video edited and timed correctly, I add my subtitles and end title card. Then, I export my rough cut.
From Here I usually test the video. I'll upload it to Youtube on one of my dozens of accounts just to see how it looks where it'll be hosted for all of enternity
Writing and Uploading
Once all of the video editing is done, I usually shelve the videos until they are ready to be uploaded. The written part is usually done immediately before I upload the video to my channel. I write everything I want to say in a document, write out all of my tags, and then I copy/paste everything as the video is being uploaded. Once it is uploaded, I throw up a link on my Twitter account. JOB DONE!
I hope this was a little bit interesting. I have been asked a few times about my process in creating videos. Well, here it is. There aren't any secrets...just heaps of work.
Well, I hope this was a little informative. It's crazy to see what I put myself through. Hahaa.