We developed ScreenFlow to be an intuitive, powerful piece of software. Even beginners will have no problem immersing themselves in screencasting and video editing with the versatile features on offer. At the same time, there are editing wizards out there in the Internet world whose expertise cannot be overlooked. One such expert is our new friend Jules Watkins. He offers an engaging, comedic and relaxed approach to creating amazing content with ScreenFlow, and does it quickly and efficiently with his ScreenFlow Hero tutorial series. He sat down with us to explore his credentials as an industry professional and his love and understanding of the power of ScreenFlow as a tool for entrepreneurs:
To start, tell us a bit about yourself.
So, my background is television. I was a TV Producer/Director in the UK for 11 years, making Reality and Entertainment TV for the BBC, MTV and Channel 4.
Some of the shows I directed included MTV’s Pimp My Ride, The Biggest Loser, Don’t Tell the Bride plus dozens more. I am trained in making TV that grows a huge fan base and is watched by millions. I also learned a lot in Post-Production by sitting next to, and directing, top editors for many hours and picking up their best tips. So now (after deciding to get out of the TV rat race) I use my experience to train entrepreneurs how to make profitable videos to attract clients and grow their business. I think I bring a lot to the table.
Why is ScreenFlow Hero a great online training course for ScreenFlow?
Well I haven’t taken any others to compare, but what I can say is – ScreenFlow Hero is unique. Because of my TV roots I bring a new perspective to making marketing videos and my training is full of insider tips, plus I am told it’s fun to go through. I can’t stand dry courses. Of course you are probably not making TV but there is a load I share that can be applied to editing great online videos. The grammar is the same.
Why have you chosen to focus on ScreenFlow?
Firstly, I am a Mac junkie! I was looking for a solution that would suit Mac-based business owners that was easy to get to grips with and get results fast. It needed to have more flexibility than iMovie but not as complex as Final Cut which looks scary to people starting out with video. Nowadays many entrepreneurs and business video makers want to make hybrid online videos that mix text, animation, video footage and screen capture in the same video – ScreenFlow ticks all those boxes without being overwhelming or pricey. I especially love the simple timeline and the fact you can add all those elements seamlessly.
You seem to focus on the video editing side of ScreenFlow. How does it compare to other video editing software?
The reason for that is that I am a huge fan of ‘face to camera’ videos that establish a face-to-face relationship with your prospects, so mixing in a talking head with screen capture and graphics can really have a big impact. I also have an iPhone Video Hero course so I wanted to offer a complimentary editing course for my students so they could both shoot and edit great videos.
ScreenFlow is lean compared to specialist video editing solutions, I wouldn’t recommend it for long form documentaries or where you have a lot of filmed footage to manage, but my students (or Heroes as I call them) mostly make hybrid videos that are less than 15 minutes so ScreenFlow as a total package is a big winner for them.
How has ScreenFlow helped your business?
Massively! I make my own training products with it and the ROI has been HUGE.
Although I own FCPX, I use ScreenFlow 99% of the time, it’s faster and makes my workflow more streamlined.
How long have you been screencasting and approximately how many videos have you made?
It’s been 3 years since I started making online videos seriously. I must have made about 120 videos, some of those would be short video messages I send my Video Heroes.
What kind of studio or set up do you have?
I keep it very simple, I use a room in my house with a 9 foot background, 3 flourescent lighting heads with softboxes. That’s it. Go back 10 years and the TV lighting kits I would use cost $4,000! Nowadays for around $350 you can kit out a home studio and get professional results.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of creating your videos? Why?
I guess everyone has a voice in their head worried if the video they are making will suck, that no one will like it and you might even get some nasty emails! I think you have to really believe in your own talent, relax and let it flow. It’s like a tennis player, they may go through a sticky patch during a match but they don’t totally fall to pieces – the ability always returns.
Do you have a video that you’re especially proud of? How long did it take to produce it?
The one I am most proud of is the sales video for my ScreenFlow Hero course. I often get emails from people saying they love it and they sign up to my course immediately, so it’s certainly effective. But I have also noticed my students copying my style and getting similar results in their own niche. I love it because that’s my aim – to show people how to make videos that create a buzz rather than the same old dry videos you often see. It took 3 hours to script, 1 hour to shoot and 7 hours to edit. I went to town on that one!
What’s the stupidest mistake you’ve made when creating a screencast?
Aside from the obvious one, not hitting record, trying to record narrated screen captures with a bad head cold was never a great idea. You need a nose that works well to sound your best 🙂
You highlight a few apps that help to add spice to your videos. Can you recommend a few that elevate the quality of our videos?
For shooting videos on an iPhone I like Filmic Pro. You should try to shoot the best footage you can rather than try and rescue it when you edit and Filmic Pro gives you way more control over your camera than the native camera app. What else, well there’s VidLib which is a stock footage library and also I like iTimelapse for stop motion.
What advice would you give to other screencasters or video makers?
The software (or video gear) is just the starting point. It’s just a tool like a guitar. To play great guitar you need to develop a feel for the music. Shooting and editing great video is not just about geekery – it’s also about emotion.
What do people need to know before taking your course?
My course is great for newbies or people who use ScreenFlow but haven’t explored the full potential and want to inject a bit of style into their videos and learn the right editing mindset. If you are very experienced with ScreenFlow then it’s not as suitable.
Any extra comments or sage advice?
Don’t be scared about profiting from video. When I was in my twenties the idea of making marketing or business videos was a huge turn off. I wanted to do cooler stuff like film my cat 🙂 or make arthouse movies. Nothing wrong with that, but if you actually need to make a living too, there has never been a better chance to get paid to make videos for others or to create your own online business and promote it with stylish videos. So you can really have your cake and eat it!
Awesome Jules. Thanks for the interview. Wish I could’ve seen some videos of your cat!
Don’t forget to check out ScreenFlow Hero!