Business | Tech View Take advantage of reach of YouTube with a few tips By Star-Advertiser staff March 13, 2012 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. Nowadays everyone, even grandma, logs onto YouTube. Not only does it convey popular culture (such as those too-cute cat videos), but it has increasingly become an important medium for businesses to deliver their messages. With YouTube even a mom-and-pop endeavor in Pearl City has the same platform as a Manhattan-based Fortune 500 company. So how do you make a YouTube video? What do you need to get started? I posed these questions to Bob Bates, an award-winning Hawaii filmmaker whose most recent work includes the documentary "Ingredients Hawaii" and the short film "Hotel St." (See his work at www.super8cowboys.com.) Before you go to Amazon or rush down to Costco to buy a camera, Bob suggests you think long and hard about your project. You can be the most brilliant marketing professional on Bishop Street with a $20,000 camera, but without strong creative ideas, chances are you’re going to produce junk. The lesson: Even if your video isn’t going to be shown during the Super Bowl, it’s still going to be your public face. To make it work, you’re going to need a game plan. After all, you don’t build a house without a blueprint. First off, consider your audience. Who exactly are they and what demographic do they occupy? How you’ll pitch your products or services on the video will depend on whom you’re trying to reach. Once your target is in sight, you’ll need a tight script that effectively transmits your message. Knowing your audience and then delivering a cohesive story is the name of the game. So what camera to buy? Instead of a video camera, Bob (and several other pros I spoke to) likes digital SLRs. These are actually still cameras with digital capability. For low cost, Bob likes the new Canon T2i. These models are relatively inexpensive (around $600) and shoot well in low light. They also produce quality video. The downside is that they are difficult to keep focused when the subject is moving and are not easily operated hand-held. Bob suggests that if you purchase one, you’re going to need a tripod or other stabilization device. From there the list goes into sound and lighting gear, which can run a couple of thousand more dollars, so it’s best to know what you’ll really need before buying a lot of equipment. One tip: Before you purchase, go out and rent a decent camera and the rest of the gear. A good place to start is Kaimuki Camera on Waialae Avenue. How do you get up to speed on technique? Bob relates the story of a local chef who learned how to bone an entire pig by watching YouTube videos. "Start googling whatever questions you might have. There will be a world of video tutorials." "There is a lot to learn, and it’s kind of daunting," says Bob. If you really want a professional job, not surprisingly, he suggests hiring a pro. Not a bad idea! Stay tuned for more stories on how to create a YouTube video. ——— Mike Meyer, former Internet general manager at Oceanic Time Warner Cable, now manages IT for Honolulu Community College. Reach him at email@example.com. Previous Story Business Briefs Next Story JAL flights to Kona are 'a step in the right direction'