Asude: Welcome Henning, thank you for being with us! We’ve been enjoying your outstanding content for a while, so it is a real pleasure for us to talk to you. Let’s start getting to know you! When and where were you born? How did you get started with videography?
Henning: I was born in Germany, smack in the middle of it. I was born in 1975, which makes me 43! I worked for an ad agency in Los Angeles for a while and did some video work for them because I ran their recording studio, something I am actually qualified to do. When I moved back to Germany I eventually started doing YouTube Videos and then had to learn a lot about the video world… that was in 2013.
A: How did you get started with YouTube?
H: I bought a guitar pedal and there were very few demos of it out there and I made one with a camera and a webcam and people really liked it so I made more… now I make 7 videos a week and it became my job.
A: How did you start making money on YouTube?
H: I started charging for my videos when I hit 30.000 subscribers but even before that I got to keep the gear I reviewed. Now I have such a high end system that companies hire me to do their official product videos in addition to the videos I do for my channel. The sliders I have are an integral part of that because I often need to take controlled macro shots of guitar pedals which would be impossible to do any other way.
A: As far as we understand, you are pretty much self taught in terms of videography. How would you describe your videography style?
H: I don’t think I have one. Since I am never behind the camera and always in front of it, my style is more a format than a style… I work with 10 cameras in 4K which are live switched with a Blackmagic System which eliminates the editing time or at least cuts it down significantly. Since I don’t have a camera man, I need something that can give me movement in my videos and having different angles of me playing, the product or just the room, keeps the video interesting. Having three cameras on sliders gives the illusion of a camera man and further adds movement to the videos. Since I have the slider right next to the mic that records my voice, I need them to be as quiet as possible, especially with 3 of them running at the same time.
A: What’s the best advice you've ever been given?
H: White balance your cameras… seriously… that was a good idea!
A: We’ve watched your “How I film my videos! HP42's Video Setup” video and we were amazed! Could you also briefly tell our readers a little bit about your preparations before you begin filming?
H: Not much… turn on all cameras, turn on all the lights, set up audio… then my girlfriend, who live edits the videos, remotely focuses 6 of the cameras from the control room while I get the sliders going. Having two different generations of SliderONE and MotionBOX/Head ONE as well as the SliderPLUS with the Motion Kit means I have to juggle three different apps and adhere to a specific order of getting them going because otherwise the newer app will want to pair older gear with newer gear, but once you figure out how it can be done, three cams will be moving continuously! This is something that none of my colleagues are doing and it definitely adds value to the videos… even though it is still just me who is in them.
A: Don’t worry, your Free Upgrades are coming sooner than you’ve expected! So, do you prefer renting your equipment or buying them?
H: Buying… I need it every day.
A: Your YouTube video setup is already huge, we know that but what’d be the equipment you’d generally bring to a set?
H: If I move with my gear, which I rarely do, I bring my Litepanels Gemini 2X1 and my Dedo DLED 4… that makes a big difference having that level of lighting with you. Cameras, Blackmagic Video Assists (4K), those are great tools for many reasons, audio recorder… so so many things.
A: As a YouTuber, what software do you use for post-production?
H: Final Cut.
A professional is someone who can predict the near future!
A: You publish a new episode every day, which is a real challenge for content creators. What’s your biggest ambition for the future?
H: Adding more cameras and more sliders to allow for more angles and unnecessary shots that are just cool to have. Personally, I want to grow the channel and be able to continue doing what I do.
A: Last but not least, what do you think about the future of filmmaking with the technology is advancing so fast?
H: I think 8K is going to cost us all a lot of money without any noticeable results. Other than that I don’t know much about what is going on, I am just a guitar player.