Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Use Your Frame to Express the Emotion

You can have your character say, "All my friends are gone," until she's blue in the face. But your audience won't get that feeling until you show them the reality.

It can feel cheap and fake, but there's a reason filmmakers use their framing to express an emotion. By isolating our character in the frame between some trees, we know she's alone.


The editor/director could have used a very pretty shot of her--even at night--but none of them communicate the same feeling of loneliness and despair like the above shot from far away.

Sarah Bolger

in The Moth Diaries

I'll say this again and again: Movies are a visual media. Use your framing to emphasize and illustrate the feelings and experiences of your characters.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


Add Multiple Videos to YouTube Embed Without Creating a Playlist

I wanted to know how to embed multiple YouTube videos on my blog without having to create a unique playlist. The idea was to use the YouTube embed code to include multiple videos in a single player using a list of URLs or Video IDs.

It turned out to be really easy (after an hour of searching):

Step 1: Choose the first video you want and grab the embed code from YouTube.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Step 2: Add the playlist parameter after the first Video ID.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Step 3: To add to this embeded custom playlist, simply include the ID for each additional video separated by a comma.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src=",7iw30sK2UCo,sYV5MTy0v1I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Step 4: Feel free to include the usual &rel=0 (this makes it so YouTube doesn't recommend other videos once yours are done playing). And if you want to show all the videos in the playlist on the start screen, include &showinfo=1 (play with this one to see what it does).,joUDSqGU2f4,qzr4wNeb-Xc,BF6DsE13w_Y,WnVbH7osG5U,nb7tGYRL-Zw,7iw30sK2UCo,sYV5MTy0v1I

Here's how my first attempt turned out:

I created it to show off some of the Assignment 1 samples from my free Filmmaking 101 course.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

P.S. If you are totally new to YouTube embedding, keep in mind:

1. The Video ID is (currently) a string of 11 letters, numbers, or other characters, like: 7XUdN1Q_v-0. If you're watching a video, it's typically the last string of random stuff in your browser's URL bar:

2. When adding extra parameters to your YouTube embed, remember that the first one begins with a ? and all the rest start with an &. Basically, you're telling YouTube: Play this video, oh, I don't want you to show related videos and build me a playlist and start playing the video automatically, etc.

3. Anything else not making sense? Just ask!

*This tutorial will also be useful if you want to know:
  • How to make a sharable non-public playlist containing unlisted YouTube videos
  • Step-by-step instructions for creating unlisted playlists for YouTube
  • How to add videos to a playlist without creating one in your YouTube profile
  • ...and more!
Please leave a comment explaining what you were looking for if you found this tutorial helpful. I want to make sure everyone can quickly find this walk-through for how to embed multiple YouTube videos into a player for their blog or website.


Image Inspiration: Primadonna

Primadonna Girl Marina

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


Use Sound to Create a Shot You Don't Have

Your character is going on a train ride. And the director got a couple cool shots of your actor thinking while the train whizzes along. Unfortunately, the very next shot you have is the train pulling into the station.

Sitting on a Moving Train

How do you get from one shot to the next without jarring your audience?

Add the sound of the train slowing down to the end of your actor's clip. The background of your visual certainly won't indicate a slowing train, but the audio will help your viewers make the transition.

Often, a simple cut won't work by itself. Add audio cues to make up for shots you don't have.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


The Edge of the Frame

Sometimes your options are limited. In this case, the editor only had a few select royalty-free shots to choose from. This one was shot with an extreme fish-eye lens so a part of the aircraft was in view in one corner and the curved edge of the shot showed up on the other.

The Edges of the Frame

How much does it matter?

Not a bit. The shot does its job and the scene moves on.

By all means, always aim for excellence. But if it's the difference between finishing your flick and having it perfect... just make your movie.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor