What You Should Ask, What You Should Know, and the #1 Tip to Improve Your Home Videos
I said interview with a videographer-not a vampire! Interview with a Vampire has already been done-and it is so 1994.
Admittedly, I don’t think I’m the first person to interview a videographer either. However, I AM the only person to get the exclusive interview with Brandon Taylor of TailorMade Productions.
I’ve known Brandon for a really long time (there might be video of 7 year old me at his 2nd birthday party) and he’s one of the most inspiring creatives I know. He was kind enough to sit down to tell me more about the man behind the craft and to answer all of my video related questions.
I met with Brandon at his North Idaho home, where all of our kids ran around playing (loudly) while I attempted my first ever interview. Seriously, the audio is pretty entertaining…which is why this interview is transcribed.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to the mastermind behind TailorMade Productions and his wealth of video knowledge.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
BRANDON: My name is Brandon Taylor, I’m 28 years old. I live in St. Maries, Idaho. I have 3 kids and I’m going to be married next month!
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: How long have you been a videographer?
BRANDON: I took a video productions class in high school for 3 years…and then stopped. I just started again a year and a half or two years ago. Close to that.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: How did you first get involved in videography?
BRANDON: I started out in video productions thinking it would be just an easy, goof-off elective. Then, I got really interested in the editing. Once we got past “this is a pan shot and this is how you zoom”, stuff like that, and started learning how to edit, that’s when I got really interested.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: How would you describe your videography style?
BRANDON: Probably, a little bit documentary, like with the vlogs I do, and cinematic. Like when I watch a movie, or something, I see a lot of the transitions and how they film stuff and it catches my eye and interests me.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: How did you learn what you know? How do you continue your education?
BRANDON: A little bit in high school, with video productions, but it was a lot of basic and not a lot of the advanced stuff. And then I pretty much just self taught myself and watched YouTube videos and tutorials and stuff.
If I don’t know how to do something I will look it up or I watch other people who vlog and make short films and stuff. A lot of the time they do behind the scenes, how they did certain transitions or certain shots, and then I can be inspired that way.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: What is your favorite thing about videos? Why do you prefer videos over photos?
BRANDON: Probably… hmm… probably just everything you can capture. I know, they say a picture is worth a thousand words or whatever, but I just feel like in video you can tell more of a story. A picture, you can see where they’re at and facial expressions and all that, but with video you can capture your audience.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: How long does an average video take you to edit?
BRANDON: Depends, like some of the vlogs that are 10 or 12 minutes, I can edit those in 2 days. Because I’m not really worried about color grading it or stuff like that. But like, a wedding, takes almost a month because I color grade every scene plus add the music and the audio.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: When you edit a wedding, do you pretty much tell the story as it happened from beginning to end or put it together a different way?
BRANDON: A little of both. For example, the last wedding I did, the officiant had prepared a special speech, so I took his audio and made a montage of the day set to that. From there, I went into the story of the day as it happened. And it’s their preference too. Sometimes they don’t want audio, they only want music.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: What makes the perfect soundtrack for a video?
BRANDON: Depends on the video. It all depends on the mood. If you are doing a wedding and people are doing their vows, you don’t want Metallica or something playing in the background…well maybe my wedding! But like, an action scene, you usually want something upbeat. So you just try to match the mood. Sometimes, what I do, I just sit and listen to different instrumentals on YouTube and just find songs. And I’ll be listening to a song and think of something it would be good for and I’ll save it for later.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: What is one thing you wish people knew about videography?
BRANDON: It’s not easy. Like you watch a final product and you think, like, a lot of people will watch a scene of a dance in the middle of a dance floor or something like that and not really think about it and not really think about what all had to go into it. Maybe there were 2 or 3 people and they had to pass the camera around or do different things. It’s not as easy as some people might think.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: Give me your number one tip to instantly improve my home videos.
BRANDON: Audio is key. It’s like if you’re watching a movie and the video is dark, but you can still hear them, you can still get the story. But if you can’t hear the audio and it’s just people’s mouths moving, the audience gets lost and their attention goes away. So yeah, audio is probably the number one thing.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: What is the most important question someone should ask a videographer before they hire them?
BRANDON: I think it kind of goes both ways. That the videographer and the client should communicate what they envision in the final product and whether or not that’s attainable with the gear they have. So just communicate both ways.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: When I think of videography, I immediately think of weddings, but what other events should people consider hiring a videographer for?
BRANDON: If you have a band and you want to make a music video. Or even come and film a live show. Sporting events. People when they watch a sporting event like the NBA or football, there’s 300 or more cameras all over the place. So if you were wanting to hire a videographer to film your kid playing basketball you have to know the limits and expectations. But I mean you could do it. Special birthdays, like a 16th birthday, you could film it almost like a wedding just less romantic.
Say if a local business wanted to make a commercial, or a 30 or 40 second introductory video for their social media, you know that’s the first thing people see.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: If you had a mascot, what would it be? Why?
BRANDON: Hmm, that’s tough. People who don’t know me, I might come off like a fox. Sly, quiet, in the shadows. Keeps to myself. But people who know me, probably say I’m like, I don’t know, a crazy baboon or something. Just wild.
26 EVERGREEN PHOTOGRAPHY: Who are the 3 greatest living musicians?
BRANDON: Ok so, my greatest living guitarist is Mark Tremonti, from Altar Bridge, used to be with Creed. He does his own solo stuff too. A lot of people didn’t really like Creed, but if you go back and actually listen to the music, Mark Tremonti is an amazing guitarist.
Then probably, vocalist, I would have to say, Jonny Hawkins from Nothing More, who is mine and Sam’s favorite band. He’s amazing. And then seeing him live, you get chills-goosebumps. He’s just like a really good entertainer too.
And then I have to say Eminem, for sure. His lyrics and just some of the things he comes up with off the top of his head, he’s gotta be a genius. There’s just no way that he couldn’t be.
In summary, it’s important to communicate your vision for the final product with your potential videographer, there’s more to videography than meets the eye-it’s not as easy as it looks, audio is the king of video, and Eminem is a genius.
Thank you, Brandon, for sharing yourself and educating us on the inner workings of videography!
For more information, to contact Brandon, or to view his work, please visit: