After watching tons of Peter McKinnon videos, I put together a list of the main ingredients that I consider to be the core essence of a Peter McKinnon video. Let’s learn how to film like Peter McKinnon.
Peter McKinnon is one of the names that almost every filmmaker, videographer, or even photographer knows. He’s super talented, funny, chill, educational, and overall just seems like a cool guy. In my opinion, he is the internet’s filmmaker friend. He is the filmmaker friend we wish that lived next door so we could geek out on all things filmmaking together. And he’s one of my favorite YouTubers.
But, what does Peter do that makes him stand out and what can we learn about video making from him? Let’s dive in. If you want to see one of my favorite videos he has done, I have linked it below.
Enjoy a Coffee With Peter
Peter’s videos are relaxing, entertaining, and educational. What makes them so relaxing, though? I think it’s because he talks to the camera like he’s talking to someone he is grabbing a cup of coffee with.
He is that passionate filmmaking friend we all wish we had live next to us. He’s energetic, he’s sharing all his tips with us, and he makes us feel like valued members of his online community. And I think that all starts with how it seems like he talks to us like we are enjoying coffee with him.
To further reinforce my point, he does literally make coffee in a majority of his videos so maybe he is very method with how he prepares his mindset when talking to the camera? Okay, I’m kind of kidding, but also… not really?
Takeaway #1: Talk Like You Are Having Coffee
Talk to the camera as if you are talking to a friend at a coffee shop. How much would your message and delivery change if you were talking to a best friend at a coffee shop? Imagine yourself in front of that friend, grab a cup of coffee, and talk in a way that will make your videos feel much more natural and relaxed.
What Are You Passionate About?
Peter is so passionate about what he talks about that it’s contagious. He could be talking about lenses, drones, lighting, cameras, backpacks, or even coffee and you’ll find yourself intrigued and along for the ride.
When you look through the list of videos he has on his channel, he is able to maintain his energy and bring this passion across the board. Why? I think he has dialed in and is very aware of what he is passionate about and talks about that.
Filmmaking. Photography. Helping People.
Think about a conversation you had with a friend and you felt like you had so much that you wanted to say and that you could just talk for hours about it. For some, it’s eSports, it’s basketball, it’s filmmaking. For Peter, it’s filmmaking, photography, and even just wanting to help people as it relates to those two topics.
By focusing on topics he’s passionate about, he is able to bring his charisma consistently and connect with so many people.
Takeaway #2: Create Content Around Your Passions
Make videos about topics you are passionate about. This seems somewhat obvious but I even find myself needing to be reminded of this. Instead of making videos or content around what I think would get clicks or what others want to see, what are you passionate about? Ideally, is there an intersection with that passion and what others would click on?
If I asked myself what I get excited talking about with friends or spend most of my free time doing, it would center around learning and sharing what I’ve learned with others. I think that’s why I enjoy writing on this blog so much.
What topics do you absolutely light up when talking about? Can you make more videos on those?
Make Friends Along the Way
I’ve described Pete as the filmmaker friend we wish lived nearby. With the internet, nowadays, it’s becoming easier and easier to find more people like Pete that do live nearby. Some of my favorite videos of Pete are him collaborating with other creators, like Matti Haapoja, Daniel Schiffer, Matt D’Avella, and others.
When watching these, Pete genuinely seems like he enjoys working with these other creators. And they look like they enjoy working with him. Filmmaking can be such a fun collaborative process and Pete takes full advantage of teaming up with other creators to make something awesome.
In addition, he even involves his community by hosting photo challenges or asking for feedback from them. His approach and philosophy he brings to YouTube feels genuine & collaborative and I think this has greatly helped make his videos as amazing as they are and as successful as he is.
Takeaway #3: Shoot With Your Friends & Community
Collaborate with other creators and even your own audience. Who else can you collaborate with within your community or friend circle to make cool videos? They don’t even have to be YouTubers – they could be people doing cool things or have cool jobs.
Similarly, how can you invite your audience to be a part of your online story? What can be done to involve them?
Closing Thoughts on Peter McKinnon
Peter is the internet’s favorite filmmaking friend. His energy, passion, helpfulness, and coffee will forever be remembered as the core of what has made his videos so special to me and I think so special to others. By following these above tips extracted from Peter McKinnon, I think you can make creating videos even more meaningful as a process and also have a more meaningful final result.
I hope these tips were helpful and I wish you the best in your video journey!