They are everywhere, YouTube, AOL Videos, Flicker, Metacafe and many more. We are talking about people just like you making and posting videos for the public to view. With the availability of almost any subject, and I mean almost *any* subject, a video can address why not use the opportunity to have some fun, learn a lot and perhaps make a few extra dollars along the way. It may even help pay for all that equipment you've been wanting. Speaking of equipment, actually you need very little to start. Of course, you will need a video Camera and computer to upload to the video server. Nevertheless, take heart; you do not need anything near broadcast quality equipment, especially when just starting. When looking for a video camera, carefully consider the MiniDV format. While the newer MiniCD and internal hard drive camcorders do offer convenience, these formats do not lend themselves to the easy editing like the MiniDV. One thing you do not want to use is anything with analog tape, such as VHS or Super 8. While these were once/are popular formats they are not digital, therefore editing is much more difficult with these systems. Another consideration is a camcorder with an external microphone jack. While almost all entry-level camcorders will shoot an adequate video (adequate may not necessarily be professional), without a mic jack the sound will suffer. Videos with only adequate video and poor sound will not be successful; indeed, it may even be a determent for your future videos if someone buys your poor sounding video first. Remember---Sound Matters! One entry-level camcorder I have used and can recommend is the Canon ZR800. Currently (March '08) the ZR800 can be purchased for under $200 US Dollars. This camcorder has a mic jack and is likely the only one you will find for less than $500 that will have one. In addition, the picture quality is OK for a DIY video. Another critical must have is some type of lighting setup. A very common lighting unit is a converted halogen shop light. These lights can be found at many big box stores such as Big Lots, Lowes, Wal-Mart, etc. While they provide a lot of light, it is a harsh light and needs to be toned down somewhat for video use. One good way to do this is bounce the light off a nearby wall or use foam board to reflect the light back to your subject. In a pinch, aluminum foil over cardboard or a reflective auto sunscreen will do. Now back to the microphone (mic). While you can spend hundreds or even thousands for a top quality microphone, likely that is out of the question for most people just starting out. One suggestion is look on eBay for a lapel condenser microphone or a shotgun microphone. One piece of advice; if you are using the ZR800 you need to get a condenser microphone with a built in power supply. This built in power supply (pre-amp) is usually powered by an AA or similar battery. When I first started, I used a microphone that cost less than $20. While I do not recommend you go this cheap, it does show what you can do on limited funds. Trust me on this one, the $20 mic sounded MUCH better than most built-in camcorder microphones. You need some way to get the video from your video camera into your computer; Firewire is the most common and preferred way. When you purchase your camcorder check to see if a Firewire is included or if it is purchased separately. Here's a tip. If the video camera you are considering does not include a Firewire cable, buy one off eBay. They are much less expensive there than at the local Best Buy/Circuit City type of store. Furthermore, make sure your computer will accept Firewire, otherwise you may need to install a card to accept the cable. It's an easy install. You already have a movie editor if you are using Windows XP or Vista. It's called Microsoft Movie Maker. Movie Maker is an easy to use, excellent piece of software that will take you a long way on your film making journey. The final piece of required equipment will be some type of backdrop. An uncluttered wall or even a bed sheet will do. Just make sure there is nothing in the background that will distract from your message. Think you are ready to shoot your DIY video? STOP! Now is time for planning or storyboarding your production. Time spent here is some of the most valuable you will spend. Think about shooting your video in 4-5 minute sections to keep viewer attention. Plan what you are going to say, do you need any props? Special set up? Etc? The last step is practice, practice and more practice. Check YouTube for more great ideas on film making. Best of success to you and your projects.