The YouTuber’s Guide to Filming at Maker Faire

Craft & Design Photography & Video
The YouTuber’s Guide to Filming at Maker Faire
YouTube player

Maker Faire Bay Area is coming up quick, and we’re sure that there are a few YouTubers who are planning to attend and film. We’ve seen you! We actually gather around the office and share the videos you make. There’s no need to glance over your shoulder to make sure you’re being sneaky enough when you begin filming, we’re totally cool with it. Actually, we love it. Come and make a YouTube video of your experience at the Maker Faire.

Here’s an example from Official Rainbow Girl, visiting Maker Faire Bay Area last year:

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Here’s another example from I Like To Make Stuff‘s Bob Clagget:

YouTube player

If you’re going to film at the Faire, there are a few things to consider, like basic etiquette, tips for better video making results, and stuff to consider about the location. Before getting into all of that though, first things first. Before showing up with a camera, register with us! It doesn’t cost anything, and it gives you media credentials so people know you’re legit. If you explain that you are filming for your own personal YouTube channel, it will make the process go faster as we won’t write back asking what agency you’re with.

Also, if you send us a link to your video when you’re done, we might feature it on our Maker Faire page.


Ask Before Interviewing

You’re totally welcome to walk around filming all you want. We have disclaimers on our tickets saying that there will be filming at the event. However, this doesn’t immediately mean that people will be comfortable with up-close-and-personal filming. Just turn the camera away, and ask, “I’m shooting a video, would you mind being interviewed?” People will typically be quick to say yes or no. Respect their answer, and don’t be a jerk.

If You Want to Cut Things Short, Do it Beforehand

That little bit of exposure you give someone in your video could really help them out. However, you may want your subject to keep things short. Do not cut someone off while they are trying to answer you. It is rude and off-putting.

Sometimes people get nervous in front of the camera and so they start to ramble. Sometimes they just have a long pitch and story and think they have the time to tell it. Before filming, say “In 10 seconds or less, tell me what you make!” or something similar, and they will usually get the point.

Watch for Traffic Backups

Look around you before you start recording. Is there room for people to get around you? Remember, there will be roughly 200,000 people trying to walk around during the Faire. Please don’t cause backups by recording in a narrow walkway or just inside a door.

Filming Tips

Filming in the Dark

There are tons of tips on Google for when you want to film in a dark place, like our “dark room” where the LED projects all live. However, you are probably not going to be taking the time to adjust all your settings every time you are transition from a well lit filming location to a dark one. The best tips I can give you for the dark area are:

  • Put the brightest thing behind the camera. This is usually the open doors at one end of the room. If they are in front of the camera, it will wash everything out and you won’t see anything at all.
  • Keep your camera as still as possible. When the environment is dark, film tends to start getting a little grainy. Moving the camera around will make your video a blurry mess.

Getting the Best Sound

Maker Faire is pretty loud. Cell phones have gotten pretty good at picking up a specific person talking, but DSLR cameras struggle with the noise. For the best results, pick up a cheap microphone. I use the Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone (pictured above). It costs $30 and works for both my DSLR and phone. I have also gotten decent results from the kind of microphones that are usually mounted on top of DSLR cameras and face the subject.

Consider the Location

No Drones

There are no exceptions, you can not bring a drone and fly it over the crowds of people. If we see a drone flying, we will find you and you will be escorted from the premises. If you really want drone footage, contact me ( I can try to connect you with the right people to approve it, but that approval is not common nor an easy thing to get. Having drones flying over crowds is a very large liability.

Go to Quiet Spaces

The quietest places at Maker Faire Bay Area are in-between the buildings. If you need a quiet place to talk to the camera for a bit, this is where you want to go. I have highlighted the two quietest areas that I can think of on the map below in bright green.

Make: Staff

If you see us (well, I guess I can only speak for myself really) walking around, feel free to shout out. I would be honored to be in your video! Keep in mind though, that all the staff is being pulled in a million directions, and we may not have enough time to do more than wave and smile and then take off running to our destination. It is nothing personal, Maker Faire Bay Area is just a super hectic weekend for all of us.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity I see in makers. My favorite thing in the world is sharing a maker's story. find me at

View more articles by Caleb Kraft


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