Reflecting on my first video

When I saw Michael Wesch’s lecture on an anthropological approach to YouTube and “context collapse” I was intrigued. That lecture (and the resulting paper) was written in 2008, since then YouTube has grown, and vloggers have only become more popular. I decided I wanted to look into vloggers and their audience, but present my opinions as a video so I could really experience the context collapse that the “recording webcam” it is meant to create. Here are some of the things I learnt about the process and the industry by creating my first video.

More research is needed.

The interesting fact about researching YouTubers is that there are a lot of opinions out there, but very little research, particularly from a communications disciplinary approach. This meant that my video had to become an opinion piece; it was unavoidable with the time and resources I had. However, I made sure that my opinions and views were still grounded in research and data. I would love to conduct further research at a later date.

Talking to a camera takes practice.

My footage from the end of the filming was already significantly better than the first minutes of filming. I actually refilmed the first few points once I had warmed up to the camera. However, when I got to the editing stage I noticed: I read too much; I had too many notes; I looked at the screen not the camera, I said ‘um’ 1000 times…

Equipment.

I didn’t have a camera available, so I just used my computers in built webcam. Though the quality was poorer than I would have liked, the fps were good and I was still able to export a HD version.  I decided to record audio separate and I am glad I did. Though it meant for an extra step in the editing process the quality of audio was infinitely better. I used natural lighting so because I recorded in the afternoon I lost the light as the video progressed. I think if I was to continue with videos I would invest in good lighting equipment.

Editing is a process.

It took far longer than I ever thought. And I knew it would take a while.

Find a program that suits you.

Most have free trials online. Use them. Using a basic program like Movie Maker meant I didn’t need particularly advanced skills. But it limited what I could do. However, I made far more mistakes using Adobe Premiere Pro. There were techniques I wanted to use, but didn’t have the skills or the time to develop them. I ended up using a combination of both, but ideally I am still looking for a program that is somewhere between the two.

Overall

It’s annoying because you have the idealised image in your mind of how it will look, how it should look. And, especially because I was learning the skills as I went along, it was taking too long to get to that level. So I had to find the middle ground. After weeks of research, filming and editing, and a lot of hard work I am happy with the video I produced.

Check it out and let me know what you think:

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