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…
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.
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: