Making Videos

I’ve noticed over the last ten years I’ve moved from learning by reading, to learning by listening or watching. I like listening to books because I can multitask, and I like watching experts because of all the little things you see they’d never bother to write down. This doesn’t work for everything – reading is still the best way when you go deep into the nuts and bolts – but you can cover a lot of ground quickly with video and audio.

So I decided to try a video. The first one isn’t very good, I’ve worked enough with animation and graphics to know that, but it was VERY interesting diving into this world from the other side of the camera. It reminded me a lot of the Flash days, plus your final export is even more universally viewable. Here it is:

Like most things in tech, the tools have gotten much better since I last looked, as well as cheaper. Also computers can keep up without melting. I used DaVinci Resolve (free version) which is super easy to pick up for a professional tool. I love how the video, audio, effects and export are all fully integrated in there. It is very easy to add little effects and transitions (and yes I tried too many of them — but hey, learn by doing etc).

I have an OK camera, but used a webcam. I have no way of looking at the camera monitor while filming, and a poor setup. The picture quality is terrible, but given this was the first video that wasn’t going to be the most noticeably bad thing. I will set things up better for the next one though – apparently post processing is much easier when you don’t start with flaming garbage.

I have a lot of subjects I want to cover, but I do still find it all a little embarrassing. Less than when I started, but there is something a bit pathetic about dragging my sad face into the frame and droning on about some tech thing. Tech is pretty dry, but it gives you superpowers once you understand it – not sure how best to present that. I edited it down a lot, which was good, and tried talking faster which wasn’t. If you happen to watch it, criticisms and advice most welcome :).

Lastly, YouTube. I guess there isn’t another obvious outlet for this kind of thing yet (though it isn’t too hard to self host these days either). It is very straightforward to upload and prep a video, your main task is to choose a thumbnail. What if I told you I had spent a lot of time at Google trying to come up with a thumbnail creation assistant – that I spent countless hours with YouTube domain experts, and collected hundreds of advice points from world class designers? Well looking at the thumbnail you made Robin, that is obviously a lie.

But yes. I spent about 20 minutes on it, right at the end, it’s cheesy and corny (nachos?), and against all advice, it doesn’t even relate to the style of the video. I don’t know what to say. I guess it’s different when it’s your video, you have no defined style, no content, no talent, no feedback, and there are just so many other things going on. It’s weird how you just let it go. Eeek, I hope none of them see this. I’m still distilling all your advices, promise!

I want to get better at this.

We all have things of our own to say. We should say them.