Jul 7, 2017

Videos--The Way I Aim to Do Them

I recently filmed a kayaking trip with my brother and sister-in-law. It was to test out the Campark 4K Action Camera I purchased. However, I was really pleased with the flow of the video.

In fact, I liked it so much that I wish I had filmed all of my solar site visits like this. I wish all of my blog posts were like this.

I like the narration mixed in with the action/scenic shots. I think it does a much better job of telling the story than my videos where I either filmed a field of solar panels without any spoken commentary or recorded an interview with no supporting visuals or breaks in the back-and-forth.

I'm finally seeing the importance of having an attention grabbing format. When you look at a vlogger like Casey Neistat, he's working to grab your attention by changing the shot every 3-5 seconds, being super animated in his narration, choosing flashy music, and introducing concepts that make you feel like you're learning something new. If I could be anything like that--the clean energy version--I think I'd be doing the world a great service.

The funny thing is, I learned this 'format' lesson in way back in 2010 while teaching English in France. My first few days were painful for everyone. The 6-11 year olds that I was teaching got extremely tired of my listen and repeat method. The teachers nudged me to switch up the activities every 15 minutes or so.

By the end of the year, I was bouncing around from Simon Says to singing "We are the world" to mini conversations. I think I'm in that transition moment now with my online content generation.

One final point on format, you need good equipment. Everything I've been doing up until now has been on a cell phone. It's amazing what cell phones can do but when you compare the shots taken by a sports action camera or the sound quality of a Rode Videomic Pro, it's night and day. And I've watched enough videos to know how irritating it is to watch a grainy video where you can barely hear anyone. If you're cranking out videos, the only excuses you have for poor quality are as follows:

  1. You (like me) are either too cheap or too poor to invest in good equipment. Not a good excuse.
  2. The video you are shooting is a dramatic moment where you only had time to pull out a cell phone. For example, an earthquake, violence, street protest, or phenomena in the animal kingdom.

From this point on, the videos and writing you see from me will take this into account. In the meantime, here's a throwback to one of my favorite WheresTheSolar videos.