Filming a Vlog
Alright, so we're going to film, and I've chosen a person to join me up here to be my victim, because I didn't want this to just be me because it was very important to me that somebody come up here that is certainly excited about creating video, but is still working on their craft and really wasn't the obvious, oh if that person can do it that doesn't necessarily always mean that I can. I want everyone to feel like anyone can do this, and it takes talent, it takes practice to get there, but if your message matters to you and you want to get it out there, then you can do this. So, I just went through all of your little profiles and I looked at all of you, and you're all amazing, and I wish that I could make vlogs with you all right this second, but right this second I would like to ask Curt to come and join me, so would you mind? (applause) Awesome. So, all mic'd and ready. So, just to give a little bit of context, can you share with the group what it is, are you vlogging now? Are you v...
logging now, and who is your community, do you know your viewer? What is their name and what is your purpose in starting to vlog?
Well I'm not vlogging now, while I did before, four years ago and I stopped. And so I came back online. I created, going to your directions, I created my avatar, and my avatar's name is Darwin. He is an entrepreneur much like myself. He's a father of some beautiful kids, but he's very insecure as far as his ability to inspire his children and have them do things that he's never done. He's very much into personal development. He's looking for an outlet, learning different outlets to be able to get his message out, but is still unsure of what direction to go in and where to take his message.
So what direction do you think you can offer? Like on the grand scale of you becoming a new friend in his life, or a thought leader to him, what is sort of the overall goal of your brand and how you assist him?
Well, one of the ways I wanna be able to assist him is to get him to take more chances, right, jump out of his shell and be more spontaneous and be more sporadic in some of the things that he's involved in on a daily basis.
Awesome. Okay, so, with that being said, we're gonna make one video today. So we're gonna be generous with the content, but we're gonna be focused. So, what's an example of a video we're not gonna make is probably how to take more chances. That would probably be a little broad right now. We want to get as focused as we can. But what ideas do you have about a video right now that you think could help Darwin?
Well, just playin' around with some ideas, how to get over your fear of not being a big enough inspiration to your kids.
Okay. That's long and overwhelming a little bit, right? So how do we make it something that if they just saw it in passing that was a perfect topic for them at this moment.
How to inspire your kids.
So maybe is it a couple of fears, or is it overcoming them, or three steps to overcoming them? What is something that could really say this is an approachable thing that we can attack right now, if I watch this video I think I can walk away and handle it?
Okay, three steps to overcoming your fear of not being a big enough inspiration to your kids.
Is that narrow enough?
Yeah, do you think you could talk about that on camera?
I'll give it a shot.
I like it.
You know, you're here so let's do it.
Awesome, take a seat.
Alright, so we're using an iPhone, and as you can see, we're going to use this back camera, the nicer side in terms of camera on the phone. We're gonna switch it on here, and just give you guys an idea of what I like to do when we get started. Oh my gosh, Curt's taller than I anticipated. (laughter) Okay, no I think we're good right there. Okay cool. So, actually can you move over to take chair, and then I'm gonna squeeze in next to you here.
Here, actually, they got moved somehow. Here, move this way. So, what I like to shoot for-- move over just a little bit this way. What I like to shoot for is, especially if let's just say Curt was gonna make this video on his own, just to give you guys some context here, this is about as much space as I like to have. My goal is to always kind of have my head hitting the top of the frame. There are gonna be lots of really special and experienced video people that are probably gonna be like what, why is that? This is just my preference. This tends to be where I like to be, and I like to take up as much of the frame as I can, because I'm the main subject, right? So, in a situation where it would be a one person video, it would look similar to this. I like it a little bit off to the side, and I almost want my head cut off a little bit. And this is also nice if you have a little bit of a taller tripod, and you're worried about how you look at a straight on angle. I sometimes position the camera a little bit higher and tilt it down, because that kind of helps thinning down the face a little bit.
Can I grab my phone real quick?
Yeah, sure. So, just keeping in mind that that's what I'm going for. I'm going for the head to hit the top of the frame, and then if I need to higher up the tripod so that the camera's a little bit taller in terms of eye length, I'm gonna tilt it down a little bit just to make it a little bit more flattering.
At this point, are you positioning yourself so you'll have cards and things to float over the screen, or at the moment you're not worrying about that?
No, I'm not worried about that at all. Those things are, of course, important to keep in mind. We're gonna have a two person video, so it is important to notice how is this going to be filmed, is it gonna get flipped once it gets uploaded and then we'll use features like cards and things like that on Youtube that'll float out, but for the most part, they're not gonna last so long that it's gonna interfere with the subject. So now we're gonna plop a second subject in there, and I think that's pretty good, we're taking up the full frame, and we're both in here, and we're both gonna lock eyes with that lens. So, I'm gonna go ahead and hit record, and like I said before, I like to record for the duration, ideally, because that way we have a lot we can edit, but it's not like an oh we must stop, turn it off, turn it back on, because once you get into the nature of doing that, things move, then all of a sudden it got moved a little bit and then your cuts look a little bit off and things are getting a little bit messy. So, I don't prefer that, I just like to let it rip. So, we're filming. Now, what do you think the first thing is that we do?
Just go right into it, content.
Totally. But first, we can't forget that we're gonna make a custom thumbnail later. So, we need probably a moment where we're not in the middle of saying something with a funny face, right? You guys have seen those images that YouTube pulls for you as the thumbnail for your photo, not into that, that's not cool. So what we're going to do right now is smile for just a few seconds, ready? (laughter) Now, it's in the footage, and I can simply take it out in edit. Does that make sense? That's step one.
So, we're not actually taking a photo--
We're just going back and grabbing a frame.
I want it to be the same resolution as the footage, so that's how I do it. It's too much work to take your own photo and take your own video. It's just like no, no. I can do it in post. So, okay, here's what we're going to do, we need to intro the video, and if you remember the formula, and this is for your audience, I'm simply your guest. I'm just gonna help you get through the process.
If you're talking to Darwin and you're kind of kicking things off in a conversation before you sort of intro the exact title, what might you say to him to relate to him about being a bigger inspiration to his kids or the problem he's having right now as someone who wants to be a bigger inspiration to his kids.
Well, I was thinkin' about goin' into a little story.
Is that cool?
Start with that, let's do it.
Okay, alright. Go?
Hey, how you doin'? So, here's the deal, as you know, a couple weeks ago my mother passed away, and one of the things that she said to me was, "You know Curt, I wished I had lived more. "I wish I had lived a little bit more like you." So, in this video, I want to share with you three strategies, three tips that can help you be more of an inspiration to your kids. Is that good?
That was so good. Was that not good? (applause) Awesome. Okay, so at this point, you might pop in a little bit of branding or you just skip right into the content, no matter what that is. We're making a cut right now. Clearly this is gonna get cut out later.
You're probably gonna have to add context to the fact that I'm here. But, what I want you to do now is just go ahead into the content. Say alright so here's what we're talking about. I want to introduce you to whoever it is, but do that however Darwin wants.
I have to introduce you?
If you want to.
You can just say Amy, you don't have to say my last name if you don't want.
However you want to bring me into the conversation.
Okay. So here's what we're gonna do. I have my friend Amy with me, and we're gonna go through these three strategies with you right now, okay? So, do I just go straight in?
Yeah, that's fine.
Or are you gonna talk?
So, here's one thing I want you guys to note, don't worry about nervous tendencies about talking to me or just asking for approval because it's your conversation, you know Darwin, I don't know Darwin, right?
Okay, it's just that you're sitting right here.
No that okay, I know, we're really close. (laughter) but one thing in terms of editing, what's gonna make your life a little bit easier later is when you're having that conversation and you're saying we have three idea's we're gonna share with you right now, and Amy is going to chime in too.
But when you speak and then stop, take a clean break when you stop. Instead of moving around and okay that was good and all of that extra stuff makes it much harder to cut in edit. So if you want that to be its own thing, stop clean, take a beat, and then say okay what should we say first, you know, then kind of have your pow-wow. Most of the time when I make a video, actually like 99.9 percent of the time, I'm not using a script. If I am using a script, it's because I've written out a comedy of some kind or there's a music video or something. So most of the time, I'm working off of bullet points on my phone, and that's exactly what Curt's doing right now. He's got a couple of things he wants to make sure he touches on, he's outlined what the purpose is, and so he's probably gonna go into number one, he might ask me what I think about that, and then as soon as he feels like that's in a good place, we take a beat. Or if he stumbles on his words, stop, go back to wherever you feel comfortable, pick it up again, finish it out. The cleaner you can make, if you're like oh I don't even remember what word I was on in that sentence, start it over. Because the cleaner you can make that in edit is a lot nicer, and that's really where jump cutting has been beneficial for me is because I understand where I'm gonna start and stop in that process. So keep that in mind. It's okay to stumble on words, I do it all the time, I forget my train of thought, I always go back to my bullet points and make sure I stay on track with generosity, but I've gotta be focused too. Does that make sense? Okay.
Okay. So Amy and I are gonna go through these three strategies. I'm gonna start and Amy's gonna jump in every now and then.
Oh just every now and then.
Every now and then, right? So, let's start with the first thing. Now, as fathers, it's extremely important to be serious all the time. And one of the strategies that I wanna give you is, you know, just remember that it's okay to make fun of yourself.
Oh my gosh, yeah. My dad used to make fun of himself all the time, and you do have to have that balance right?
You have to that balance of I'm your dad and I love you and I'm having fun, but I'm the authority, and so making sure to have that respect. I bet you have to have both.
Otherwise they're just scared.
And what I notice is that, with my kids, with my own children, the most memorable times they have is when I just break loose and I just do something really silly.
Something really embarrassing. And, you know, a lot of time's they'll say oh Dad, you embarrass me, but it's what they remember, right? So yeah, make fun of yourself. It's okay, you know, we're not all perfect, right? The other thing that I wanna make sure that you understand is that it's okay to be imperfect, and, you know, a lot of times being vulnerable is probably one of the things that's most attractive to you. And, you know, I know you can agree with this, but there was a time where, my daughter had went off to school and I shed a little tear, right?
Awh. That's relatable.
Yeah, it was a touching moment, but she always reminds me of that, and she'll tell me Dad that that was really sweet.
Awh, that's so great. What a good kid that you have, but even if you can't have those moments, I feel like you still want them, you still wanna remember that as a kid and as a parent.
Why are you lookin' at your notes while I'm talkin' to the camera, that's not gonna work. (laughter)
I just wanna make sure--
But we can take a beat for that.
You can stay in the conversation with me, and then look at your notes.
Okay, okay, cool, cool.
I'm not gonna rush you. We've got time.
Okay, and so we're talkin' about making fun of yourself, not being afraid to make fun of yourself, number one. Number two is being vulnerable. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. And number three, this is just so important, number three is just so important, number three is just so important that I forgot it. (laughter) But, I'm comin' right back with number three.
Look at it.
See, you were trying to balance note looking and me talking.
It's okay to just take, you don't have to rush through it just because I'm sitting here.
Okay cool. Number three, don't be afraid to take chances.
That sounds fun.
Right. The thing is that because we are the macho guy, and macho person in the relationship or in the family, we wanna play it by the rules all the time and make sure that all the Ts are crossed and the Is are dotted, and so every once in a while it's okay to step out and take a chance. I remember one time, which I get a lot of feedback from my kids on this, I went skydiving. Now I'm afraid of heights, but I went skydiving. And they know I'm afraid of heights.
I went and today, up to this day, they still talk about that, It was a major chance that I took, and they still talk about that, and I think they respect me more and they're a little bit more inspired by that.
So that's interesting, because I didn't necessarily connect the fact that you were taking a chance, but also your kids really understood that you were taking a chance, because it goes into the vulnerability.
That's a big component of that.
Exactly. So I hope you got some really good content here. What I would like for you to do right now, is subscribe to the channel if this information worked for you, and also hit Amy's channel up and subscribe to her as well.
Bye. (applause) Yeah, nice job. Nice job. Alright, I'm gonna cut this file. Nope, stay put.
I'm not done with you. (laughter) So, how did that feel?
Other than the fact that apparently I intimidate you.
Yeah, it feels okay. It's just, you know, I'm tryin' not to, I got you sittin' here, I'm tryin' not to mess up in front of you, but at the same time, I think if it was just me, I think I can rock it a little bit easier.
But it's not just you, and it wasn't because of me. You're talking to one person.
I mean I get that I added a different dynamic to that entire thing.
A little bit of nervousness.
Totally. Absolutely. Because you're being taken out of--
That is true. (laughter) But, I didn't interrupt you in terms of how you talk to Darwin, because that's between you two.
Right? We all just have different styles. There's not always going to be this, this is exactly how you edit, this is how fast you talk, this is all of these things, because your person receives differently than my person a lot of the time. So depending on age, maybe you want to be slower paced. Depending on how much a talking head is going to be a good balance with the audience, what is that gonna look like? So, I wanted to stop you for moments where you could just be more tuned in here, but other than that, I mean, how you talk to him is how you talk to him, and it sounded very natural to me in terms of a conversation. What do you guys think? I don't wanna roast him, but if you have any thoughts. Or how did you feel as he was talking to the camera?
I think it was really good, especially for new dads, and those dads who are really struggling with their kids going through transition times, and it was really relatable in that way for Darwin and what he's going through. And I just think that you spoke to him in a way that really probably resonated with him, whereas it comes from a different place for me, who's a mom. So I think you did a really nice job in actually talking to him and sharing that on a level that he would understand.
(Curt) Thank you.
It was fun to watch.
I liked how you broke everything down very simple into three different steps that was easy to follow, and then you also shared a story for an example for each of the steps, so it make it relatable.
(Curt) Awesome. Thank you.
(Amy) Definitely. That story telling is really big piece of this because anybody can go take some list post from a website and read it to a camera, right? Just adding your personal experience is what's gonna give you credibility. So that was a really really great point that you pulled out of that.
I have question about body gestures and body language. You use your hands very much close to yourself, to where most of us that are not comfortable maybe go a little farther out, do you have any comments on that?
Yeah, you know, I think that's just personal tendency, and I think, I don't know, it's interesting because I think it's just exactly how I talk in real life is what I'm gonna do on camera. I think sometimes having a little bit of too much hand movement can change things with focus, and so that's something to keep in mind too is I'm not gonna try to add some element of the auto-focus changing where it wants to go, so I'm gonna be cognizant of that fact while I'm talking, but I think how Curt was the entire time was actually very natural too. So he sort of was the more lean in, kind of this is what you should know, and that felt very personal. I don't know what you guys thought. Yeah, no problem.
How did you figure out your best angle to show.
I don't necessarily keep track of best angle. I think I'm more worried about sometimes if my hair's parted a certain way, I just make sure it's not gonna keep me from being seen, but other than that, making sure that we're not, something I say frequently is the camera being so far away that you get more blue wall than you get people. And that is tough, because it's like if we were having a conversation, would you be that far away from me? Probably not. Also seeing the entire body, there's only so much of that that's going to be tolerable because when I have a conversation with you, I'm not looking at you're entire body. I'm looking about probably here up. So that's what I'm going for with angles, and so does that help? Is that along the lines of what you were thinking?
Yes, and part of it is that I was told I'm not showing my best angle for my face in the camera.
Whoever said that is a troll. (laughter) Yeah, we don't listen to those people. No, that's not a thing, don't worry about that. (laughter) Okay, does that answer that question? (laughter) Okay cool. Well you did a great job.
Awesome, thank you.
You're so welcome.
I appreciate it.
I'm excited to edit this. (applause) Okay take a seat.
Take a seat. So what is some thoughts, maybe things that you picked up on in that process that you maybe hadn't thought of before that you would like to try?
(Audience Member) The clean break. I am not great at taking clean breaks, and it shows when I jump cut through what I'm talking about.
And you know what, we have that problem at Aftermark a lot because you really have to coach people on that and say okay, just talk until you're done, but don't turn and, it's not about breaking the wall as much as it's adding on to the audio nightmare that it's going to be to edit this very cleanly. So you'll see, because it took a second for me to correct that with Curt, and so you'll see where some of that gets to be a lot more difficult to edit. And you're just, for the sake of sanity, for those of us who are bootstrapping and editing our own content, you're just gonna be like how can I make this faster. You make it faster by making it extremely clear in audio what's happening. Because if there's no sound waves, then you know that that's probably an area you can just cut out and you can make it a much faster process. Does that make sense? This is an interesting little, I'm just gonna AirDrop this file to my computer, I think, and then we will be in Final Cut Pro and edit.
I'm just curious, because my original TV training was in OG, traditional Fox Sports television, and I think it's really interesting, and one of the things I very much identify you with as a vlogger is how close the camera is to you. So, at what stage did you decide to, and how did you come to the conclusion to have your sort of crop-cut, very intimate?
I think I was just tired of looking at my nose on a lot of shots. And you tend to do that at first, you're just like oh the camera's going up this direction, and that's not flattering, and so, especially when, ladies are always looking at sort of slimming the face as much as they can, when you have the camera a little bit higher up and tilt it down, I just found that a good, kind of sweet spot was having the top of the frame really hit the top of my head. Steve Dotto, who's one of my great friends that has a YouTube channel and he was creating a graphic for me, no for something we did together, and he was like I'm trying to do something, but he cuts everyone out and kind of adds it to a fake backdrop, and he's like I'm having a really hard time finding a full shape of your head. I'm like oh sorry, that just how I, so I know that that's kind of a weird tendency for me, but I have just found that if you really look at, when you're having a conversation with somebody, and where you're really focused when you're having that conversation, it's not with that much space around you and above you. I think the toughest part is just focusing on the space around you. A lot of people leave a lot of space above their head, and I just can't focus when I'm watching that, because first of all I'm five four, there's no way there's that much space above your head when we're havin' a conversation, it's just not possible. So just keeping that as realistic as a real conversation as possible is big.
We got some comments that came in from the online audience while that was happening too. So Talia Schaeffer says, "Great eye contact with the camera." And I want to get your take on this because we obviously, we had a big monitor there so we could see what was going on, and I mean was that distracting at all when you guys were up there, kind of seeing a separate monitor? Is that something that catches your eye? Is that something you would do at home ever?
The reason we kind of had this craziness is, that's a great question, I wanted to make sure we practiced what we preached earlier on using the side of the camera that was going to be the highest quality. Sorry, side of the phone, the camera on the side of the phone. So, that was big. But I also wanted Curt to see how we were framing. Now if I'm recording on a Smartphone in my office, I'm usually gonna AirPlay to a device, just like you saw here, so I can at least look off to the side what's going on and how everything's framed so you don't have to keep going back and forth of test runs and test runs, because you always move around for that. It's definitely better than having front-facing camera and having a screen of your face right there, because it's so tempting to look at that because it's right next to the lens. So that's why it was a little bit easier for us, there was nowhere else for Curt to look. There was obviously nowhere else for me to look. There wasn't that oh gosh to I look okay, my hair's out of place. A lot of time my hair is out of place in a video because I didn't have time to look at it while I was talking, I was took bust having the conversation with you. Does that make sense? So that was a big piece of that. But having a monitor was just so we could make sure that you guys could get the lay of the land. If you can get good at not using a monitor, then that's a good place to be too. Does that make sense?
Great, yeah. We got a few more questions here. So, Avery had posted this one saying what if you are shooting this vlog, say on site, like maybe you're at a conference or something, you were able to square it up, but do you ever have to worry about people walking behind you?
Do you have to get releases from people if that's the case?
Oh, that's a good question. I think, usually when you're in a public place like that and they are not the focus of the video and you're not using them as the subject or one of the subjects of the video, that shouldn't be as big of a deal. And usually if they're walking behind, I call that, you know, atmosphere, ambiance, something's happening right now while we're recording this, so I actually think that adds to the experience.
As far as angle that you had the phone, you were looking down, so if you're talking to a person and you're looking down at them, it's a little bit condescending.
Do you consider those kinds of things? You know, the best angle to look straight at it?
Definitely. The goal is to try to be straight on or looking up a little bit, just a little bit. This was just sort of a scrappy set-up that we were gonna do here. Most of the time I try not to be looking down for a multitude of reasons, but that's definitely one of them, something important to keep in mind.