- These are things I use, do and think about when I make my videos. Hopefully, you'll find some of this useful. I'll be linking this post in the ttmt sidebar for easy access. If you have something you use that you'd like to share, please feel free to drop it in comments!
- Windows Live Movie Maker - if you use Windows, this software is absolutely free to download. This link includes how-to videos for how to get started. I also use Windows Live Photo Editor from this suite. It's great for straightening, reorienting, cropping and color correcting photos, among other things, especially useful if you want to add photos to your videos. I'm playing with a couple of other video editors, but haven't landed on one that's as easy to use as WMM...yet!
- Royalty-Free Music - if you want to add music to your videos, consider using Royalty-Free music. This ensures that you won't get pinged for copyright violations and potentially have your video removed from YouTube. It's not YT that does the pinging, it's the corporations that own the content and some of them are more notorious for creating a stink thank others. My favorite royalty-free site is Incompetech, but there are plenty of others to choose from.
- Making your video watchable - most of you are old hands at this, but there are some helpful things to keep in mind when you record and edit. Here is what I do:
- Lighting. Lighting is very important, especially if you've got lots to show and tell. I use natural lighting and full spectrum light bulbs. Here are some fun lighting ideas.
- Have something to talk about -Make a list if you need it. You don't have to stick to the list, but it can be really helpful to have guidelines.
- Edit out rambling and blank spaces with movie editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. This can take a while, especially if you are a talker like me, but it will make your video much more watchable and if your video is more watchable, it is, wait for...more likely to be watched. Most of my videos start out at least 20 minutes long and I edit them to between 10 and 15 minutes. Believe me, you are not missing anything, just blank spaces, my grabbing other projects, letting cats in and out of the room, rambling or repeating myself. Think about it, if I edit out 5 minutes every week, that's almost FOUR AND A HALF hours in a year's worth of videos of blank spaces and junk you don't have to watch. You're welcome. ;)
- Beware TMI (too much information). We have lots to say about our projects and things we're working on, but if you find yourself going on and on and realize you're not really saying anything that you couldn't cover with a quick show and tell, move on to the next thing so you don't lose your audience's attention. You can always come back to it or discuss in comments if someone has a question.
- If you have too much to show for one video, it's okay to leave some of it out or save it for another video. Sometimes, I will record a separate segment and add it to a later video when I have less to show.
- My number one rule is to always remember who I am talking to. You are my audience and that's what I think about when I record. You are intelligent, crafty people. I want to connect with and interact with you, not bore your pants off.
- Practice makes perfect. Vlogging is a craft, too!
I've posted this before, but it's worth repeating. This is Hank Green talking about vlogging. He gives some good pointers about keeping your content tight, interesting and watchable. My favorite rule in the video is Do Not Be Afraid To Try! I agree with Hank when he says it doesn't matter what equipment you have. I started on a web cam, moved to a digital camera and now use a digital camcorder. They all work and there are other options, like phones with camcorders. In my personal opinion, the content and watchability is way more important that what you use to make it. The HOW will get easier the longer you do it.
This is a short video on editing in Windows Live Movie Maker. There are A LOT more how to videos, so if you're trying to figure out something specific, just search for it on YouTube and chances are someone has covered it.
Here's a video by the same guy on using iMovie. Unfortunately, embedding was disabled so I can't plunk it into this post. iMovie help from Apple.
For any lurkers (do we have any lurkers? I have no idea!), I wrote a post some time ago showing how to post your video to the ttmt community.
Does anyone have any questions or other suggestions that I didn't cover? Hit me!