I’ve been doing video blogs since July 2006. The very first video blog I did talked about a rained out Komikero meeting that ended up in our house. Now, I don’t know what possessed me to start doing these things. But I’ve always been fascinated by photography and video. Long before You Tube I was already shooting and editing video clips and uploading them up at my site. But the exercise of shooting yourself talking in front of the camera, relating diary-like entries in video form seemed intriguing to me.
Strangely enough, I can’t stand looking at myself or listening to myself on screen. But I do it anyway. Why do I do it? I’m still thinking about that one. Is it because I want to become famous? Some people would think I’m lying if I said that wasn’t true. Well, I do want my work in comics to become well known. And if I’m ever going to be well known, I’d want it to be in comics.
So I guess I just enjoy the act of creating videos and sharing them with people online. That’s basically it. I don’t have any ambitions of doing this because I want to be on TV. In fact, I’ve been asked to be on TV because of my videos lots of times and I’ve declined every time. I like the interaction I get on You Tube, and the little community that I found over there. Those kinds of things you will lose when you go TV.
Do you want to start video blogging yourself? It’s not really that hard. All you need is a camera, a computer, an Internet connection and most importantly, thick skin.
The great thing about video blogging is you really don’t need high tech equipment to do it. All you need is a digicam that shoots video. Or your cellphone if it has video capabilities. I myself don’t have any video cameras. My earliest videos were shot with a Sony W-1 5 megapixel digicam. My recent videos have been shot with a Canon IXUS 8 megapixel digicam.
To get the video files from your camera to your computer, I strongly advice that you install the software that came with your camera into your computer. Some people have been complaining that they can’t transfer the files. That’s because they’ve just been trying to transfer it directly using explorer. Install the drivers/software and you’ll successfully transfer your files.
It’s better to set your camera on something before you start talking just so the shot won’t be so shaky. I usually mount my camera on a tripod or on a stack of books. In the video above, I placed the camera on a stack of paper and just went for it.
I already had a story in my mind about this blind date I had back in 1994 and I just told it the way I would tell a friend. Lately, I’ve been using Ilyn as my “laugh track” because viewers seem to enjoy her commenting and laughing as I tell my stories. She doesn’t like to be on camera, so at the very least her voice could be on it.
Your subject could be anything. You can relate a funny story about what happened to you, or you could relate an incident that happened in your life that gave you some insight, you could relate a joke, or you could do something silly like I do in the video below:
The important thing to keep in mind is just to let your hair down, and speak up. There’s nothing more frustrating to watch than someone being too shy to talk or someone too nervous. Just let it all out and go for it. None of that shy shit. It’s only you and the camera. If you make a mistake, you can do it over again. You can just go ahead and ramble on and on, and just edit it later on.
If you’re a video whiz you can put special effects and editing gimmicks in your video. I do that myself on special videos like my cooking ones and travel ones. But for videos where I just relate stories, I just go ahead and talk and do it in just one take. I admit, it’s taken me a couple of years before I got confident enough to do straight videos like that, and once in a while I do still have to edit out the parts where I’m stuck thinking.
I edit my video with a Power Director program that I got bundled with my DVD Rom. Chances are, you have a Windows Movie Maker already installed in your computer if you have Windows XP SP2 or Vista. That’s a pretty good program to use in editing videos. If you rummage through the CD Roms that came with your disc drives, you just might find a software that you would find useful.
With Windows Movie Maker, the file is saved as a .wmv file. That’s perfectly good for uploading at You Tube. The higher quality file you upload, the better chances the quality of the video will look.
In Power Director, I save my file as .avi, using the Xvid codec saved at high quality. An 8 minute video translates to around 150+megabytes. That’s how large the files I upload to You Tube are. That allows my videos to have the HQ or High Quality option.
If you want HD, you go for the highest setting your software is capable of, and save it using the mpeg-2 format. That’s an incredibly huge file. But if your computer can take it, and if your connection is fast enough, well, why not?
WHERE TO UPLOAD?
You can upload your video in a variety of places. There’s Vimeo, DailyMotion, Metacafe, LiveVideo, Revver, etc., but I kind of prefer You Tube because really, it’s the largest one around, and I’ve managed to find a community there that I enjoy interacting with.
There’s a lot of haters in You Tube, so be prepared to take some surprisingly hateful comments. You can disable comments or at the very least moderate the comments so you can weed out the bad ones.
But in spite of the haters, more likely than not, you will find much more people who appreciate your videos that would make the effort worthwhile.