A few months back, I was invited to be part of a project – the making of an “It Gets Better” video. For those unfamiliar with the concept, these are videos where all sorts of people show their support for young gay/lesbian people. This particular group of teenagers and young adults are at high risk for bullying, which can lead to all sorts of problems in life, including depression, even suicide. All the videos carry the same message to those victimized by homophobes everywhere: It gets better!
This particular video had a story to tell based on an actual event, and it holds a secondary message to those who watch it regardless of sexual orientation: don’t accept bullying behavior, even if it’s not directed at you.
Essentially this was the collaboration between a bunch of nerds. The whole thing was the brain child of game designer Mike Selinker who shares the screen with online gaming legend Stepto. There is also a guest appearance by Paul and Storm.
My job consisted of the actual shooting and post processing of the video itself. Nerdwrangler Liz Smith made sure everyone knew what they were supposed to do when, and Thomas Ourada acted as production assistant on the shoot itself. It never ceases to amaze me how many people it can take to put together even a short and simple video, such as this one.
For those of you who like puzzles, Mike included one in the video. For more about that – and the solution – take a peek at his post about it on wired.com.
Sidenote: I got hit with a flu which meant I missed out on Norwescon, including the panel I was supposed to be on. If you were there looking for me, I am sorry to have disappointed you.
Last week, I challenged myself to post a video every day for one week. I did this for selfish reasons, mainly to learn and practice using some relatively new gear and software. I got a lot more out of it than that. I talk about it some in the 7th video. If you just want my conclusion, go ahead and watch the final clip first.
Below is the entire week combined into one playlist on YouTube. Combined, I talk for 12 minutes across the seven videos, or less than 2 minutes on average. I didn’t plan it that way, I just talked to the camera for about ten minutes, then edited out all the really lame bits. Not that what’s left is pure gold, mind you. After all, this was an experiment!
I did get a lot more feedback on the series than expected. On Twitter and Facebook especially, but also in e-mail and even a couple of comments on YouTube itself. It was encouraging, inspiring, and a lovely surprise. As a result of all this encouragement, I am thinking about putting together a weekly video with a little more meat on its bones, instead of these super short, largely improvised clips.
Thank you to everyone who watched the videos and sent me their feedback – even if I wasn’t expecting it, it is highly appreciated.
I’ve been fascinated by video blogging for a long time. It combines a number of things I enjoy with at least one I’m less comfortable with. By video blogging, I don’t mean making little artsy fartsy videos, like the experiments I usually do, but classic webcam style of sitting down and talking to the camera.
But I was nervous.
What if I ended up looking like an idiot? What if I made a fool of myself? What if nobody gave a shit? And after thinking thoughts like that for a while, I got tired of it. So Sunday night I decided that Monday was a good day to start and when Monday morning came around, I announced my self-challenge on Twitter: shoot and upload 1 video every day for 1 week.
I had no idea what to talk about. Just a want to try it. So I rambled for about 10 minutes and cut it down to just over 1. That would be my first post. The content isn’t going to rock anyone’s world, but it did get me started and as soon as I watched the edited version from start to finish, I immediately had a bunch of ideas of what to do instead, or next time.
Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to get that kick of inspiration. Sitting in front of the camera and a bright light is definitely outside my comfort zone, but it’s more fun and inspiring than expected.
Go ahead and place your bets now, on whether I’ll last the week and whether or not that includes the weekend.
Update: I’ve made a YouTube playlist of the videos from this experiment. Check it out!
Relevant links:my YouTube channel and my Facebook page. I’m not going to write a post with each clip (but I will write a follow-up when the week is over), so if you want to follow the videos as they appear those are the links to use.