I was just wondering if you could take the time to give me some feedback on my most recent YouTube film... My 2018 year in review. Thanks in advance! Also, using this video as an example, any hints on improving my channel overall?
I have a little advice, but not sure if I can articulate it properly as I'm about to get ready to go to work, but I'll try. We talk about beginning, middle and Steven James explains in his book, Story Trumps Structure, that you don't have a story until something goes wrong. His example involves students writing about what they did over the summer with things like "played video games" or went to grandma's. One kid writes about having a jumping contest, getting caught in the ceiling fan and having it throw him farther than the other kids. So maybe as a vlog, come up with some problem or question that has to get solved and force us to stick with you to see how you answered it. Hope that makes some kind of sense.
@Coldamic +1 to Kiplake.
Interesting... Like you were saying, I think the storytelling needs a bit more attention and you gotta engage the audience more. You also probably don't wanna have too much camera shake while you're speaking. I don't know if you watch Casey Neistat's Vlogs, but they are definitely great to learn from. Hope this helps
@Kiplake thanks, made a lot of sense. Thanks for the advice!
@BlackPhotonStudios thanks for the feedback! How would you suggest I engage the audience more?
In addition to agreeing with what @Kiplake said about story, I have another concern. You said in this video, "I have the editing down. I've had the editing down for a while." I haven't watched any of your other videos, but just watching this one, I would respectfully disagree. Your editing isn't horrible, but there are things that could be better. For example, the handheld camera work is too shaky. I'm not against a handheld camera, but at times it feels like you don't care how you handle the camera. When you mentioned doing a collaboration with one of your friends (whose name I couldn't make out), you did this jerky whip-pan to show him, then jerky-panned back to yourself. A much better way to handle that would be to add the shot of your friend as a drop-in, rather than trying to include them when they're at a distance that makes no sense to show them.
You might be thinking, "Why are you talking about how I shoot when you said my editing could improve?" The way I see it, editing begins with shooting. You can only do so much in editing to fix poorly-shot footage. I'm not saying don't shoot on the fly if that's your preference. What I'm saying is that the shoot should be about more than just aiming the camera in the general direction of your face while you talk, which is kinda how the above piece feels. It's about presenting everything within the frame in way that's going to not only engage the audience with your content, but also make them feel like you care about their experience with your content.
Be careful when you tell yourself and others that you "have the editing down." It feels like you're saying that you can't get any better, and at your age, this is a really dangerous attitude. Everyone has room to grow and learn. I teach an online class for beginning animators, and one of the things I mention early in the term is the danger of getting too proud. The example that I always give of someone who is a master at his craft, yet is not the least bit proud in the egotistical sense, is Glen Keane. He's a legendary Disney animator. Considering his experience level and credit list, he would have every reason to tell folks that he "has animation down," and yet I've heard and read numerous accounts from people who say he's extremely humble. People might think, "What could he possibly learn that he hasn't already learned," and yet he's always seeking to learn new things.
Early in my animation career, I had an experience that opened my eyes. I was interviewing for my first full-time job, and was asked to rate my animation ability on a scale of 1 to 10. I said that I felt like I was about a 7. The person who asked the question responded, "What if I told you that you're probably closer to a 4?" I replied, "Well, you probably don't know me that well." Yeah, I said that. *shudder* Thankfully they were patient with me and offered me the job. A week or two into the work, after seeing what I was really up against as a junior artist, I went back to one of the folks in the interview and apologized. At that point I actually felt like the ranking of 4 that I was given was a bit generous. I also felt the scale was logarithmic.
Anyway, I didn't meant to go on this long when I started, but I felt it was important to get that stuff out. I definitely think you've got a lot of talent, but I also feel that you've got room to grow. We all have room to grow. The moment we feel we can't grow any more is the moment we start slipping. Keep pushing. Keep learning. Stay humble.
@Coldamic I went ahead and merged your threads. Since both start with the same video, it's basically two versions of the same thread and merging them will keep the conversation flowing
I agree with @CleverTagline on the shaky footage but especially on the learning.
Last time I got a promotion at work I was given great advice. "Becoming a manager is like getting your driving license; it doesn't mean that you know how to drive, but you are allowed to drive along other people and really start learning. So, now you get to start learning how to become a manager, and never stop learning."
And trying to add something to what has been said, your confidence in front of the camera is commendable! Stylistically (and I know it's a matter of taste) your clips seem overly saturated and quite many bits blown out. I can't say whether they weren't exposed correctly or if it is the look you're going for. If it's the former, study your camera if it's the latter, then it's just a matter of taste.
I think the best part of this video is you.You have a confident, energetic presence in front of the camera. It won't be to everybody's liking but it definitely has a place in the vlogging world. Try and find your own particular style.
Your camera style : I don't mind the selfie, hand-held style like 02:40. I also like the fixed camera style at 3:38.I'm afraid the shaky, non-selfie camera is not for me.Finally, be confident in your ability. You are talented and you have time. Behind the scenes, take all the advice and bits of criticism given here and listen to it.... even if you then decide to ignore it.Best of luck
<edit> Have a look at some of the Story Greenlight videos as well.
@Coldamic In my opinion, to engage the audience you would need to be doing something real in your life. Then you need to tell a story about what's going on. The important thing is to always hold back something from the audience till the end, to keep them engaged and interested. Easier said than done.
A Vlog should be more like a behind the scenes, and not the sole purpose of your life.
If you're looking for a few examples of what I mean by "doing something real in your life" then here are some: Woodworking, Photography, Meditation, Art, Craft, Film Making, Bird Watching, Gardening, Etc. Of course, there's a whole lot of other things you can do as well; these are just examples.
Recently I made a Vlog which was a total failure, but I learnt a lot from it. So in that sense it was a success.
If you haven't watched it yet, go watch Casey Neistat's guide to Film Making. It was a big help to me.
I wish you good luck.
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