I think it’s probably safe to say that most of us mere mortals aren’t exactly comfortable being filmed, or at least not when we first try it. Especially if it consists of you talking direct to camera, acutely self-conscious, worried about how you sound, how you look (does my head look big in this?) and basically feeling like an utter fool.
I recently dipped a toe into the waters of video making – actually, it was probably more like diving in head first – but in that endeavour I had the very good company of a fellow student, which made it not only easier to give it a go but much more enjoyable. Now, I’m looking down the barrel of a video assignment that is worth a major whack of my marks for the subject. And in every way that counts, I have to go it alone. To say I am daunted by this task is an understatement; this is so far out of my comfort zone we may as well be in outer space.
Now words, words are my thing and I’m comfy there. Words don’t always come easily to me (another blog post in itself) but they do eventually and the process of wrestling the slippery little buggers into shape is familiar. So it's a logical place for me to start, to take to a blog post to work my way through this with words. But of course, I know that words alone are not going to get me through this task. A script is a good start, and part of the excellent advice we’ve been given on how best to proceed in our podcast; equally applicable to video.
So I’ve made a start. This week I got my phone and found myself a spot (bit of trivia: sitting on the floor behind our front door, actually) to video myself doing something I thought would be a fairly simple place to start: Five things about me you won’t find out from my “About.Me” page.
Only, it wasn’t that simple. I flubbed my lines, repeatedly. I delivered them with all the panache of a reanimated lightning-struck tree-stump. I closed my eyes at absurdly random moments and for really looong periods. I wriggled. I pulled weird faces.
But I learned something with every take. I learned that I was doing all those odd distracting things, which I was completely unaware I was doing. I learned how hard it is to remember a list of five things you already know about yourself when you are also talking to a camera – at that stage I was such a newbie I couldn’t even figure out exactly where I should look – as well as trying to be engaging, entertaining and avoid showing just how far out of your comfort zone you truly are.
So in this, part 1 of my video misadventures, I’m going to share with you the footage of the most important thing I discovered.
And maybe next time I’ll let you know if I ever did manage to string together 5 things about me you won’t find out from my About.Me page.
I'm a writer. I love words and story. I'm also rather fond of my husband and my dog.