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YouTube and Living outside the Box

upside down videoThis week, my “darling children” (Jamie 14, and Aedan 12) convinced me to use my virgin YouTube channel. I can honestly say that anything related to video-production scares me. (Not quite as much as improper server setups, but close; see article IT How Pennywise Would Have Done IT for some scary IT). I prefer the written word, but I do understand that not everybody likes to read, and video can be easier to learn from. Yesterday afternoon, my darling children and I sat down at the kitchen table and brainstormed ideas, wrote a script, and proceeded to record. In the past, I have struggled with video. I have had experience with being filmed, and it has never went without a hitch. The moment I look at the camera, I panic. End of story. It doesn’t matter if it’s video or still, it makes me squirm, and there are many pictures of me with some weird smile on my face. I don’t have the same problem when giving a presentation or teaching a class, until I notice a camera is capturing every word I say. I can be speaking very confidently, but the moment I see a video camera, I stumble. It would be much easier to avoid this altogether, but if I do that, then all I’m teaching my children is to hide from what scares them. I’m always telling my kids to live outside the box, and yet when they suggest something outside of my box, I try to crawl back into my pre-established comfort zone.

After working up enough courage to set up my phone (yes, I only used my S3), review the script, and try to find a way to keep the phone propped up, I took a deep breath, and started talking to my phone. My first couple of tries were horrible and frustrating. The language I was spewing would have resembled that of a Green Day concert (that I took my darling children to at ages 8 and 10). I hated every moment of it, from the hair in my eyes, to looking at my script, to squirming in my chair. But the kids kept encouraging me and told me that I couldn’t quit because I was uncomfortable, and that that would be going back into the box, where it’s safe. After a few more tries, we ended up with something I could work with.

Next came editing. I thought doing the recording was scary, but editing is a nightmare. My software kept crashing and wouldn’t save my edits. It was slow and I had to really get a feel where to splice the sequence (except for the part where I accidently left the “1, 2, 3, go” in). I am fairly happy with my final product, considering I had no idea what I was doing. Some of the outtakes are hilarious.

Next, I was ready to upload the video to YouTube. Again, the kids came to my rescue. “Mom you need to add a description. Mom you need to edit your profile. Mom you need to name your channel.” This quick little video was rapidly becoming a lot of work. Finally, I was uploading the final product. My kids couldn’t wait to view and critique it. Once it was up, they quickly loaded it and then started laughing hysterically. My heart dropped. What could be so funny about my video? It looked OK on my computer, was there food on my face, boogers hanging out my nose, maybe a funky hair thing? None of the above. My video was upside down! My first attempt did not go as planned, considering I pride myself on being the “infamous Guelph computer geeky girl”. I suspect this happened during a modification I made to the software to prevent the crashing issue. At least that’s my story.

I hope my first video – my introduction video – will be the wonkiest. Moving forward, my videos will be about topics I know, understand and speak about all the time. I am hoping my natural speaking ability will come through and I’ll get more comfortable with the camera itself.

I have come to realize you can’t always do what you are comfortable with; you’ll never grow and learn new things if you don’t try anything new, as scary as it may be.

Life’s too short to be stuck in the box.

If you wish to see my right-side-up video, click here.

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