Why Add Video?
After making 150 something episodes of the audio podcast I felt last year that I was in a bit too smooth of a routine.
I’d perviously dropped making the show in one hour – which seems totally insane to me now lol. Having more time to work on the script gave me space to explore, and improve editing and style. Which (I think) still continues to improve.
I was however feeling like the weekly task of pumping out an episode was becoming less of a creative challenge. Not that I was bored of making the show – far from it.
Making a video version seemed like a good idea. I was already putting out the transcript, so why not add video? It’d be a new skill and new challenge/ladder to climb.
My first instinct was to try and learn to speak off the cuff, to camera, with no script. I was (am) quite jealous of friends who can speak for paragraphs in a realtime setting. I’ve never been very good at organising my thoughts.
The learning curve i think is going to balancing making the audio of the show as I’ve always made it and thinking about how it appears on video. For example: I added a zoom in on my eyes when I say my name in the intro. It made me laugh out loud and I’m going to do it every time now.
One Year Later
The first proper episode I made was about meditation. The content of the episode is ok, but the video element left a lot to be desired. This is how the first real attempt at a video episode came out:
Obviously, recording yourself making a podcast seems ok in theory but it’s not very interesting to watch at all in practice.
As the weeks and months went by, I realised that that I should be talking to the camera, and not the microphone. This seems obvious in hindsight, not it wasn’t at the time. LOL.
Talking to camera changes the way you speak. It’s the location for the imagined audience. I realised I should be performing to the camera (and the audience). This change in approach improved my intonation and delivery straight away. With the bonus downstream effect being a much better experience for audio listeners too.
Compare this weeks episode 50 something episodes later to the one above:
I’m pretty pleased with how everything has evolved.
I’ve also recently moved to a wide angle shot to guarantee that I’m in more of the frame.
Over the last year I’ve got quite fast at using Descript’s video editing tools, and amuse myself in the edit with all those ridiculous zoom cuts throughout each episode. For weeks and weeks this year I haven’t been centring myself correctly making these jump cuts annoying to edit.
The most urgent thing I need to do next is cobble together some sort of jury-rigged autocue with an old phone. Despite my laptop being on a pile of books directly underneath the camera, I’m unhappy with the way my eyes dart down to read the script. I think It makes me look like even more of a crazy man than I already am IRL.
Just as I am super comfortable editing/dealing with the sound of my own voice, I’ve got very comfortable editing video of myself. I’d like to make and do more video. Maybe a return to making come internet with me? Maybe something else?
Several friends have been encouraging me to join ‘essay-tube’ or whatever. Should I make youtube videos proper? I’m really not sure about that. I don’t feel like I have that in me right now. I’d do it for/with a project or a team maybe? Never say never.
I’ll continue making a video version of the show, as I know that every week something will get better. Editing, writing, video editing, etc. I’m always pleased about ‘something’ when I hit publish on the show.
Whats the point?
The biggest question about it all is – whats the point?
Compared to the audio version of the show, which does very respectable numbers, no one I watching the video version. Some videos get like… 10 views.
That said my Youtube channel as a whole has doubled in subscribers in the last year, I’m currently at 412. Which according to social blade means my Youtube channel has gone from being the 318,183rd most subscribed channel in the UK to 4,248th. Which is a little bonkers.
It really shows you how steep the audience curve is on Youtube. Novara have 220k subscribers and are 1,130th for example.
Anyways, a 301 second video on Youtube is not algorithm friendly at all. So it’s not like I’m going to get much organic growth. I don’t post the video version to twitter. Only this blog. So this might also be why no one is watching.
Adding video to the podcast’s workflow means I now generate GBs and GBs of data every week. This became challenging to deal with really quickly, so I ended up buying a new internal 2TB SSD for my gaming laptop to manage it all. I also have no backups – but I’m not sure that I care.
The other thing making the video version has added is time. Processing video files, exporting video, editing video – blah blah blah – has added a huge amount of time to the shows production. it now takes 2/2.5 hours to make the show. From sitting down to record to stepping away from my computer. Which is really annoying when no ones watching.
If I was just making the audio version the whole process would be done and dusted in well under an hour, including the 20mins it takes to record two takes. But thats where i was in 2021 and it felt unchallenging.
Anyways, I still think making the video version is a thing worth doing – despite the fact no one is watching.
Plenty of people listen to the audio version of show – that’s who it’s for. It’s podcast after all! Thats the medium I’m targeting.
I feel like the video version is a bonus. An excuse to acquire a new set of skills for free along side something I would be doing anyway. Being comfortable on camera is the sort of thing that isn’t going to go away.
I bought my Sony ZV-1 back in Feb last year. If you are in the market for compact camera that has plug and play webcam support – after 18 months of using the ZV-1 almost every day, I really recommend it.
My one problem/quibble I have is, despite trying several powered hubs it just doesn’t get enough power to keep it charged whilst in use. This is supposed to work just fine – I don’t know if its the cable I’m using? Not delivering enough power or what. I can only use it for 3 hours before the battery will run out despite being plugged in????
I have two 256 RGB LED lights. I put one in the plant pot behind me, and the other is use as a fill light.
The first one I acquired was a ULANZI VL49 RGB Video Light after seeing great reviews. However, after some discussion in the infraclub slack, I bought a second one from a brand called Ulocool. The devices are identical – with the exception that the Ulanzi’s power switch has a more satisfying mechanical action.
If you are ever in the market or have need for some cool LED lights for photography projects or whatever get the Ulocool branded ones and save yourself some money.
Just as everyone at home with their cups of tea is thinking that Real McCoy’s aren’t as good as they used to be. BAM you get a new batch….
The Ministry Of My Own Labour
- Been thinking a lot of about words that you navigate by lore.
- About worlds that you are inside of and navigate vs worlds that you look inside of from the outside
- Working on the new centre course
- Had some great calls
- Got interviewed for a podcast.
- Spoke to JDO!!
Dipping the Stacks
I’m not saying anything new here: think IPhones and the constant staring there at, a skull-fracturing change which plainly has consequences beyond how people understand the reading and writing of fiction.
In 2020, it seems like we’ve finally found a business model where the unit economics works at scale. Theoretically at least. That’s 社区团购 or community group-buying, the least understood business model in online retail right now.
Tom Davies has become a beloved icon of the Google Maps guessing game.
A new book “Mini-Forest Revolution” explores a Japanese botanist’s unique way of restoring ecosystems, even in urban spaces.
It’s “the culmination of years of growing restrictions on cars, the introduction of bike-sharing services, and most recently the construction of bike lanes across the French capital,”
Felt like I needed something fairly pulpy, so I’m reading Double Eagle by Dan Abnett. A stand alone 40k novel in his Sabbat Worlds setting. The book is about two wings of sci-fi pilots/aces who fly impossibly fast and destructive jets than dog fight at the edge of space.
The book is full of wonderful character development, and periods of intense action seen though the eyes of the pilots. I can see why it’s one of the fan fav Warhammer novels.
After finishing Double Eagle, I started Sid Meier’s Memoir! It’s really good so far.
thejaymo.net Spotify Playlist
Otoboke Beaver – Super Champon
Been loads of buzz about Otoboke beaver’s album Super Champon. I read a couple of reviews and thought i’d check it out.
Was not disappointed. It’s very noisy loud hardcore punk that sounds like it was made and recoded in a garage. The albums opening track ‘I am Not Maternal’ lays out exactly what you’re in store for:
Further down amidst all 18 tracks on the album there’s a 57 second long song called ‘Dirty Old Fart is Waiting For My Reaction’
The song, its lyrics, and video RULES.
Doesn’t seem like they have any UK dates in the diary, but I’ve added them to my watch list. Great band! Makes me want to make a punk album in my bedroom.
Would buy and wear a t-shirt.