Content Creation Diaries - #2



31 Mar 2021

What is this series of posts about?

Time for something a little ‘meta’ - a new series on my blog where I talk about the process of making content online. Whether it’s blogging or YouTubing, which are the two mediums I’ve picked up, these posts will be in diary format, talking about progress, successes, set-backs, gear and goals.


Content creation graphic


I thought this series would be a great way to bring you, the awesome audience member, along for the ride to see how a content creator grows from the beginning - there are many routes, and things will work differently for different folks, so this is just one perspective (droplet) in the online ocean.


TL;DR

These are the main topics covered in this post:


What happened next?

To start with, if you missed the first post in the series, it’s right here. And if you missed any other installments, they are under the ‘content creation’ category for now (I’ll sort out their own category soon).

With two Sims 4 speed build videos under my belt, I thought it was time to try something new. Talk about taking a handbrake turn, but I made a tutorial video.



From the previous blog, the biggest changes to the process are as follows (and will be talked about later in this post in more depth):

All the rest of the tech and programs used as of the previous post remain the same, bar the two above.


Lessons learned from the tutorial video

In all honesty, and whilst trying really hard not to sound arrogant here (jeez, I’m far from that!), part of me thought this video would have done better, as it is filling a gap and providing major convenience once the initial set-up pains are over with. I think every creator has a moment where they think they are making ‘that one viral hit’ and then it ends up flopping or not really getting that reach.

This particular video therefore taught me two things:

From there, I decided not to do another tutorial video, at least for a while.

There were positive outcomes though, it wasn’t all doom and gloom.


Using a new camera - and what that entails

The tutorial video was the first one using my new-but-old DSLR camera - the Nikon D3400 that hadn’t been used since a holiday that took place years prior.

Going from a webcam to a DSLR opens the world up, as well as a can of worms. The most obvious benefit is video quality improvements out of the gate, but you are no longer using something that is ‘plug and play’ - the beauty of the webcam is the ease and not being able to do much in the way of improving your footage (perfect for lazy so-and-sos like me).

Using a DSLR now meant new considerations and a steep learning curve:

My DSLR


Bye bye iMovie

I had a few aspirations and goals for the editing of the tutorial video, but the limitations of iMovie meant needing a different program to achieve them. I started toying with the idea of Final Cut Pro (FCP), or Adobe Premiere. Being someone who prefers using a Mac for any productive purpose, I was more drawn to FCP as it was also a one-off cost as opposed to a subscription model (and again, probably more Mac friendly / optimised).

Luckily (and it still is the case at the time of writing), there is a free trial of FCP, and 90 days was plenty of time to make a decision on the investment into it long-term. After watching some YouTube videos on the main differences between iMovie and FCP, it was clear that it was necessary to take that leap, so I started a free trial and started some self-learning on how to use it.

The tutorial video therefore became my first video fully edited on FCP. There were so many tiny differences between how I did stuff on iMovie compared to FCP that achieved the exact same result, but took half the time in FCP. For instance, green screening is so much easier in FCP and requires fewer steps. I could write an essay on how much better it is to use and achieve the stuff you want (but that’s not to completely downplay iMovie as it could very well be adequate enough for your use case and did the job for my first couple of videos).


Final Cut Pro screenshot

A blank canvas within Final Cut Pro


What about the blog?

At the timing of the tutorial video, there was nothing on my blog yet at that point. It was still being properly ‘coded out’ in the background, ideas for posts were still swirling round and I was still trying to learn how to use the open-source software that manages the backend of it.

However, I am planning to write a separate post on that very soon.


Successes and setbacks

Some of these were already touched upon above, and so there’s no need for me to repeat the same stuff as the previous blog post. The pros and cons of the new process are as follows.

What went well:

What didn't go so well:


Progression, and where to next?

My first three videos were mainly scripted or followed some sort of pre-planned structure. The next blog post will cover the start of my Shenmue Let’s Play series, where I moved from scripted videos to unscripted - all speech is spur-of-the-moment, and the camera is recording as continuous flow and real-time reaction. There is a big difference in how I feel about these videos (and how I feel during the recording process) - which will be covered fully in the next blog post in this series.



The story goes on…

Of course, that’s a shameless Shenmue reference right there - but indeed, this is a diary series and so there are parts to follow along from this one.

Stay tuned for part 3 where I plan to cover the next iteration of gear and process upgrades (I jumped through upgrades quite quickly cos again, that’s what I do - get too involved with a hobby too soon!).

I am also planning on covering the hosting of this blog in a post of its very own and not as part of this blog series. The post probably won’t be a tutorial, but more of a ‘this is what I did’ type of thing and then signposting off to the tutorials that got me going. Anyway, who knows, it’s not even been written yet. ;)

Thank you muchly for reading. See you in the next blog, or video!


~~

Speak soon,

//Titch.



The images in this blog post were actually photographically taken by me for once, rather than just taken. ;)