Chewing The Cud
Other than just meeting the assignment criteria, I couldn’t think of a purpose for my video.
The week three readings, podcast, and seminar discussions challenged me on this, and inevitably changed my thinking. I hadn’t considered the concept of authenticity regarding my business brand.
Previously I had wanted to give the impression that ‘Chewing The Cud’ was a medium size agency with a team of professionals working in the background. But without a face and a (real) name there is no personal touch, there is no connection, and there is certainly no instant trust established.
Old style vlogging (little to no editing) vs modern vlogging (lots of cuts/edits) and how that impacts the audience perception on authenticity, really impacted how I went about my video. I wanted to genuinely connect to my audience.
I decided to film my whole video in one take, just like a conversation in real life. I achieved this (the edits you see in the video are only because I went over two minutes), but that doesn’t mean I said everything exactly as I meant to. But it was raw, and it was me, and it hopefully came across as authentic.
Equipment and Production
I had planned on adding lots of b-roll, transitions, sounds effects and animations. As discussed above, my thoughts on “authenticity” changed all that and meant I was now going to film at home in front of my desk.
My office has a westerly facing window on one wall, which means quite a good amount of natural light coming through, particularly in the afternoon. I trialled filming at night, but whilst creating a nice moody feel, it wasn’t what I was after, and the shadows/light reflections off my glasses were an issue. In the end, I used a piece of white corflute to reflect the natural light to the right side of my face. I also placed two led lights with blue filters (in-line with the brand) on my desk to subtly give it more depth.
Framing and Positioning
I followed the rule of thirds by positioning myself in such a way that the centre of my glasses intersected the top and right thirds. I also positioned the camera such that the shelf above my desk was in line with the top third, naturally drawing the audience to my eye line.
I removed the junk that was on my shelf and replaced it with a row of frisbees as this is both something that I mention in the video, and something that has been a large part of my life for the last 15 years. I also had my website showing on the screens as this video was targeted at potential future clients.
Engagement with Audience
Other than two brief moments, I managed to stare at the lens for the whole video. Doing this hopefully allowed me to engage better with the audience.
I have a wireless lapel mic and used it to record the audio straight to my camera. I also made sure the windows were shut in the room to avoid any outside noise. I decided against an on-camera video mic as it is directional and would have picked up the hum of the computer directly behind me.
Planning vs Taking Opportunities
My four-month-old son didn’t get the memo that he needs to be quiet while I’m trying to film. Planning when to film can only get you so far, being ready to film in the small window of opportunity you might get (wind/rain etc) is crucial.
Cameraman and Talent
When I’m behind the camera I can make sure that the subject is in focus. I can also test the audio and make sure the microphone is working as intended. Doing both things from in front of the camera proved to be more difficult. Other than trial and error, I didn’t work out a good solution for this, and you’ll notice my face is a little out of focus.
Music: bensound.com “hey” (CC BY 2.0)