Excuse My French but Vlogging is F$#@! Hard (The Film Log #2)
The Film Log is a weekly video I record to share my journey making my first feature film, In Five Years. In these videos, I share what I learn and discover as I go about all aspects of being a first time indie filmmaker in today’s changing landscape. You can find the full Film Log series here, and you can subscribe to the film’s newsletter
Excuse My French but Vlogging is F$#@! Hard
I’ve always felt lucky for not being a perfectionist, but vlogging has challenged my low threshold for perfectionism.
Vlogging is hard. And so, as I officially release the second episode of the Film Log, “Excuse my French”, where I talk about my journey making a feature film, I thought I would use this space to write about the experience vlogging about it.
(A part of my brain is probably trying to find what’s the best medium to talk about the experience writing about vlogging about filmmaking… meta-crisis.)
But before talking about the vlogging process, below is the full episode:
As I’ve mentioned in the first episode’s article, vlogging is something I’ve been attracted to for a while, but now that I’ve done two videos in 7 days, I can see that my attraction was based on false beliefs. (The story ends well though, no worries)
The way I saw it, vlogging was a way to quickly produce content and share it even faster on the Internet.
The reason I wanted to do it was to get back on track of producing faster. I knew there would be a learning curve, but I didn’t expect it to start so low.
The unexpected surprises about vlogging:
It takes so much more time than anticipated.
Some data from the trenches: episode’s 2 shooting took around 40 minutes, and that’s mostly because I am bad at it and I feel uncomfortable with the exercise. I’m expecting this part to take less and less time, until I can (almost) nail a recording so there’s only a few minutes to spare.
What took an eternity and then some was the editing, and that’s something I wasn’t anticipating because I work as a freelance editor and I am objectively fast (this is one of the reason why I get called back).
The problem is: it’s one thing to edit when you have a ‘script’, it’s another to direct and edit on the fly.
Basically, after recording, I edit as I go, trying to make each bits as clean as possible before moving to the next one. You would think that jump cuts don’t ask for much, but ideas pop-up all the time and the trying and testing and finding sounds, and finding ways to make ideas come to life quickly take time (ha).
On the bright side, I can see how this phase will also get better overtime as I implement narrative tricks. But I can also see how there is a part of unpredictability within the exercise that will always make it hard to be a fast one. I never know what’s going to happen, so I can’t anticipate much.
At least for now.
Which means I need to think fast to find a story and a way to tell it that is a minimum dynamic. This is what some people do every day, and honestly, I was inspired before, now I’m impressed.
What drives me crazy right now is that the editing is far from being clean! (And I’m not even talking about the poor framing, the absence of proper background, the recurring misused of the light source -sorry, sorry, but it was this or a kitchen as a background.)
And even for me, who isn’t a perfectionist, the black frame that slept into two shots during the last modification and the crossfade that captured a bit of the previous sentence without me realizing it hurt.
But as far as I’m concerned, this only means that I will either learn to get better at it, or lower even more my standard. (Hopefully I’ll head toward the first one)
Last but not least, the third shock for me was to discover how long it takes to upload a YouTube video. And once again, I have to wonder: how are the daily bloggers doing it???? (I’m not even talking about the people uploading 1h30 videos…)
It took over 6h for each video to upload so far, which makes me feel like I surf on a 50Mo Modem, and it’s an odd and scary feeling to have.
I’ve made some research, and so far it seems that the open source program HandBrake is my best bet to save time and sanity. I will try it for the next episode, hoping there won’t be too much loss. If you have a secret recipe to upload a video in less than a lifetime, please let me/us know below!
Overall though, I have to say, I am incredibly happy I decided to tackle the vlogging matter because it made me realized how much work I need to do to be much more effective in each one of the steps required.
I can’t say I can measure how this will impact my work on the feature film, but as a story fabricator who likes to tell stories above all, learning to use a new medium and sharpening my storytelling skills for it are a very attractive prospect.
That makes me say, before ending, that if you’d like to try vlogging, go for it sooner than later. I believe in repetitive creative challenges to learn, if you don’t know how to start, give yourself one for a limited amount of time.
Thanks for watching and following, this is a different journey than usual, one that I’m very excited about thanks to your enthusiasm too. And this always sound cheesy, but if you have shared any work of yours out there into the world, you know how much it’s true.
We want to connect. Let’s connect.