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Thread: First YouTube video experience

  1. #1
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    Default First YouTube video experience

    So I just finished my first YouTube video. Well, not literally the first video ever.. I use YouTube all the time to post short clips to show off machines or request help on repairs. This was the first formal video I've ever done, a little documentary on my OSI 300, with some OSI history added for context. I'm not looking to make a career of it.. already have one that sucks up 7 days a week... mainly I wanted to see what it was really like to seriously do one, and vintage gear just happens to be something I'm interested in.

    I gotta tell ya, I have a new appreciation for guys like LGR and 8bitguy. It is easy to shoot 'a video', but to actually do it with purpose... to script one, get it set up and cut properly, special effects, mistake correction... to say nothing of research... and man, OSI after the Cheikys sold it is a bit messy.. yeah. Took me 2 months. It has occurred to me that the average semi-successful Youtuber probably isn't making tons above minimum wage when you factor in the work involved.

    The whole 'fair use' thing is kinda intimidating too. I relied mostly on scans of my own printed matter or pictures. I've seen plenty of videos on bigger channels where they pop up newspaper clippings etc without attribution.. I feel weird doing that. I'm surprised the copyright holders don't go after the bigger channels on that.

    I didn't invest in lighting for this.. I'm not sure how many of these I want to do, and I really don't know what to buy or use. I assume the big dogs use some form of box lighting. Lighting for video and photos has always been my Achilles heel.

    I did buy a Blue Snowball microphone. Learned all about pop filters. The hard way. Overall the microphone isn't bad but I find it very difficult to record consistently with it.. every time I record, even when I've carefully assumed the same posture and settings.. it comes out different. I don't know what's up with that. The volume and quality seems to be all over the place.

    The 300 was a bit challenging to showcase because there's a fair bit to explain to people not familiar with binary switches and the like. I'm hopeful I got it correct and across ok.

    Anyway.. was a fun learning experience. Would love to trade insights with more experienced videographers just to learn more and get a little closer to perfect next time... if there is a next time!
    Last edited by falter; December 5th, 2019 at 10:17 PM.

  2. #2
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    Link? lol
    "Good engineers keep thick authoritative books on their shelf. Not for their own reference, but to throw at people who ask stupid questions; hoping a small fragment of knowledge will osmotically transfer with each cranial impact." - Me

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    Hasn't been posted yet. Still finding little mistakes and things to edit. It'll be up on my channel BradH probably before the weekend is up. I don't like promoting and going on forums and being like 'hey check out my video'. I just wanted to comment on the experience. I think watching other people make it look easy, you underestimate just what it takes.

  4. #4
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    Yes, I presented some professional videos for work many years ago. It is amazing how much work really goes on behind the scenes that you never see in real life. You really get bored after operating the same set of controls 5 or 6 times on the trot for different takes for one reason or another. This is why so many amateur videos on certain websites suck...

    Do a decent job...

    An Oscar in the making perhaps?

    Dave

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by falter View Post
    I gotta tell ya, I have a new appreciation for guys like LGR and 8bitguy. It is easy to shoot 'a video', but to actually do it with purpose... to script one, get it set up and cut properly, special effects, mistake correction... to say nothing of research...
    I spun up a new Youtube channel, what, a month and a half ago myself. (Because, you know, there simply aren't enough retro electronics channels out there...) And, yeah, I've been feeling the same way. My first three videos have been way too long and ramble-y; it's *really* hard to come up with a tight, focused presentation that gets everything you want to say out there in an efficient and engaging manner. LGR in particular has become a real pro at it. The only thing I take small comfort in is if you go back enough years in his archive you can see he did *learn* to be that good. The best way to learn is by doing, I guess.

    I didn't invest in lighting for this.. I'm not sure how many of these I want to do, and I really don't know what to buy or use. I assume the big dogs use some form of box lighting. Lighting for video and photos has always been my Achilles heel.
    I've been having huge issues with this. Among other things poor lighting makes your depth of field worse, which exacerbates the issue of getting decent focus when you're trying to present a topic that demands almost entirely close-up and macro-level shots. I haven't wanted to spent money on lights since, well, I know my chances of ever being a YouTube star are somewhere between nada and absolute zero, so I've been resorting to things like aiming a utility quartz floodlight against the far wall or ceiling and hoping for a good bounce.

    There's also the issue of trying to record CRT contents, in focus, without flickering or glare. That depth of field thing is also a problem here; it's *so* difficult if you're trying to get a full shot of the machine to have both the keyboard and the screen decently in focus...

    I did buy a Blue Snowball microphone. Learned all about pop filters. The hard way. Overall the microphone isn't bad but I find it very difficult to record consistently with it.. every time I record, even when I've carefully assumed the same posture and settings.. it comes out different. I don't know what's up with that. The volume and quality seems to be all over the place.
    For my first few videos I've really half-***ed it on the audio. The built-in mic on the SLR I've been using to record with is pretty hopeless and picks up every hum or echo for miles, so the lame trick I came up with was donning a phone headset, recording the voiceover to a .wav using the phone, and synching that up separately with the video. It makes the voiceover clearer than if it were echoing off the wall into the camera's mic but it's still pretty awful and unfiltered.

    I have given in and ordered a stereo mic with a noise filter that I can plug into the camera, I'll see if that helps, but I'm sure it still won't be easy.

    One thing I know I really need to spend more effort on is moving the camera more often so there's a variety of shot angles; ten minutes of just staring at hands hovering over an object works for guys like Big Clive, I guess, but I don't think it works as well for these sorts of presentations. (I have been making an effort in trying to insert "B-Roll" footage and illustrations more often to break up the monotony.) This opens up a whole other can of worms about how awkward it is to *get* alternate angles when your "studio" is the dining room table and your rigging consists of a cheap and really annoying to adjust tripod... anyway.

    I guess in the end all I can say is don't worry too hard about it. It's not like you're getting paid.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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    Well I definitely don't think I'll be in Oscar contention Dave, regrettably! But I agree.. the whole cutting and editing process gets old fast. I've spent more than a few hours playing it through, thinking I finally have it and then.. nope.

    The really hard part was my subject material... OSI. Because this was their first product I wanted to give some background on the company. There's so much conflicting info from authoritative sources.. and I kept finding more as I read through some of the printed material I have (like some copies of Peek(65) and such. One day while I was putting together parts to put into a Challenger 4 case I bought, I found a packet in the box of an unbuilt 540b card I'd bought ages ago and discovered a note from the seller I'd missed about MA/COM selling OSI to Space COM, including a brochure. Could not find anything about that on the internet other than another brochure. I basically said in the video what was my best guess.

    I also stumbled a lot on explaining the 300 in a way that made sense to someone unfamiliar with binary switch operation. I *think* I have it correct.

    And totally I agree on LGR. He has had over a decade of practice and knows how to plan and put it together. I cannot believe how rapidly he gets videos out. But I suppose he has an incentive since it's his day job. I'd love to know what a mid tier channel like that makes and whether it's worth the fuss at the end of the day. I know he gets about $6k/mo off Patreon, but I've heard ad rev lately for most creators on YT sucks. If you're making $6-10k a month that's not bad... but holy cow do you have to work for it.

    For me this is just being creative and trying to fill in gaps. I don't know if I'll ever get around to proper lighting etc. I shot the video with my Note 10+.. and quite honestly, I'm not entirely disappointed.. the quality is quite impressive. Better lighting would help a lot.. although the 300 has this reflective coating on it that bounces light easily.

  7. #7

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    I'd rather have a video that is engaging to watch, with real hands-on experience and full of nuggets of information, even if it was shot on a VHS camcorder (like LGR's early videos were) than one that is slicky-produced, scripted, and edited but wastes half its time on self-promotion and doesn't tell you anything that you couldn't learn from reading a Wikipedia article, or worse, parrots common myths and misconceptions rather than doing the research to see if they are actually true or not.

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    Yeah I suppose it depends what you're looking for as a viewer. For me, because I collect machines, I was always looking for videos that showed off the machine and how it operated. I was overjoyed when 8bitguy covered the Mindset. I have one but it doesn't work. I wasn't as into his Commodore documentaries as they were pretty much a recitation of what we already know, but stuff like Mindset, or when he explains how things work.. those are really neat. You could get that info from wiki or elsewhere (because you can get everything on wiki), but a video is really helpful. So the few I've done just do that, filling in gaps. I won't do subjects like Commodore, they've been covered to death.

    I am wrestling with adding one last snippet to my video.. of the 300 doing sound generation. But I'm still figuring it out, and I didn't want it to go much beyond 20 min.

    My next vid, if I decide to do it will probably cover my TV Typewriter build, so that I think would be somewhat unique. But this is not a career move for me so I'm not too worried about view count. More worried about accuracy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    I'd rather have a video that is engaging to watch, with real hands-on experience and full of nuggets of information
    Well, that's the trick, though; real quality hands-on experience/information doesn't automatically result in an engaging presentation. Production values per se are actually a separate variable; I'd certainly rather watch a "good" (informative) video made with cruddy equipment and slapdash editing than a lazy, uniformed, content-less but very slick work of video art myself. But if you actually need to get people to sit all the way through a video (or give it a watch in the first place) there is probably some minimal level of "showmanship" that's going to filter out the "YouTube Stars" from the mere smart people.

    I guess I already mentioned Big Clive as an example of someone who can get away with just waving his hands around under a camera for 15 minutes, and he seems to manage it without any sort of script either. So, I suppose if you are simply telegenic *and* informed enough then "production values" really don't matter. If only we were all so gifted.

    (Ashens and his brown couch might also fall into the "amazingly successful despite not giving a darn" category as well, although he's more of a comedy than tech channel.)

    Of course, I'm not the one to ask about "engaging". I actually prefaced the title of one of my videos with "Boring Lecture Time:" to prepare the potential viewer for the sheer quantity of geek spew about an obscure nobody-cares tech subject they were about to endure by clicking on it.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    That depth of field thing is also a problem here; it's *so* difficult if you're trying to get a full shot of the machine to have both the keyboard and the screen decently in focus...
    Cheaper cameras and lenses are actually better in that regard because once you get beyond about 3 feet away from the lens, everything will be in focus. More expensive cameras and lenses typically have a shallower depth of field because it is so trendy these days to take photos with a totally blurred out background -- it's that "pro photographer" look.

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