The 11 Mistakes I Make With My Videos

Suddenly I realize… my videos aren’t really a show. It’s 550 random videos. Sometimes they have a theme for a short period, but I make most of the 11 mistakes describes in “How to Produce an Online Video Show.

dunce.gifThe regular text is from the post, and the italics are my voice…

  1. Who? Who is this for for? Know who your core audience is before you start. Oh, right. Niche audience. Still working on that. Adolescent kids. Soccer moms. Friends of Judy. I want ’em all.
  2. What? What did they say? Ouch! Turn it down. Audio needs to enable the viewer to pay attention to the content of the show. Use external mics. Okay- I’ve purchased 4 mikes. A wireless lav, two external camera-mounted mikes, and a wired lav that doesn’t fit into my camera jack. But they’re such a pain, and it’s tragic when they’re accidentally off or out of batteries. 
  3. When? Wasn’t that show once a week for a while? But lately, not so much. Well until recently I’ve been pretty much daily. But I’m kinda busy with the blog lately. 
  4. Why? That’s not a show! It’s a bunch of videos. We love your cat, but your cat is not a show. Guilty as charged. A bunch of random videos.
  5. Wobble? Earthquake! Or maybe it’s French Avant Guarde film? Use a tripod, any tripod. Sorry- I’m too lazy and I pride myself on using Kleenex, t-shirts, couches and chairs. 
  6. Branding? It’s a good thing I don’t know what this show is called… and there’s no catchy theme music stuck in my head. I’m okay here. I try not to abuse the intro, though. It gets old quick. 
  7. Clones? Hum-mm, lets see, all the thumbnails are identical, so that must mean all the shows are identical! I do work hard on the thumbnail. But if you do a driving blog, the thumbnails do start looking the same.
  8. Yuck! Hey, I’ve been teleported back to 1998 and postage sized video for dial-up Internet connections, cool! I’m just uploading my videos to lots of sites. I really have no expectation that people will view them via my blog or website. I do like that I can catch Smosh videos in higher resolution at their website, but that seems like a lot of work for a guy that can barely figure out how to post a site.
  9. Composition? Hey look, it’s a video by amateurs. Compose using the rule of thirds and look space. Rarely center. Pros do it. If you do it, you’ll look like a pro. When I’m trying, I do get composition right. But the problem is that I don’t have a cameraman. If I’m in the shot, I’ve got to sit the camera down or trust a random person. 
  10. RSS? What if I could just subscribe to this show and get it whenever it uploads a new episode? Yeah- I’ve got those. They’re in the “subscribe” tab above. I cleaned them up this morning and hope they work. 
  11. De-interlace? Use the De-Interlace filter. Or, if you can, shoot in “Progressive” mode. Oh, CharlesTrippy is always “de-interlace, de-interlace, de-interlace.” I tried it once and it seemed to look worse. 

13 Replies to “The 11 Mistakes I Make With My Videos”

  1. Ummmm, let’s see. . . I think when applied to you, most of these rules are. . . bullshit? The only one that think is applicable to you is the audio one, since sometimes I have trouble hearing what other people say in your videos, but I’ve whined about that to you before. I did hate that intro thingie you were doing for a while (the cartoon, which thankfully has been only making rare appearances), but otherwise I love the music you’ve been using lately. The ukelele stuff (jawharp I think) is especially good, and matches the quirkiness of your videos perfectly. It annoys the hell out of me when I have to watch somebody’s 30 second intro. I usually don’t make it more than five or six seconds into those things, and NEVER subscribe to anyone who does that regularly.

    Now get back to making daily videos. I REALLY need to take a dump.

  2. Kevin I think you have #1,#2,#3 & #4 down, it’s a show about Nalts, his life and the stuff he does. Half real, half unreal, a reflection of the internet media in our age.
    #5 bugs the heck out of me, anyone wobbling when there isn’t a need and this viewer is gone, so that was good advice. Kevin you may weeble sometimes, but you don’t wobble. I was watching a video of this guy doing some pretty funny and neat stuff, but the other guy holding the camera kept wobbling and moving to the guys movements, I just wanted to shake him! Let the subject do the work, hold the camera steady!
    #6.Your brand is Nalts. You are a natural creation sprung forth from the depths of a match between viral video and the internet, like the son of Peleus and Thetis 😉
    #7. Can’t be helped unless you slip a girlie picture in there like some tubers, but you have a variety of things so your thumbnails aren’t always the same
    #8. Too tiny, too blurry, can’t see. Good advice, don’t know why people render videos for ipods then put them on you tube. Which reminds me, you tube put a new feature that let’s you get rid of the thumbs up and down when you upload a video!
    #9. Hard to do a moving vlog and followed the rule of thirds, plus you lose balance if you try that while in motion. A good portion of you tube isn’t Art House or still life.
    #10. Hard to keep up.
    #11. Soon as I get a camera .

  3. Just goes to show that the masters don’t need all those stinkin’ rules.

    “Rules” of what make good video (or anything else) are just a collection of observations about what most of the currently successful things have in common. So if you know nothing and you follow the “rules” you’ll probably turn out something at least halfway decent. But it doesn’t define the boundaries of good, successful, or entertaining. It is the box outside of which you must think.

    And you do. Congrats on breaking the rules 🙂

  4. As an invisible who has put 680 random videos up on Youtube, I obviously disagree with the (corporate) movement to make online video just another (unpaid) TV channel. I don’t want to see shows online. Don’t want to. I loathe videos with more than 7 seconds of intro. Won’t watch them. I turned my durned TV off for a reason. I don’t want to see that contrived crap. I want real.

    A ten-second clip of an elephant farting got more views in one weekend on Youtube than 120,000 well-produced, high production value “shows” the whole next week. 120,000 shows? Yes, there’s that many people out there trying to take a shortcut into Hollywood. If they’d ever actually been to Hollywood, I think they wouldn’t be in such a rush to get to that crap factory town.

    Hahaha! Did I just burn ANOTHER bridge? I’d better learn to swim!

  5. As for mics, I got the Sony Wireless Bluetooth mic that works with the new cam and so far so good. I’ve been impressed with the range.

    I think your next hire should be a cameraman. Where should we send our resumes with salary requirements?

    And as for audience, well, i’ve always said my favorite kind of customer is the one that is handing me their money.

  6. …but that’s just my no-account opinion. The main mistake I make with MY videos is uploading them to sites which allow comments. For instance, I lost it tonight. Lost my cool. I uploaded a silly little video and got this comment from someone whose profile shows that they don’t know how to make even a face-in-the-camera video:

    “Shaking my head…wondering why people spend their lives on making dumb videos like this…*sigh*”

    I know you get your share of these, Kevin, and I am guilty of it myself (see post #8 here), but I just went off on this one with:

    “It’s very very sad. There should be standards. Not everyone should be allowed to express themselves here….wastes our time. Tsk, tsk. Abhorent. Folks should leave amateur video to the professionals! Jealous?”

    Which got:
    “No hon, I really have to finish this video and tell the kids I might have time for them tomorrow, because this is more important right now.”

    Hell and damnation. I couldn’t let that pass. So, I foolishly fed the bear with:

    “Why do you come to Youtube then? To look down your nose at us in pity? Get off on that? Make you feel better about yourself to pooh pooh the creative efforts of other’s? Have you ever heard of Maslov? The pyramid of human needs? Pffft. So you’re saying people on Youtube neglect their children? You’re gonna be popular here.

    Do you come to Youtube to denegrate everyone’s attempts at creativity or just mine?

    Yes, yes, yes. What you do is so much more important than what I do…because you are more important than me, more valuable to society, a productive cog in the great wheel of commerce. I’m just a piece of shit you can snear at.”

    That’s why I shouldn’t upload to social networking sites. They make me act stoopid.

  7. Careful, Nalts, those rules sound an awful lot like classic marketing 101. Focus, discipline, and clarity are good, but don’t get all Peter Drecker with it.

  8. MJD – don’t you wish sometimes that youtube had a “virtual punch” function that you could activate to smash someone in the kisser?? I sure do!

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