10 Legendary Lessons on Video Chronicling a Legendary Pool

 

 

This summer has been a whopper! You all know that after having worked Pool Construction for 3 years while doing Video Marketing part time, I made the leap to video full time January 1 of this year.

Somehow this summer I ended up marrying the two and have been chronicling the making of a Legendary Escape these last 4 months. (For info on what a Legendary Escape is, click here)

Each day, my cameras, tripods, mics and I would commute or carpool the 1 1/2 hours to this Legendary site and capture the magic unfolding while, yes, helping out as needed.

The goal was and is to make a video series on just who and what Legendary Escapes is and how it operates.

What an undertaking! What a blessing to be a part of it.

While filming is almost done, I still have 10 Terabytes of data to process and edit. (For an understanding of what that is, a lot of today’s phones hold 16-32 GB. 1 Terabyte is 1,000 GB.)

What then have I learned and what can you learn from it?

If you were looking to chronicle something of what you do, here are 10 of my suggestions:

1.  Have a clear idea of what you want to end up with. Like anything, planning with the end in mind is what assures finishing with the end in mind! Who are you trying to reach? What are you trying to accomplish? What is the purpose of this video? This will help you guide your shots and the equipment you buy. If you want to record an hour seminar, don’t buy a camera with a 10 minute limit! If you want to teach people to do something as your end goal – don’t forget to speak through what you’re doing or get close ups especially of the confusing parts. Think, “if I were watching a video someone else did having the same goal I do, what would I expect to see and hear?” Then film THAT and save your time on shots that’ll never make it into your film. This leads me to #2. ( See why Legendary Escapes wanted a video chronicle and what to expect:

2. Edit BEFORE you edit. I mentioned before, I have TEN TERABYTES. That’s 10,000 GB. So far. I have to go through it all to tell a coherent story. At the beginning, I was filming everything, not sure what exactly to get to accomplish our goal of authentically showcasing  a “Legendary” experience while having a Legendary Escape being made. As I edited it, I realized I didn’t need 10 various shots of X when I only used ONE shot – the best one. If I set up my shot and got ONE, the one I’d use, I’d save myself the time shooting and then LOOKING through all 10. Edit before you shoot- take the time to set up the shot exactly as you want it, or edit before you edit and delete a shot that you took but didn’t work out or KNOW you’ll never use. On that note, if something is happening that you know you won’t include in your chronicle, don’t feel you have an obligation to shoot it. It can be frantic thinking you have to capture EVERY MOMENT. But seriously, you’ll only use a VERY small fraction of what you capture, so maximize what you do by focusing on the good stuff.

3. Saving time while shooting – if you’re getting mostly okay shots and awesome shots (but not god awful ones- I hope you deleted those), save yourself even more time by taking notes. I created a record sheet and each day checked off the list of setup to-dos (to make sure I’d do them) and would write down what I wanted to accomplish and all the things that happened.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

If someone fell, I made a note of who/what/when/where. If I captured something particularly beautiful/cool/fun, I’d write it down. I highlighted the best parts or relevant parts or even an overarching look at the day for easy reference for when I have to go back later and edit 120 days of content.

4. Now I’m going to sort of contradict all that I said above, so bear with me. You know what you want, yes, edit before you film and yes, save time with notes, but also, don’t be afraid to set up a camera on the action… and leave it. For hours.

I’m serious. You will not use 8 hours 59 minutes and 55 seconds of your 9 hours of footage – nor should you give serious consideration to that footage unless inspiration strikes, BUT. The point of this “standby camera” is to capture those five PRICELESS seconds. In our cast, the standby camera has captured a piece of wood hitting me in the face, my dad dumping concrete on his head, my uncle Rick falling off a truck, my cousin stepping in a bucket of water, my sister nearly falling off a waterfall, my aunt ungracefully crossing a barrier, my dog making an awkward move and more. This camera is NOT for watching all 9 hours of every day. It’s to be there in the event that something you think is interesting or noteworthy happens. It also serves as good filler if you didn’t actually get the shot you wanted of something specific for one reason or another. This system has helped me immensely – how often does the funny thing happen WHILE you’re actively filming? This way, you don’t have to feel regret for not having caught it on film – instead, make a note of what and where it is. Be prepared for a lot of hard drive space. (Side note – we also put external microphones on everyone – not to listen to them curse to themselves but to pair the audio of those 5 seconds with the accompanying video if necessary)There was concrete all over his head and back from this

My dog is a klutz
These are just a few of the captured funny moments

5. If you get inspired by something on the spot – a fun spoof, a good short, a story worth telling, yes start shooting it. But also, take a moment to think it through. Watch the skit in your head and shoot all of what you see. It would suck to get back to edit AFTER everything is done and realize you don’t have a crucial shot and all your work was for naught.

6. Of course, all is not necessarily lost just because you don’t have something you had wanted. Say you filmed and DID miss something crucial. Time has passed and you can’t get that moment again. What do you do? It’s time to be creative. Can you shoot a voiceover for missing audio and use the visuals you do have? Can you get a shot that is timeless and LOOKS like it could have been at the same time? Close-ups are great for this! Getting only the thing in question, we don’t focus on all the differences in the background. Can you maybe add a cutaway animation? Can you change the original intent of the video slightly where you don’t need the shot you missed but can use others you did get? The magic is in the pre-production, but with some creativity you can make up a lot of magic later.

7. Be a stickler about your audio. If you don’t know how – LEARN . Learn what equipment to buy and how to monitor audio levels. I’ve made too many mistakes where audio sounded horrible or the mic crapped out and I didn’t know. It sucks when you go back for audio and you realize the mic wasn’t on because the batter had died. Just be diligent. Like anything, there is a workaround, which is to put on subtitles for less than stellar audio, but if possible, the 1 minute inconvenience of checking the audio (before AND after the shot – in case you need to reshoot) is worth the frustration and 10 minutes or more in subtitle writing to only “sort of” fix it. Especially if even YOU have no idea what they’re saying.

See all that red? If you were to listen to it, it would hurt your ears!

8. Every day of filming, push yourself. It’s actually this concept that has led me to a new series I’ll be starting (stay posted, it’ll be the next blog out). I had to ask myself often, “this shot looks okay, but how can I make it stellar?” Out of focus into focus? Up close? Wide angle? Use a drone? Do a slow-mo? Zoom in? Zoom out? Pan? Film a reflection? Etc etc. Of course, we need the standard wide shot to establish what we’re doing but a lot of far away, confusing action shots without much variety is not super interesting, no matter how cool your project or service is. Alternatively, with some cool shots and thought, you can turn a potential boring subject into something neat. Yes, we will still watch that master shoot of you doing something amazing, but thinking a bit harder and doing a bit more camera work can turn an average video into a Legendary one.

This shot is probably not worth filming. I won’t be able to use it. There’s too much movement and even if there wasn’t, we’d get bored quickly. I mean, what is he REALLY doing?

However… these two shots take a little more thinking but they add something cool to the story!

9. Be consistent about storage!! I cannot stress this one enough. Everyday while carpooling, I would transfer the 100-200 GB of data from all the equipment (time lapse cameras, my Rebel, my 70D, the XA10, the XA30, six external microphones, the drone, various phones, the 4K camera and/or the go-pro) into folders with those names under a bigger folder of the date it all was taken. You do NOT want to end a video chronicle having lost footage you THOUGHT you imported then deleted but didn’t, or have 5 days of hodge-podge material that you imported after 5 days of not importing/sorting/deleting. Terabytes of footage is daunting enough. Don’t make it worse by not having it where you can easily find something. It IS annoying to have to transfer byte by byte over and over again, but it will ultimately save you. With the editing I’ve done so far, I’ve been so grateful for the breakdown in conjunction with my notes. Taking this a step further, after importing everything from all equipment, do NOT clear your SD cards until you have copied the full folder of data to a DIFFERENT hard drive. Have backups on backups. Maybe you have one set of data on your computer and one on an external hard drive- that’s fine. But heaven forbid you only had one copy and that hardware crashed… it would be horrible.

10. Pace yourself. Don’t expect that you can create a masterpiece, film said masterpiece, and edit a masterpiece of the original masterpiece in the time it took me to write this sentence. I will admit that I thought I could do just that. I thought I could film, help out on the project, transfer data AND edit all of this consistently AS it was happening. What I joker I was! This turned out to be far too massive a project for one person to do both well and timely. I’m a little ashamed that I’ve had to sacrifice a bit off both ends so I could at least get some content out. Even still, there is so much more to edit and more to learn! If you expect too much out of yourself, you will get frustrated and probably give up. Have realistic expectations, set your goals and set time tables. It’s also okay if you go over time on these – we often vastly underestimate the time something will take. As long as you keep making progress and do honor hardfast deadlines (you told Facebook your video would be out by X date… get it out by X date), you will be right on track to creating your own documentary/reality/show/chronicle of whatever amazing awesome thing you do and life you lead.

As I get closer to done I will release a part 2 article for those interested, in the meantime, check out the episodes we have done of this Legendary Pirate Pool!

For advice for your own video chronicle, you can contact me through email or Facebook.

Stay inspired and keep inspiring. 🙂

 

Katie

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Getting “Gutsy” with Mayniax Branding. What I learned and what you should takeaway.

Aw, you're missing the fun visual hammer

Two days ago I sat down with Dave Murray, the spirited and passionate co-founder of Mayniax Branding.

This meeting had been preordained for awhile. Everywhere I went I was bombarded with “Oh! Have you met Dave yet?” “You should meet Dave!” “I know this guy Dave…”

Some things in life are just synchronistic, and after forever and an email,  I finally looked him up. And. Crazy crazy, but it turns out I DID know who he was because, da-tada-da, I had watched one of his videos.

I didn’t connect the words “Dave Murray” when people would say it, with the energetic red accessory sporting person that I had seen online.  But after making the connection, you wanna know what I did?

I watched more of his videos!

I got a good look-see at what this self-proclaimed “gutsy” guy was all about. I listened to his thoughts and his advice and I learned that he was my kind-of people. What I really learned, though, was that I DID wanna meet this guy.

I’m sharing this with you for two reasons.

1. What I got out of watching his videos told me a heck of a lot more about him than if I were to have just browsed his Facebook posts or only read his blogs. I learned that I liked his energy, and liked what he had to say. PLUS, the fact that he HAD videos told me things about him as well (that he’s up with the times and he values all of the benefits that video brings).  What a deal! I got to hear his voice, see his face, and learn what he had to say all before he knew anything about me. Can you imagine what it would be like if your potential customers got to fall in love with you (or at least make that first step. ;-P) before they even met you? Can you imagine fewer headaches because you don’t have to explain something over and over again because the person who is chatting with you now has already watched the video(s), knows you don’t do XYZ and self-selected herself in as your client? Or the client who wanted XYZ, saw that you don’t do that and self-selected himself OUT, creating more time and space for you to focus on your true client?

If I had watched Dave’s videos and thought, “eh, we’re not a good fit,” I could have saved us both the hour and a half of a meeting plus transportation time. But I saw his videos and thought, “I HAVE to meet this guy.”

The power of video.

2. Plug for Dave, Mayniax and Branding. I haven’t talked much about branding on this blog, as I know my personal brand is a work in progress. But it IS important! Who you are in your business NEEDS to be conveyed in everything. Especially when you move into the video realm. If you’re a fun person to work with in business, why would you act reserved and staunch in a video? The same goes for vice versa. If your business focuses on a male audience, why would you make videos about a female concern? If your brand is you wearing striking red sunglasses and a brilliant tie, why would you NOT include that in the video?

Dave is a master at the branding. He’s got a branding firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as you can see, he’s figured out a way to OWN Google,

Wow. That’s a lot of red.

be known and get remembered.

That’s what we want. Who are you as a company? Are you representing that consistently to the point where you are KNOWN? Then a little visual trigger or set of words will get someone thinking back to you?

When people are thinking of us, they are thinking of ways they can use us, or when that person they know expresses a need, the connections abound.

When you are clear and your message is clear, your videos and other marketing become clear. Then the path toward your ideal clients become clear as well.

Still-working-on-a-fun-sign-off-like-“stay-gutsy”,

Katie

 

Check Dave out on Youtube. Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. His Website.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Musings

photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash.com

Our assignment in my weekly Marketing club was to read the first chapter of Mike Dooley’s “Life on Earth”.

For those of you who don’t know, Mike Dooley is the master behind TUT.com and the inspirational Universe notes that we can get daily.

He is New-agey, but also uber positive, and when I read his reminders or in this case his book, I feel reassured.

I just read a passage where he talks of our “amnesia” in this life where we have forgotten how great we are. And we only need to “wake-up”.

“Prior to time and space, you had it all, but it was boring. Then you learned how to pretend you didn’t have it all, while still actually having it all… You just have to “wake up” and the spell will be broken. Even if this doesn’t usually happen until you die, at least it will happen, does happen, for all, in realms where the “amnesia” begins to wear off. No matter what happens in “here,” everyone returns to “grace” (not that you ever really left it) as more than who they were before it all began.” (Mike Dooley, “Life on Earth” page 6)

This made me think, what if this is all true? What if we’ve woken up in this life (were born),  and we had the selective amnesia that makes us forget our dreams? Only in this case, we’ve forgotten that we are mighty beings of love and unity? It’s an interesting thought. And really, it’s a much happier thought to think than some of the depressing theories of the universe and death.

Seeing as no one knows, we might as well choose to believe in something hopeful.

That being said, what is the worst that can happen from you posting that video you tried to make but thought you looked stupid? We are all magnificent grand beings and this life is only dream!

Post the video where you mis-said that silly thing, you are human. I am human. I appreciate your vulnerabilities.

Do the thing you love. Be the person you want to be and know that whatever “mistakes” you may make in this life, they are inconsequential to you living a life of love and connection.

And sometimes, it’s the mistakes you make, the oopsies you do (in social media, marketing, OR real life) that make the connections all the sweeter.

What would you do today if you knew this life was only an experience your spiritual self chose to have?

 

PS. My friend Tom Hoffmeister of Elder Fire Lodges has actually said that his blooper videos get the most interaction!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

I want you to COMMIT

photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash.com
photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash.com

We’re over a week into 2017, how are we all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions? For me, I’ve meditated 7 out of the 8 days in 2017. I tell ya, that one day is going to haunt me as I round out 2017 with 364 days of meditation, but whatever. It’s not about beating ourselves up over our mistakes, it’s about resolving to do better, and doing so. Then taking pride in our victories.

Really, I don’t care what your specific resolutions are for this year. What I really want out of you is COMMITMENT. Are you committed to what you do? If you are, I want to SEE it. I want to FEEL it. I want to enjoy the side effects of it radiating off of you.

If you are not… why  not?

I went to an improv comedy club the other day. And those actors were onstage to entertain us, having no idea what they would say or do, because it was all on the spot. Those actors had to COMMIT to what they were doing. If they were in a skit, they were IN the skit. If they were using a voice, that WAS their voice. If they were wearing a persona, that was THEM. Anything less and they would fall out, leading to THE END.  They had to commit to this crazy fictional story, or this skit of gibberish or this nonsensical rap because anything less and they would inevitably falter and putter in front of a live audience.

Sometimes I think we are stuck in the limbo between giving up, and fully commiting. To give up for the actors would be to decline to participate. To be commited was to say crazy stuff and cause laughter in the audience. To be on the fence, though, would be them questioning, mid-sentence, their actions. It would be getting stage fright by allowing the fears of “What if I’m not funny?” or “What if the audience doesn’t get this joke?” or “What if I don’t know what to say?” to cause their minds to go blank and their insecurites to rear. I can say this from experience. I was in an improv group and I quit.  I was not commited.  I would find myself in the limbo while practicing, and the failures of not performing only drove the insecurities higher. Because I didn’t commit, I didn’t succeed and I quit.

Commiting would have been throwing caution to the wind, and knowing I was okay even if I did something stupid, which inevitably, would have made that outcome less likely.

Committing is being Wile E Coyote and NOT stopping to look down below.

Committing is being the one, not with the most talent, but who’s giving it all he’s got, and when that’s gone finds more.

Committing is deciding to throw your whole heart into your endeavor and not tolerating the thought that your goal is unreachable.

Committing is putting all of your eggs in one basket because that basket is the best and you believe in it.

Be commited to your product. Be commited to your service. Be commited to your company. This will show through in your marketing. This is what will bring you success. We want to see and emulate the people who are in love with what they do. We want to buy from the people who are so passionate about what they have to sell that it’s infectious. We want what you’re on.

When we see that you are wishy-washy about your ‘thing’ we are not as inspired to drink your Kool-Aid. If we get the impression that you don’t really care about your profession, or are unsure of your offering’s true value, we won’t buy it.

This year, choose to be COMMITTED to yourself. If you cannot choose to be committed, then quit, or figure out how to choose.  We make no progress sitting on the fence. Pick your side and walk it.

It doesn’t matter which platform for social media you choose to be on. Just pick one, and COMMIT to it. The Jack of all trades is the master of none. When you feel like you  have reached your limit with your chosen platform, THEN start adding to your platform portfolio.

Do your videos, but really DO your videos. Be all in. No second guessing. Once the decision is made, do it. Once the video is filmed, post it.

Confidence. Conviction. and Commitment. This is what I want from you  in 2017.

Will you Commit?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

The Number One thing you can do in Video Marketing

photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.com
photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash.com

This is a quick blurb. It won’t take me very long to share this best bit of Video Marketing wisdom. It also happens to be the same wisdom that exists for all adventures and activities in life that are worth while.

You ready?

Start.

Yup.

That’s not me starting my blog, that’s me telling YOU to START.

THAT’S the biggest and best thing you can do! What do they say, an ounce of action is woth a pound of ton of theory? (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Don’t know how to do it? Doesn’t matter, I know you can figure out, just START. Pick up your phone, turn it to selfie and start talking. That was awful? What was awful about it? Delete it and fix what you didn’t like.  Or don’t, and post it to Instagram live. Sign yourself up for YouTube. Sign yourself up for Vimeo. Watch a tutorial. OR DON’T. Just think about what you want to share with the world and your clients, talk about it, and film yourself doing so. THEN figure out which tutorials you need. As you do it, your videos will get better. You’ll figure out how to make or buy a logo or intro. You’ll know exactly what to look up when you have something to play with and figure out how you want to adjust it. There are video editors EVERYWHERE. They come equipt on most computers, you can buy apps on your phone and Youtube even has an editing platform.

Another thing they say is, “You can’t steer a parked car.” (Michael Hyatt?) In this case, you have to start doing the STUFF to get better at the STUFF.

Like anything you first begin, it will be rough. That’s just a part of the learning curve and life, really.

But it will be worth it, you’ve seen the statistics.

“Well begun is half done.” (Aristotle)

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” (Mark Twain)

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a Single Step.” (Lao Tzu)

Etc Etc. You get me.

Just do it, okay?

 

 

 

 

 

And always, if you REALLY don’t wanna do it yourself, you can hire me. Just throwing that out there.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

To Win you have to Try

photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash.com
photo by Anders Jildén on Unsplash.com

If I had never logged some books on my library’s website, I would never have won a gift card. If I had never called the radio station, I would never have won a free trip to Florida. If I had not chatted with a talented artist at her shop, discovered she needed video work done, and had not presumptuously mentioned to her that I did that and would like to work with her, I would never have a dream client.

To win, you HAVE to try. You HAVE to be in the game. Yes, you might lose and yes, at some point you WILL lose. And it may hurt. But no one is going to come up to you without preamble and say “You’ve won!” or “You’re a success!”. In Seth G0din’s words, it’s probably unlikely that you will be “picked”. But you can pick yourself, by playing the game. To win, you have to play.

While watching sports, you can sit on your couch and identify (arbitrarily) with a team, then joyously proclaim, “we won!” without having to exert any effort besides pick the winning team. No risk, no worry, no shame.

It doesn’t work like that here.

From the couch, you’re safe. It’s scary to play. To go out and face the risk of failure. But you’re never going to win from the couch. And “not losing” is NOT “winning.”

I’ve lost. I’ve lost raffles. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost clients. I’ve lost contests. I’ve lost money. I’ve lost competitions. It hurts, yes, but the only way to move on is to move forward.

You can’t steer a parked car. It doesn’t matter if you turn the car on and start going the wrong way, once it’s moving, you can turn it around or go anywhere. Start playing, start losing, but also, start winning. Start today.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube

Too much comfort, too many expectations, too little happiness

photo-1442512595331-e89e73853f31

I find that I am the most happy when my joys are small, and somewhat infrequent. That sounds strange, doesn’t it? In this age of abundance to excess, why skimp if we don’t have to? Let’s take advantage of the cornucopia of desire fillers, we think. But what start out as desire fillers become desire fuelers.

Have you ever noticed that you buy an expensive toy (a car, new phone, new tv) etc, and while you are excited and giddy at first, the happiness flatlines? You’re on to the next purchase, next toy.  We become accustomed to our surroundings. We acclimate. We adapt. Science shows that our happiness returns to wherever it was before the toy, before the change. We see this quite profoundly in those who get a windfall, such as winning the lottery.

Whatever the change, We forget about it. We take it for granted. What once brought us joy is now our entry point, something we come to expect, when it’s there, we’re not necessarily happy, we don’t notice it.  But here’s the kicker, when it’s gone, we get upset.

I was on the job one day, and had to do something that didn’t allow me to listen to my audiobook. In my head, I started grumbling… AS IF, it was my RIGHT to listen to my audiobook on the job. My RIGHT. I DESERVED it. And it’s lack caused me unhappiness. But I didn’t and don’t deserve it; it’s a privilege, something I obviously started taking for granted. And this at first, was a thing to be thankful for,f became something that was owed to me. And it’s lack was unhappiness whereas its existence was expected.

I purposefully DON’T listen to my audiobook all the time. I restrict my comforts in order to let them keep the joy and help me lose the sense of suffering. I don’t listen to my favorite songs all the time either, so I can keep each listen special instead of thinking I need music to function. Food. I know things have gotten out of hand when buying frappucinos from Starbucks or Blizzards from DQ or any number of things feel commonplace and not like I’m getting a small treat. We know that is dangerous because it leads to weight gain and health problems. But beyond, it leads to devaluing these delights. And EXPECTING them not only to be happy, but to start to feel anything at all.

In psychology, with drug addicts, it’s called habituation and in that, more of the drug is needed for a standard state, even MORE for a positive one. What first made you high is now the requirement to feeling normal. We are our own drug addicts.

Do you find yourself miffed if you’re used to AC and somewhere does not have it? How about if you’re not able to watch your tv show when you thought you could? When the fast food restaurant is out of what you wanted? Using AC/watching your show/ or eating a Big Mac might not be situations where you notice joy, it’s just something that is – but when it is gone, it is something to be remarked on.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t enjoy what this life has, we should! It’s just important to remember that all of these things, we don’t DESERVE. They are pleasures that should be remembered as such. You don’t have to cut back. If you want to, it does help.  But what also might help is to remember to be grateful in every little moment because there is always something to feel gratitude for. Feeing the lack of something is the perfect time to turn your attention to how blessed you were when you had it, and what you are blessed to have right now. Not to bemoan, but to smile. Recognize your expectations, and do away with them, or at least be aware of the discord in how you think the world should be, and how it is.

I get asked often, how I can be so happy, so nearly all of the time. It’s in this. Either I keep my joys small and prized, and/or I remember to be thankful for every moment, recognizing that pain doesn’t need to lead to suffering. Eliminate deserve, expect and fair from your dictionary, and from your mind. Fill all those holes with gratitude and you will be happy too.

Have a marvelous day, everyone.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinrssyoutube