An identity video – some tips

Having set myself the task of Finding an ID by Monday, I have finally made a brief video describing who I am and what I do.

Bev Trayner – about from Bev Trayner on Vimeo.

What did I learn about making this video?

  • Time. One minute of video took 3 days of work and around 200 takes (including partial ones).
  • Headspace. It needed a window of sequential time – and focus – to make it all happen.
  • Knowing what you want to say. Thinking of what you want to say is not easy, but it’s the crucial bit! For a few days I walked round with a Flip camera, stopping myself at unlikely moments to ask myself what I am passionate about and what I do. I didn’t use any of these recordings for the video – I analyzed them to try and notice the essence of what I am trying to say.
  • Write and rewrite. Writing (and rewriting, and rewriting) the script – or crucial ideas – is really important. It’s crucial to do this before trying to record.
  • No reading. Don’t read the script. Despite all sorts of jiggery pokery to try and hide the fact I was reading, nothing worked. My first “final” video came out with me making some very weird eye movements, which I tried to pretend weren’t there.
  • Finish the video, then do it again. Only having finished “the final version”, which I was happy with, did I then decide to make a “final final version”. It took looking at it through the eyes of a viewer to see that it wasn’t good enough for the real final version.
  • Chunk it. I chunked the video into different locations so that I could memorize chunks of text. Memorizing chunks of text made it easier to put myself into the words and to improvise.
  • Find a camera person. Having tried every kind of tripod – including a candle on a book on a chair on a stool – I conceded that I needed someone else to do the camera work.
  • Think light. Natural light was SO much better than artificial light – even if you can adjust it in iMovie.
  • Tap into friends. I got great input from the three people I asked to help with making the video. It would have been very different without them (Thanks Jess, Lucy and Etienne!)
  • iMovie. iMovie is great for simple videos like this – although I couldn’t work out how to stretch the transitions without cutting some of the video. Does anyone know?
  • Size matters. I saved it as a Small movie as it’s unlikely people will watch it in big and it makes it easier for people with lower bandwidth.
  • Embed in WordPress.org I also learned a trick for embedding videos in WordPress.org without a plugin. Copy/paste the video embed code into the HTML editor of your post and save. DON’T switch back to the Visual editor because it strips out the code you want.

And here are some of the discarded clips I didn’t use!

Deleted scenes from Bev’s video from Bev Trayner on Vimeo.

Does anyone else want to make a one minute ID video and share tips?

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