When I first thought of this challenge and started writing down ideas for projects, the third item on the list was to make a YouTube channel. My original plan was to make a YouTube channel so I can make a video about every project I make. But, I quickly realized that I don’t have that much free time and that I’m struggling to make just the projects themselves, let alone to make videos alongside them.
So, what changed? Actually, nothing. Now I’m struggling with time maybe more than ever since I started this challenge. The only difference from the original idea is that I’m not committing to making a video about every single project, or that it will take me only a week for any video. The rules of the challenge are that I have to make something every week, and that is a pressure I am putting on myself, fully aware of what that means. But because of that, I am not going to put additional pressure on myself with these videos.
YouTube is a fascinating place to me. I’ve spent way more hours on it than I would like to admit, but I did get a lot of useful stuff in return. I’ve learned so much on YouTube, and I can confidently say that there is no better place to learn the basics of almost everything. With that being said, it’s no wonder being a YouTuber was always alluring to me. I do have a YouTube channel on which I posted some videos. But those were basically just passion projects and on average I made 1 video per year, with my last video being 3 years ago. If I may say so, some of those videos aren’t bad at all.
One thing that was a little painful to do is rebranding my channel. I didn’t want to make a new one because I have a couple of good videos on the old one, but it didn’t make sense to leave the old name. The old name is bin1101 and that is a nick I came up with so long ago so it’s very dear to me. But I have to admit that it is not very memorable, and it kinda looks like it’s a bot. I’ll still use that nick for a bunch of my personal stuff so not everything is lost.
I do want to try this YouTube thing to see if I can make something out of it. This challenge gives me a good well of ideas so I don’t have to think too much about what I would make a video about which is great for starting. I am going into this fully expecting that my first videos are going to suck and that is okay. I just started searching what my style is and what my channel is going to be about. I know it is not going to be a “How to” channel. I kinda like the format of this video, talking about “deeper” things through the projects I’m working on, and life lessons that come from everyday things. I recently started appreciating how much there is to learn from ordinary and mundane places.
The main thing for me here is something I recently read:
You can’t find your voice if you don’t use it.Austin Kleon, Show Your Work
So here I am, trying to find it.
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I actually started planning this video 3 weeks ago when I made a teleprompter. In that post, I intentionally omitted the reason why I’m making it so I can keep this as a surprise. And also, not to put pressure on myself if I can’t make it so soon. Then while I was making the bomber jacket I was already working on this video because I had to film it. I decided that the bomber jacket is a good subject for a video because it’s fun to make and there is a lot of things that look cool on video. But somehow, a bigger subject appeared from that project. I sidelined the making part for what I see as a more important part. It would be easy to just show off every week and post a cool new thing I made, but I think it’s important for people to know that even side projects like this are not easy as they seem on the internet.
I think the most important thing in this week’s project is that I really enjoyed it. From filming it to editing it. It was really hard to find time to make it and I stayed up until 5AM last night to finish it, but I would say it was worth it. Even though I saw so many things that can be improved even while I was making it, it was still nice to make it. I reminded myself how much I actually like making videos. I will try not to burden myself with everything that could’ve been better and enjoy what I’ve made. (It’s kinda like with kids that way)
If I wrote the boring stuff in detail, this blog post would be way too long so I’ll write a short overview of everything I did to make this video.
Filming (B-Roll – part 1)
When I started making the bomber jacket, I knew I wanted to make a video about it so I filmed the process while I was making it. I had a general idea of what I wanted so I shot with that in mind. This is not the best practice, the more you plan the video itself, the better you’ll shoot. Ideally, you’ll have a script, storyboard, shot list, planned transitions, and everything before you start. Because I didn’t have any of that, I had to rely on the vague idea I had in my head and the consequence was that some of the shots don’t work great together, I had to cut some, and I hadn’t filmed all the stuff I wished I did in the end.
For this, I used a combination of detail shots of various steps in the making of the bomber jacket and timelapses for the repetitive stuff that lasts way too long. I even made a couple of jokes in these sequences.
Writing a script
In an ideal world, I wouldn’t write a script, I would just talk whatever comes to my mind. But, there are 2 problems with this:
- When I talk like that, I go all over the place and I don’t end up with a cohesive story.
- I am not that confident in speaking English on camera so I stumble a lot, so a script and a teleprompter alleviate that issue.
And one more reason for writing a script is that I believe you, the viewers, will end up with a higher quality, better experience.
When it comes to writing a script, I had the blog post as a basis. I also tried to give it some more structure and storytelling elements. To be fair, I should’ve done that with the blog post in the first place, but just as I’m doing it now, I was writing the blog post at the last minute last week too. I also paid attention to how some things sound spoken vs. written and adjusted the script accordingly. For getting some structure and a place to start from, I used Ali Abdaal’s script template, he talks about it in this video. Of course, a lot of stuff there doesn’t apply to me, but it was a good place to start and get me on my way.
Filming (B-Roll – part 2)
The second part of B-Roll are the glam shots of the finished jacket. For this, I enlisted help from my girlfriend because I wanted some movement in the shots. We went to Kalemegdan at a golden hour because that’s what you do and there I struggled with anxiety from filming in public and tortured my girlfriend with complicated filming techniques. This is another part where the lack of planning got me bad. I had some cool shots but hadn’t planned how I would use them, so I ended up cutting some out and placing some in awkward places. There are 2 or 3 shots that I had an idea for and they ended up okay in the final video.
Once the script was done it was time to film the talking head shots. Since I don’t have any filming lights, I used a window as the main light and added a big white card on the other side as a reflector. For the sound, I used a cheap $3 lavalier mic I got from AliExpress which punches. way above its weight. The camera is the same one I have for 8 years now and have done all my previous challenges with – Nikon D5100. It is okay, but it is showing its age, and it lacks some of the features I’d like to have. And the lens is Sigma 17-50mm F2.8. I also used the teleprompter from 2 weeks ago. Since I have two tripods, I’ve put my camera on one and the teleprompter on the other one in front of it. This worked surprisingly well. I filmed 3 full takes with a lot of stumbling and repeating, but all in all, it wasn’t too bad. Most of the footage I ended up using was from the second take.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the best conditions for editing. I was traveling to my hometown so I was forced to edit on a laptop. And even though it’s a decent machine, it is not the same as working on my PC with two monitors. And the second thing that was problematic was my nemesis – time. I had a really small amount of time to finish this, which is obvious in some parts of the video. The intro is done with so little effort, I’m a little embarrassed with it. But there are things that I did put in the effort, but just didn’t have time to polish them enough. Here is a little breakdown of what I did.
- Culling the footage to pick the good takes from the A-Roll
- Cutting the clips and arranging them
- Basic sound editing – DeNoiser, Equalizer, Compressor and adjusting volume
- Same process for the B-Roll
- Stabilizing, speed ramping, and masking B-Roll footage
- Adding music
- Adding titles, cards, and similar elements
- Adding transitions
- Adding sound effects (this is one of the steps where I really wish I had more time)
- Basic color correction and color grading
After all of this, it was time for the final step, uploading the video on YouTube. Part of this is of course making the thumbnail, coming up with the title, adding tags, end cards and description, and this time, rebranding the channel which I talked about at the beginning of the article. And even though that means that work about the video is finished, it doesn’t mean I have nothing more to do. I have to write a blog post after it and share it on social media. And when I click publish on all platforms, then it’s done.