Monday, 30 July 2012

YouTube News

A fairly well-known YouTube musician has been arrested on child porn charges.

As YouTube grows and becomes a launching ground for more entertainment careers there will be more stories like this. The Internet seems to bring out the worst in some people, including the content creators. YouTube is no exception. The conversation needs to be about how to educate potential perpetrators that this is wrong, that asking underage girls (or boys for that matter) for explicit material or providing them explicit material is sexual assault.

The victim-blaming that I have seen is disgusting and although parental involvement with online activities is necessary the girls in question are not at fault here. They were exploited by a man who has no interest in their well-being. Sure, you can argue that 18 is an arbitrary age for determining sexual autonomy when so many young people are engaged in sexual relationships there needs to be a line. 18 years is the best line we have and the ambiguity of sex is cleared up a little bit with that line.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Re-shoots and Backups

Working on editing the video for the past few days:P I had a minor disagreement with our Community Manager/Marketing Director (I have no idea what her official title is. Hell, I'm still a little confused as to my own title...) who seems to have misunderstood what my storyboard was. It seems that she took the storyboard as a loose outline of what I was planning to shoot instead of a shot-by-shot representation of what I had planned. This resulted in me missing some scenes that she felt were vital to the flow of the piece.

Long story short, I had to re-shoot some scenes and turn pieces that I had intended to be voice-over only into actual clips for the video. I sent her a revision in the hopes that she would be able to let me know if the changes I made are satisfactory or if I need to book our child star in for another re-shoot in August.

To pass the time I have been working on tightening up the audio in the voice overs and ensuring that all the levels are the same. Our biggest obstacle as a whole is good audio. I have been trying really hard to focus on improving our sound but without any formal training in sound I'm running into some difficulties.

Other than that I have registered for a data management workshop in the city in August. I am hoping that I will learn how to best streamline data storage in post so that I am less likely to lose anything important. So far it looks like we've only lost a small bit of unnecessary footage from last year's staff BBQ but that is more lost that I want. I've got to re-think how we store data and conduct our backups.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Voice Overs Will Cover a Multitude if Sins

We have finished our shoot with our child star. I'm still waiting to do the voice overs but everything seems to be coming together beautifully. Our footage was great, our star was engaged with the material and our main star was engaged with our child star.

As I'm cutting everything together I am a little nervous about the voice overs. There isn't a lot of time that I want to spend away from the action. Right now I have everything around 3 minutes but there's a lot of "dead-air" with a little action and no dialogue. I'm hoping I can cut that down a little but with the voice-overs.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Tomorrow's the Big Day

We shoot our scenes with our child star for real tomorrow. I've been fighting the feeling that I'm forgetting something all week but that probably has to do with me taking a lot of time off this week for sick kids.

Everything is ready as far as I can prep for tomorrow. The rehearsal last week went great, much better than expected and I'm hoping we only improve on it tomorrow.Our rehearsal taught us a lot and I think we are going to make something fun and informational tomorrow. We have worked really hard to bring this all together and I'm going to be proud of what ever comes.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Rehearsal and an Unexpected Video

We had our official rehearsal with our child star yesterday. It went extremely well, we learned how to frame everything better, where we were going to need to focus the boom mic and how to get our kid to open up and participate.

An unexpected bonus was that during the "blocking" (for lack of a better term) for some b-roll our talent gave our kid a 20 minute long tutorial on just about every single tool in our arsenal. As a result I'm going to try to cut a series of videos explaining the tools we use from the footage we got. Luckily we were quick and got the boom on them properly. The only problem I'm encountering turning this into a usable, useful video is the lack of satisfactory close-ups of the tools. It's especially difficult for the screwdrivers. We have CUs of the bodies, but everyone knows what a screwdriver looks like, I want to see the differences in the blade, dammit.

Luckily the kid is the son of one of our CSRs so he fits in pretty well here. He was a little shy and when we gave him lines he didn't quite deliver them as I'd imagined. That said, it was his first time in front of a camera giving lines. Anyone would be a little stiff, especially a 12 year-old with little acting experience. He gave the best performance when he didn't realize the camera was on. I'm going to have to try to remember that next week.

All in all, it was a success. I'm excited to see what comes out of next week's shoot.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Post-Vidcon Online Video News

So I couldn't con(vince) my bosses into sending me to VidCon this year but that did not prevent me from obsessively following the news and entertainment stories that came out of the annual conference/convention.

Maker Studios has hit the 1 billion views per month mark, signed Snoop Dogg, and wrangled a former Disney Exec.

YouTube has introduced "Marketplace" to connect content creators and brands looking for an online presence. This really excites me since I work for a brand that has an online video presence. This opens up the possibility for us to work with some more-popular, more mainstream content creators without having to do a long term campaign. We would be able to connect with YouTubers with an audience similar to the one we already reach in order to give us a broader spectrum of influence.

The take-away from VidCon is that online video is growing faster than we can imagine. More money than I can comprehend is being poured into this growing industry and I am excited to play even just my small role in it.