Compared to the last two weeks, these went great. Nothing went wrong and I feel like I really progressed, possibly more than any other weeks. I pretty much spent the whole time working on one project, the redo of In My Backyard (IMBY for short). The original IMBY video just fell short of being four minutes long and featured every single clip that I took when I was filming at Eagle Mountain. In my last blog post I talked about everything my mentor wanted me to change in it but here is a summary. Too long, too repetitive, not enough story, not enough engagement, needs music and it needs to be faster-paced. Anyways, that’s what I was working on between meetings.
Here is the redo of IMBY: https://youtu.be/REU_0T09xcI
It’s funny, a 90-second video can take so many hours to make. This one took me even longer to make than the original IMBY just I didn’t have to film again. When I met with my mentor, she first started talking about the video I did just with the chest mount. As I explained in the last post it was mainly just to try out the chest mount and practice a few other skills that she taught me. As I expected she was ok with it, it wasn’t supposed to be great. I put no effort to add story to it or make the video amazing as that wasn’t what I was focusing on and it wasn’t a big project. The one part that she did really like about it though was how there was some dialogue between me and my friend Joseph who I was riding with. She said it could replace music in a way because it creates story and makes the video more engaging.
We then moved on to talk about my redo of IMBY. Here’s what she had to say about that, “It was perfect, it followed everything that we had been talking about and the music worked great with the video.” She also said that the video was very engaging and left her wanting to see more which is a good thing. There was a couple of parts in my video that I wasn’t sure about even though she didn’t bring them up. The first one was the dynamic zoom, he said that she hadn’t even noticed it until I brought it up. That means that it is subtle enough not to notice however it is still making a small difference to the video even if you aren’t aware of it. The second was the ending; it was annoying to me because I couldn’t get a clean ending and I didn’t have any more good clips to use to get to the good part of the song. When I brought it up, she said that was her one issue with the video, but it was very minor and fixable.
One feature that I love in YouTube is the analytics app called YouTube Studio. My mentor’s opinion is one thing, but I can use YouTube to find out what 100 people think. For example, it shows the average percentage of the video that is watched. In the second IMBY, the engagement rate was right under 90% which is good for any channel but for mine that is a record by a landslide. For the first IMBY, the engagement rate was a little over 50% so that was a massive leap, and I would say that shows a lot of progression. I also got a couple of comments on that video with tips on how to make it better which I appreciate. The first one was to shoot the video in 1440 resolution to make the quality better which I have already changed on my GoPro. The second person said that the music was too much, and it made the riding seem lame and that I should have used Jazz. Looking back at the video I would agree the music was overkill, I didn’t have to use death metal, but I also really don’t think jazz will work. If I used Jazz it would go against everything that my mentor said about the song choice, but I think for my next video I will do hard rock and scale it down a bit. I also wanted to mention that this video did well on YouTube, it got 140 views, 11 likes and I gained 2 subscribers and that was all from people I don’t know.
I also spent a lot of time with my mentor learning how to make the music fit my video better. What she wanted me to learn how to do was to be able to cut a song. She showed me how to cut the song in two spots to make the song shorter or it can also be looped to make it longer. I don’t think I’m going to be able to explain it, but it made sense to me watching her do it. She said that I should try to do it twice, once with one song and another time combining two songs that uses the same method. Right after the meeting, I tried cutting a song. It came out way better than I expected being almost flawless and I sent it to my mentor, and she agreed. She said if I hadn’t told her beforehand where I cut it, she wouldn’t have been able to tell.
Here’s what I did (You can’t export just audio, hence the random picture.): https://youtu.be/Mc7TvMCQHWo
As for combining two songs, it has proved to be much harder, and I am not finished with that yet. Just today started filming for my next video which is going to be marked. This time I am filming at Burke Mountain and it will be a little more of a variety of trails. In this video, I am going to be filming the same friend in IMBY and I am going to try and make it similar to the second IMBY but better with everything I’ve learned from it. The plan was to do all the filming in one day but due to some difficulties we only got there at 4:30 so we did a little less than half of the filming. So now we have to find another day to film, but it will be challenging because of the lighting and weather.
Here’s where she was showing me how to cut a song and she was having a hard time doing it with the song I used for IMBY:
Me: So, this would work better using another song because of all the screaming, right? (Black)
Mentor: Yeah, what happened is that I chose a spot where he is talking but he is basically screaming through the whole song so it’s tricky. If you try cutting with a song that has a good beat to it, it will be much easier. (White)
Me: Oh, ok. Do you have any songs in mind that could work well? I’m guessing that a slow song without much dialogue would work well because you can find a good spot where the beat matches. (Yellow)
Mentor: I don’t have any songs in mind, I have a feeling that dance songs would work well though. I think I’ll keep working on this song after the meeting then I will send it to you. Your homework will be to try cutting out a part of a song, but it doesn’t have to be a song that you use, just any easy song, and send it to me once you are finished. (Green)
In the next few weeks between now and my next meeting, I am going to finish filming at Burke and make a video out of it. Coming up is spring break and I think that I will be able to get a ton of footage that I will be able to use in future projects and for In-Depth. One final thing that I wanted to mention is that I’ve started posting videos on Reddit and I am finding that I get a lot more feedback from that than just posting on YouTube.