Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Perils of Not being a Video Editor!

As some of you will know, I make video tutorials or what are more accurately called 'screen casts'.

For the un initiated, these are recordings from the screen of your computer (I've not yet braved doing them from an iPad!) that record, well, what you are doing on screen, and (assuming no errors) the sound of your voice providing instruction.

Now maybe you can tell I am like that duck, all calm on the surface and paddling madly underneath, and maybe you can't. What I can say, is that a simple  10 minute screencast can take over an hour to make, if things don't go quite to plan. It would, I confess, be a lot easier if I learned to edit them but alas, that is not likely to happen. I hate editing video. Written word is a lot easier! So all the screencasts you will see, that I make, are shot in one go. Sometimes lots of one goes!

Sounds simple though, doesn't it? How hard can it be to capture 10  minutes or less of tutorial? If that is what is going through your head at the moment, you've obviously never made one.

The first mistake can be not checking the sound settings. Do you have gremlins? I do. I swear that I have altered my settings, tested and closed it out, only to find that people are saying they can't hear me. I'm sure I have a little itsy bitsy gremlin in my laptop that adjusts the settings when I'm not looking.  They also make odd things happen with the hardware from time to time. Like the mouse not working or selecting things you know you didn't click on!

However, most audio faults are errors of too much sound. Professionals have nice cosy studios, soundproofed and lockable. My house is more open plan, sound carries because of hard floors and there is only a normal door between me and the rest of the house (I record in my craft room/ spare bedroom). The double glazing won't keep sound out from outside, so don't be surprised if you hear dogs howling (I don't even have one!) or kids screaming from pools in the summer (mine are grown up and don't live here!)

That is just the start of it. Nerves? Would you believe that my head can empty, the moment the 'record' button is pushed?  You can bet, that the postman will ring the bell 3/4 the way through, or hubby will come home and shout something up the stairs. Or the telephone will ring. Or I will suddenly smell burning, where I have left some bread in the oven and forgotten it. Yes, I do recordings in the middle of other stuff!

Other video wreckers are my cats. In the same way that they suddenly appear from nowhere as soon as there is a nice clean but still wet mopped floor, they have a built in sense for when I need peace and quiet and set out to destroy it.  This one


is prone to howling for my attention, so loudly that you would think his furry little throat was being cut. I kid you not,  he can reach decibels hitherto unknown to man nor beast.


The grey one, is noticeably quieter but has a penchant for throwing up the odd fur ball when I am in the middle of things or trying to climb a leg when he finds out that his companion has eaten all his breakfast and there is only kibble left. This will most likely cause me to utter words that I really don't think should be recorded for posterity.  I can't shut the door because the black and white one will howl non stop for at least an hour and throw himself at the door, if separated from me. At 7 kg, that makes quite a thump, which would also be audible!
This feline action disrupts things magnificently.

Then, of course, there is the curse of the software. You click on something and it doesn't do what you expected it to. Now this can be user error or those pesky gremlins again. If you are lucky you can plough through and recover it, if not, well the delete button on recording is very handy.

So the next time you watch a video, not just mine, think of what we may go through to make them. We do it because we love to teach and share, so if you have enjoyed watching something, leave a comment, it's nice to know someone is watching!

PS I have just uploaded a new Video!

Sandra



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