Did that work? If not, here’s the link.
I did it! My first video! Well, not my first ever, just my first for this project and my first in almost a year (since last Halloween, in fact). Wow.
I’m terrified and embarrassed and had to pause it when I tested the link and heard my voice. But hey, that’s part of the reason I’m doing this! A person should not be afraid of their own voice.
I decided to deal with some of my fear by making this an unlisted (in other words, you need the link to see it) trial video rather than my really-real publicly available first video. That way I can make all my mistakes here on a sort of silly episode so I’ll know what to fix before sharing with a wider audience. Along those lines, these “show notes” will be less official and informative than I would like future ones to be, more just talking about my process and asking for suggestions.
Here are the things I already know I need to fix:
1 – Camera angle! I tried so hard to get this right and I’m still not remotely happy with it. The way my (built-in) desk is set up, if I sit where I can actually face the camera head on and centered, it shows me very small and the whole room behind me looks huge. Don’t like that at all. But I also don’t like being off to the side like this, so I may have to experiment with things I can stick off the edge of the desk to hold my camera.
2 – Lighting. 😛 This probably just boils down to actually figuring out my scary overly complicated light fixture so I can change the light bulb and not have to rely on a small lamp in the corner. If that doesn’t work, I’m not sure. Even smaller desk lamp aimed at my face like a spotlight?
3 – I also had trouble syncing audio and video. I think that got better when I started stopping and restarting every few sentences, though it does make it pretty choppy. I’ll try to find some tutorials or answers online and see if I can mess around with settings to get it better. Definitely not my area of expertise, since my old computer handled it fine even when I was recording for several minutes at a time. Hmm.
4 – Jumpy, jumpy cuts. Current plan is to find the absolute best place I can for recording, draw an “X” or something there, and just make sure I’m always back in position before I start talking again. Should work.
5 – Bleh, sound quality. See, I meant to fix that. The whole first time I was putting the video together I had that in mind. Yep, the first time. Because when I was almost finished, the program stopped working right. I figured it was fine because I’d been saving all along, so I closed it and restarted. NONE OF THE FILES WORKED! Took me half an hour, 2 computer reboots, new codecs (I think that’s the right term?) installed, and completely restarting the project from scratch, but I made it work. I was afraid of taking too long and facing the same problem, though, so I edited much more quickly and completely forgot to worry about the sound. It’s a work in progress. I’ll get there.
6 – In my mind I’m so bouncy and animated. Why doesn’t it come out on camera most of the time?
Notes on the actual episode
1 – Can you tell my favorite part? (If not: I am having so much fun describing the lightning from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Grimhilde is the only thing that makes that movie bearable, in my opinion.)
2 – Names! The Evil Queen is canonically (that is, in actual accepted Disney publications but not mentioned in the actual movie) named Grimhilde. The Beast also has a name…sort of. He was called Adam in something Disney made quite awhile ago and fans grabbed onto it, but Disney says that is definitely not his official name. Officially, he doesn’t have one and is just the Beast. Yikes.
3 – I forgot to talk more about the song “Evil Like Me,” which is weird because it was the thing that made me decide to use this as a first video topic. 😀 Gosh I love that song. They are clearly having a great time and Kristin Chenoweth is amazing. And the song is so catchy! I love that they chose these two actresses for these roles, because when I discovered the series Liv and Maddie a little over a month ago, all I could think was how much Liv reminded me of…most of Kristin Chenoweth’s characters. I figured she must have used her as inspiration. I’ll refrain from saying she could play Galinda in Wicked, though, because I got tired of people suggesting Lea Michele for Elphaba fast. Looking/sounding like Menzel and Chenoweth doesn’t mean they have to follow in their footsteps. The resemblance is definitely there, though.
4 – It bothers me that I had to clarify that I don’t think cliques can necessarily disappear and everyone can respect each other. It reminds me of a time in college when we were each asked to share one impossible wish. After everyone before me had said things like “cure all diseases” and “know what people are thinking,” it came to me and I referenced a Superman movie (no idea which one, I was never a fan) where he destroys the world’s weapons…and they let him. A classmate felt the need to interrupt just to say that was ridiculous and would never happen. We can cure all diseases in an instant and read each other’s minds, but wishing for peace deserves the only interruption in the class. I think I’ve been overly careful of my pipe dreams since then. So although it’s too late for the video, I’ll clarify within this space that yes, I really do think it’s possible and I hope we can achieve it. At the very least, I hope to reach that level of respect for others in my own mind and hope that others will do the same, which is really all that means.
5 – My wall/background. You can’t see it at all, but that comic is Princess Ugg. This space is pretty boring and I was jealous of the geeky decor in other youtubers’ recording spaces. I decided the best I could do on a very tight budget and limited space was frame some of my comics and switch them out so that they relate in some way to the current episode. In this case, the best match was this comic, in which a barbarian (unsure that’s the best word, but gets the point across) princess decides to go to a school made up entirely of much more fairy tale-esque princesses. I’m only three issues in, but it’s great and very much in keeping with the mixing of cultures and the dismissal of other people when we don’t understand them. Also a much more diverse and inward-focused portrayal of femininity, which was definitely missing in Descendants and which I probably should have discussed in the video but I forgot. In short, there’s an awful lot of pink. And exactly one girl who wears something other than dresses. And a huge disparity in boys’ vs girls’ pre-furnished dorms. Hey, Disney, girls like games too!
Next Time (and a few times after that)
Pandora – I think I’ll do one more practice-type video in the next couple of weeks. I’ve decided to do a blog post on Pandora’s myth and some interpretations and issues with interpretation. To give me more practice and make it a little more fun, I think I’ll record myself telling my own version of the myth before I start getting all analytical.
Penny Dora and the Wishing Box – The general Pandora episode is coming first because it will be referenced in my first official video, which features a fantastic comic I grabbed on the spot because PANDORA. Should be fun. This will also be my birthday month, so it’s fitting that I get to really officially start my new project then and that I get to start it on something I love so much. It does occur to me that a lot of the topics I have planned are commonly considered “kids’ entertainment,” though. I’m sure I’ll talk about that in another post at some point, but it couldn’t hurt to change things up a little.
I have a few ideas for this. I’d be interested to see which ones catch your attention and/or something else you’d like to see.
1 – Sweet Valley Twins & Friends Super Chillers (the absolute best of the spooky kids’ books, in my opinion)
2 – Witchy movies and feminine power. A lot’s already been said on this so I don’t expect to add much in a scholarly sense so much as what they mean to me. The movies I have in mind (mostly because they’re already in my collection) are The Craft, Practical Magic, and Witches of Eastwick.
3 – Hocus Pocus! A Halloween tradition in my family for as long as I can remember.
4 – Ghostbusters! Not so much a tradition, but lots of fun and one of the earlier movies I can remember watching with my parents and all of us enjoying.
5 – Gremlins. Never actually saw it, but from what I understand it’s kind of a Pandora story? Could be interesting to look at that way, even if it does mean my first 2.5-3 videos are on that same topic. Hmmm.
What did you like? What didn’t work so well? Any suggestions for future topics or improvements? Suggestions for an avatar and/or background art for my Youtube page? Anything else?
Work tonight – Changing lightbulb so I can get more light in here, setting up new recording space. Picture!
The only problem is I’m pretty far from the computer/mouse. I’ll have to figure out a way around that.
I’ve also been getting really weird spam since making this post. Even though almost none of the comments were on this post, I can’t help but feel like it’s related somehow to adding video. Ugh. I hope it stops soon.