Experimenting with video

I’ve been inspired by several recent conversations and discoveries to experiment with making films.

I had a conversation with John Willshire about Vine, and how the spread of 4G connectivity is enabling video as a frictionless medium for sharing ideas and content over the network. Much as domestic broadband and 3G enabled the photo and music sharing that we now take for granted. John is playing with video as a format for doing book reviews, amongst other things.

John’s review of Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote handbook:

He also pointed me towards Jude Pullen, who has a great video series on modelling with cardboard, and I was inspired by his beautifully thought-out setups to try and document some of my own projects in the same way.

While I was in Manchester last week, I visited the Fablab, and interviewed Haydn Insley, the manager, and Eddie Kirkby from the Manufacturing Institute. I’ll be posting those interviews in the next week or two, but one of the subjects we talked about was ‘just in time learning’: the idea that rather than trying to learn everything about a subject (whether it’s film making, internet marketing, or mechanical engineering) in one intensive (and expensive) formal chunk of education, you can learn just the bits you need, as and when you need them. There’s lots to love about this idea, not least that it supports a kind of agility in learning and skills development, and an experimental approach to work. I didn’t go to film school, but thanks to the web, and communities of film makers who share their skills, I can pick up enough to get started, and improve as I go.

So in the spirit of all these things, I’ve started recording some simple films. To start with, time-lapse animations and project documentation. I’ve set up a playlist on Vimeo of my photo hack walkthroughs, and I hope to add to this over time.

I should forewarn you – these films are likely to be interesting only to a tiny minority of people. My reasons for doing them were to:

  1. Just get started somewhere
  2. Try out different technical setups and figure out how to make it look and sound good with the kit I had to hand
  3. Figure out how to use the cheap/free video editing software I have access to (iMovie in my case)
  4. Start to learn how to edit, and how to shoot footage that is easy to edit

You’ll notice that shooting exciting (or even useful) content is not on this list.

You can see my first 2 efforts below.