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How I Shot My First Vlog–It’s Easy to Do

Me and Camera0001 crop3.jpg
The only camera I used.

Earlier this week I posted my little Vlog on spring in Marietta, Georgia. PJNet.org reader Brendan Watson reminded me that I said I would tell how I put it together.

The secret, Brendan, is SeriousMagic.com. The programs are incredibly easy to use and just require a web cam or digital recorder and a PC. I experimented with the free demo downloadable at the website before I made the purchase.

I bought the most expensive software, Visual Communicator 2 Studio, $489.95, but got an education discount. The less sophisticated and cheaper software is still powerful and you can use any webcam. The software package I bought requires a digital camcorder or other digital recorder.

With it you can make your own 6 o’clock news type show that looks like you spent thousands of dollars for equipment. It’s got all kinds of drag and drop special effects. However, getting the lighting right and making yourself look good on the screen, if you look like me, is not so easy.

So for my first public show I opted for the Ode to Spring in Marietta, with no videos of me except for my feet walking. I kept the special effects to a minimum. All of it was shot with my Canon Powershot SD100, which is a tiny, 3.2 mega pixel, still camera with capabilities to do short movies. I shot the walking feet with the camera’s short movie capability.

You type the script into the program, which turns your computer monitor into a teleprompter. Then you drag and drop your art and video and sound next to the right place in your script. Although I tried to make my video sound informal, it was scripted and it took me several takes and tightening to get it right.

I went out in my backyard after I shot everything else and with a Marantz digital taperecorder taped the birdies singing. I overlayed that sound into the photos. You can hear them, if you listen closely in the last few still photos.

Several people told me the finished product is not viewable on MAC computers. I will have to see how to fix that, if I can.

Here is the lesson in all this. The technology is no longer an issue. Anyone, I am a technological moron, can make Internet TV. Now, the question is, who can make really good Internet TV. But finding that out is the fun part.
Seriousmagic screen.jpg
Here is what your computer screen looks like while you are producing.

One Response to “How I Shot My First Vlog–It’s Easy to Do”

  1. Brendan Watson Says:

    Thanks for that explination. It’s pretty awsome that you shot all of that with a simple digital camera and not a camcorder. I am thinking about getting into video blogging, but the expense of a good digital camcorder has kept me out. Another question: you mentioned you have a Marantz digital recorder, so you must be somewhat sophisticated in regards to audio. Why did you decide to skip straight to vlogging and skip over podcasting?

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