Project Week Day 3 & 4 – SXSW Edu & My Vlogging Workflow

Project Week Day 3 & 4 – SXSW Edu & My Vlogging Workflow

Every year my school gives students a week to do a project on whatever they want.  Literally anything.  They take a week off of classes the week before spring break (which is this week) and have at it.  See a short video I made about last years Project Week HERE.

This year, I’m doing my own Project Week that’s all related to filmmaking. I’ve been reflecting each day on my progress:

  • On Day 1 I made a 2-second video animation intro I made
  • On Day 2 I made a Q & A video with student questions

Wednesday and Thursday were really all about SXSW Edu.  My school was able to get a few badges for us 🙂  I ventured to vlog my experience.  I did the filming on Wednesday and the editing on Thursday.  Here’s the final product:

I’ve never really timed how long it takes to edit my vlogs.  Most of the time, I work on them over the course of a day or two.  Yesterday I started editing at 8:10 and finished at 1:00-ish, but I was also stopping to work with students who wanted feedback on their videos and also had a 20 min lunch break.

My general workflow is the following:

  • Organize my bins with Titles in one, footage in another (using thumbnail view to see what the clip is).
  • Start throwing my videos onto the timeline if they’re usable- will use general in and out points but will fine tune later
  • Usually about 1/3 of the way into putting the clips in and I start feeling a vibe for it and search for music.  First place I usually look is my iTunes library where I have the entire collection of music by Podington Bear (it’s free for download on his website HERE).  All his albums are titles by the mood of the music (inspiring, contemplative, etc).  I’ll rarely use a song twice.  Sometimes I’ll grab two or three songs and feel each one out as I make progress on the edit.
  • Once I have decided on a song, I’ll start making my edits to match the beat.  There’s a process that I go through to make this as visually interesting as possible but it’s hard to explain in writing.  Perhaps I’ll actually make a video about it.
  • I’ll then go through and adjust audio; boosting the camera mic if needed and keyframing where to lower the music.  If the camera mic audio is really all over the place (some parts super quiet while others really loud), I’ll edit it in Adobe Audition and do some more compression and limiting to even out the levels.
  • I’ll then add my text.  The ending ones that say ‘Subscribe’ and ‘Music by’ I have saved from previous projects.  I go through and see if any parts of the movie are unclear and would benefit from a little title explaining what’s going on, correcting something I say, or be comical to put in.  I’ll occasionally animate the text (like I did here) but not often.
  • The final step in the process is to adjust the contrast and brightness of each clip (making colors bolder and giving it a little more of the professional touch).  I used to just use the built in YouTube one but then come clips would look super dark or off-color.
  • Once the edit’s done, I upload, try to think of all the appropriate tags to add to it, sift through the video to find an appealing thumbnail, try to think of a title that isn’t too click-baity but but sounds interesting, decide on which Twitter tags would have my target audience (which is hard for vlogs because #vlog is filled with people like me who are just self-promoting and aren’t looking to actually see other people’s vlogs), and either schedule it to publish in the early morning (which usually receives more views) or have it go live right then.
  • I don’t add many annotations because you don’t even see them on mobile so I put my investment in adding cards.  I’ll either link to a previous video of mine or to anything I’m referring to in the video.  I’ll then post it up on my Facebook and a few Google+ communities.  Surprisingly, the forum that has had the most success in getting views has been Reddit, especially for the robotics videos.

That’s the general workflow.  I may put up a video but maybe not until I have a heartier group of subscribers; it creates a little more credit to speaking on the matter.

By Thom H Gibson

I help middle school STEM teachers create meaningful & memorable experiences for their students. Teacher, podcaster, YouTuber. Two-time teacher of the year

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