When I was at Oracle Code New York in March, Bob Rhubart asked me if I’d be up for creating a “two minute tech tip”. It’s a two minute video that you record yourself presenting a tip tip. I said I’d think about it. I didn’t do anything with it.
I wasn’t worried about content. I’m a Toastmaster. We do 1-2 minute talks frequently for practice. They are called Table Topics. With the two minute tech tip, I’d get to pick the topic so in that respect it is easier.
So what prevented me from actually creating the video? There were three things:
- I’ve never liked watching myself on video. And I’m better when I can at least pretend I don’t know I’m being recorded. Looking at the camera doesn’t help with that.
- I’d never created a video using my computer and didn’t know how.
- I live in a studio apartment in New York City. As you might imagine, these apartments aren’t known for having lots of space. Which means I frequently need to move things. I figured creating a video would be a lot of moving things around.
Now that I’m speaking at Oracle Code One, Bob asked again. This time about a video interview and/or a two minute tech tip. Since Oracle listed me as a featured speaker, me being too lazy to deal with problem 2 and 3 feels like a weak argument! And problem #1 is just something I have to live with. I haven’t let it prevent me from having conference sessions recorded so this is no different.
Creating a video
Creating a video (at least on Mac), turned out to be really easy. QuickTime Player has a “new movie recording” option. It really was as easy as sliding the webcam cover over so I don’t have a solid black image and pressing record. That was a silly thing to have as an impediment. It was a non-issue.
I also overestimated the complexity of getting ready in my mind. When I do a Skype video call with a friend or even my teammates, I just turn on the camera and go. That’s not what I want on youtube though. Luckily, it wasn’t that different. What I did:
- Move my five foot tall oscillating fan so it isn’t in the background. I don’t think it is terrible to have this in the background, but it wasn’t a big deal to move. (I also had to move two things in front of it to get to it.
- Move a couple of things on my eating area table so they aren’t in the frame. The napkin holder created glare, so this actually was necessary.
- Angle the laptop two inches to get the wall of the eating area table out of the frame. This made the background solid instead of a light switch and (two different colors.)
- Move my chair two inches so my head/body is covering the lamp behind me.
- Adjust lighting – during the day, having the lamp behind me off and the table lamp on was just perfect.
- Clear off table so don’t see papers on it (this allows my head to be in the middle of the camera angle)