Alec’s Living Out Of Home Vlogs

Over the course of this semester, Alec has been producing a vlog series documenting his last week of living out of home before he moves back in with his parents. The aim of his vlog series was to help educate people about what they need to know when living out of home, using his own experience as his primary source of information. He wanted to deliver his advice in a funny and personal manner, which is why picking a vlog format over a blog was the best choice. This, as well as his strong background in video production with ShireLive, mean that before Alec even started, I had high expectations on what he should deliver. While Alec doesn’t work professionally in a media position (apart from his role at ShireLive), I know that this kind of field is something that Alec has always been interested in, and has always considered trying to work in. So while this vlog series may be for a university project, I think he can use it as a chance to learn and grow his production techniques, and perhaps use in his portfolio if he ever decides to enter that industry. The video below is an example of what he does for ShireLive.

Impressions:

I’ve been following his progress, and after presenting a beta version of his vlog, i’ve been asked to critique his process and project, to help him continue to grow and make better vlogs. Firstly, Alec really hit those high expectations I had for his videos before he even began. His humour was on point, his camera angles were great, and it followed a storyline which is absolute key to vlogs.

The audio quality was, for the most part, really good. Alec mentioned in his presentation that he borrowed a RODE mic for the parts of the vlog where he sat on his bed and talked directly into his camera and to the audience. For the rest of the vlog, he had no special audio equipment, and used the built in microphone in his Canon DSLR.

Having a rode mic permanently on your camera doesn't look too bulky, however it does add a 'professional' element to it, which may attract more people to look at him in public
Having a rode mic permanently on your camera doesn’t look too bulky, however it does add a ‘professional’ element to it, which may attract more people to look at him in public

His humour throughout the video I found funny, because it was relatable, and Alec is a naturally funny person. His family were also funny, and his editing highlighted that. I think the biggest part of his humour is when he bounces off other people adding in funny comments or replies.

I found some of his shots had his face too close to the screen, and that could be attributed to his lens not being wide enough, or perhaps he just needs to move the camera further away from his face. I should note however that this wasn’t a trent throughout the entire video, so it’s possible this was a one time mistake.

Having a bendy tripod, or even a monopod, would really help distance himself from the camera. This 'look' however is basically patented to famous vlogger Casey Neistat
Having a bendy tripod, or even a monopod, would really help distance himself from the camera. This ‘look’ however is basically patented to famous vlogger Casey Neistat

I liked how he got his friends to help him film parts of the video, because it allowed himself to be in the actual shots. This lets us see a lot clearer what goes on in his day, and for us actually see him interacting naturally without also being the cameraman.

The music he used in his blog was also great, but it was a very popular song, and would be copyrighted. This could be a big issue if he takes this further. The graphics Alec made (I saw him do it myself – super talented at it) looked amazing, it suited his video style and vibe, and there’s nothing I would change about it. It almost makes me think that Alec could pursue a career in graphic design.

Alec mentioned in his presentation that it felt awkward to film himself in public, and that it became a real barrier for completing his assignment. I can totally understand how this would be an issue, and I guess it’s one of those things that can only get better with time and perseverance.

Going forward:

I would improve the lighting for the shots where he talks on his bed, some basic lights could really improve the shot, and for about $60 you can really improve the production quality. Lighting is super important in film.

Some of the cuts in his edit looked really rough, when the new shot would be edited it, it felt like it was ‘cut’ too close to where he starts a new word or sentence, and so the tempo when he talked seemed really off and not natural. I really enjoyed Alec’s vlog, and I think he should really continue to produce his vlogs, because everyone in the class seemed to enjoy it, and I can see a lot of potential for it. Especially since Vlogs are pretty in demand right now.

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