You want to know something about Vlogging?
It ain’t easy.
The problem with vlogging is that it completely changes the world around you. The moment you pick up the camera and start ‘talking’ to it, like it feels like both a friend and total stranger at the same time, you immediately feel like you’re a fucking ‘nut-case.’ It’s utterly the most uncomfortable self-examination and realization of yourself possible. Everything you do, every little facial expression and nuance becomes amplified. Often times you feel like a phony moron crucifying your own actions with pity self-judgments.
The first time I tried to ‘talking’ to the camera, I put on this voice… this silly character who seems way too upbeat for people who really know me for who I am. This upbeat, encouraging – ‘Heeeeey’a guy’s’ while donning a fictitious, gaudy smile is an act that we miserably failed at attempting to pull off in a genuine manner. It’s because we know that’s not who we are. The problem is when you watch other Vlogger’s you end up feeling that you should mimic their online personalities because you become familiar with popular types of Vlogger’s and copying their style is the biggest mistake you could possibly make.
When you put the camera on yourself and begin talking to it, it’s like you jump out of your own skin becoming someone else. You know and feel everyone is watching you with daggers in their eyes. If you actually acted like yourself – you feel like people won’t like you. SO you ACT.
You notice that you are acting like that overly happy ‘coffee barista’ who resplendently laughs at every chance he can get. Not only do other people feel uncomfortable and chafed at the fact that you’re walking around talking to a camera – it’s also you acting like this silly character who is making yourself mostly uncomfortable and it shines on camera.
Nowadays the term ‘selfie’ or even just ‘taking a selfie’ can elicit people to either roll their eyes or taste puke in their mouths and even in some extremes go as far as spitting on you with disgust. What’s worse is with people now turning the video camera on oneself; it is the ultimate ‘leveling up’ selfie mode. This has people hissing and then spitting on you with volcanic grade venom while rushing and screaming to vent their hate for selfies and Vlogger’s by updating their facebook status with some twisted, dark hope that the person they are referring to reads it.
Vlogging is a hobby that just puts some people right over the edge. I’m joking of course, there is just a small group of people that would act like this. Most people probably just look at you like your a fucking self-serving, socially-mental prick.
YOUTUBE: WHERE ACTOR’S AND DIRECTOR’S GO TO DIE
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.”
That is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, spoken by the melancholy Jaques in Act II Scene VII.
Let’s modernize that phrase…
“All the world’s online, and all the men and women merely Vloggers; they have their cameras and their own YouTube channel.”
‘Celebrity’ has been democratized.
We’re not Actors but when you watch some vlogs it feels like the drama unfolding in them is just… yeah, I’ll leave it at that. How can we blame people for thinking that vlogging isn’t a digital self-loving playground for failed actors and wannabe celebrities who refuse to give up on their dream of being ‘in front of the camera’ or ‘on stage.’ Vlogging is like defying the Gods that have forbidden you from getting ‘that shot’ or ‘making it big.’ It’s a practice/ hobby that verges clearly on insanity and self-serving egotistical self-worship.
Naturally people improvise with the times utilizing technology to adapt and create content. It’s in our nature to find a way to entertain ourselves and the people around us. Its also in our nature to feel that we are all important and must shower the world in our vainglory. Culture is constantly changing and if you’re mindset can’t keep up you lose out, if you can’t accept it, you’ll fight it to the end. You either adapt or die.
I agree, I sound cruel but the consensus among some people is just that, vloggers and vlogging is kinda looked down upon and viewed as campy and self-serving. There are people with strong opinions who feel it’s solely egotistical and hilarious how vloggers get off on thinking that their pretentious life is so important and entertaining that it should be documented/ recorded daily, for online consumption. Its because Vlogging to prehistoric, outdated mindsets is considered awkward, uncomfortable and leaves them dazed and confused; lingering in an unanswered but irritated state of “who the fuck does this person think he / she is?”.
Holding a camera up to your face is very easy as long as it’s not pointed at you. Anyone can do it… but try to accomplish that first step to vlogging and see if you have the courage or confidence to turn that lens around and aim it at you and put yourself out there.
I’ll admit that I myself have fallen victim to the taste of acidic stomach-vomit rising and bubbling with fizz in the back of my throat like a champagne bottle being sabered. There are vlog’s that just marinate in the world of torturous self-aggrandizement or malcontent whining. It’s easy to fall into one of these two categories. The best thing to do is to just be yourself and let your voice do the talking… not some fake put-on to make people like you. Not matter what, trying to have the internet like or love you is like trying to make a water balloon bounce off a cactus. It ain’t gonna happen. There always gonna a bunch of pricks out there.
Trying to figure out your ‘vlogging style’ is something that should be easy. You think you got what it takes to pull it off, but I dare anyone to walk down the street talking to a camera. It’s difficult and the moment you try to say something – you shut down – feigning awkwardness with a smile to disguise your insecurity. I used to sit back, laugh and shake my head, addled by the actions of watching some vlog’s but now I have to hand it to them… it’s a tough gig to put yourself out there and be slaughtered in the comments section.
We tried and tested the waters of vlogging and came away with understanding one for sure thing… avoid ‘being on’ for the camera. It’s easy ‘to be on’ because you want to be upbeat and not some deadbeat. You have to find that neutral zone of being yourself. Where you know you feel comfortable in watching yourself and saying, ‘yeah that’s me, that’s who I am.’ If you don’t like yourself for being that fake person on video then how do you expect anyone else to like you? You have to be yourself, fuck it up if that’s what it takes but don’t take yourself seriously – It’s a vlog.
VLOGGING OUR TRIP
For the majority of this road trip we had seen some of the most breathtaking scenery. It was as much frustrating as it was heartbreaking that we could not stop to simply spend an hour or so in a beautiful location to film and take photos of the incredible vistas that laid before us. A few of things that became very familiar to us on this road trip through America were: buffets, greasy spoons, diners, motels and all the beautiful scenery you get along the way. There’s just too much this country has to offer in terms of experiencing it.
With this video we really didn’t have much that could’ve constructed into a linear story that was worthy of a vlog. Though most vlogs are nothing but dull and daily musings you can’t think in those terms if you want to be good at creating a vlog worthy of putting out there for people to watch. I did think about just skipping this video and cutting out all the footage but that would have felt half-assed and cheating my way out of it and not dealing with the issue. I had to go at it and – structure something from it. I have to keep reminding myself – it’s just a vlog!
So instead we went with what felt right when viewing the footage… and what felt right was all that was in front of me; two guys who smell like shit and look like shit and they’re stuck in a car for two days. It’s clear our nerves got the better of us and it shows what happens when one begins to ‘lose it.’ If I had to ask myself what this video was to be about it’s simply something we are good at; bitching. So this is what “Swear n’ Tear” hinges on… us losing our minds from being stuffed in the car for a 560+ km drive and looking to bitch and complain about the stupidest things in life.
We discovered rather quickly on there is only so much footage that can be compiled into a single vlog episode. No matter how much we captured from each day there were times it was extraordinarily challenging trying to piece together a vlog. Episode 02 – ‘Swear n’ Tear’ was just this particular challenge because we didn’t have a complete story-line to string together.
Let me give you an example; when it came to – ‘being on’ for the camera, specifically after the first from day of hell which began this road trip, it just felt like it wasn’t in our cards. It all started at 5am rushing in our late cab ride to Vancouver Pacific Central Train Station that we needed to be at for a 6am departure. It was then in Washington State at the Bellingham International airport to pick up our rental car that became our official starting point for this road trip. The first day on the road we travelled some 560+ kilometers from Vancouver, BC to Pendleton, Oregon. It was nothing but go – go – go.
What we had to accomplish was to drive 2,400+km in two and a half day’s, filming as much as we could while attempting to piece together somewhat of a story with no script or outline and staying on budget. Sounds pretty simple but the one thing overlooked was how much time we would need to allocate for filming our interviews and capturing the proper amount of b-roll to hold it all together come editing.
Trying to piece together a story from inside a car over a two and a half days of straight driving didn’t seem too exciting.
What we learned from making “The Beta Vlogs” is that you need a substantial amount of time, research and preparation in order to get a good narrative at the end. Once I was back home and able to review all the footage from the trip and categorize each day of footage, I was able to see what we had missed and where we need to improve. Being able to step back and see all your footage – you literally see the bigger picture of what you have to work with. Sure we had shot a lot of footage but in reality there wasn’t much to work with in terms of creating a linear story-line or narrative.
A lot of the footage captured was shot without any purpose. Much of the storyline could have been flushed out through having us update the progress of the trip and what we were experiencing along the way or at each stop we made. Anything outside of that would have been external stories, or b-roll to fill in the gaps. Instead what we did was forget to touch upon it and got caught up in trying to shoot endless scenery. Time management on a road trip of this scale is the most important thing to consider and should be top priority.
How we could have broken down the story / narrative was:
A Storyline = updates on the drive, destinations, how we were feeling and what we’ve experienced to date.
B Storyline = could have been off topic banter, rants or conversation, truck stops/ pit-stops, eating at restaurants or simply pulling off the side of the road to admire the view.
Each time we took to filling up the car at a gas station or stopping to eat we could’ve been more selective to pick’n choose which places to allocate for filming. We should’ve dedicated at least 10 / 15 minutes of strict filming and if possible or the time allocated… 10 mins’ to enjoy the the surroundings to ourselves either by taking photos or simply absorbing the view.
- The two of us interviewed separately for 10 mins then together for 3 – 5 mins.
- Each having 5 min of screen time to say or capture something on location to be used for editing purposes.
- And then maybe a strict 5 to 10 mins of shooting B-Roll at each stop. Sticking to a ‘script’ so that where and what we’re going to shoot would have been abided by.
We should have also took time to rotate at each stop to film one of us unloading or loading the gear into a hotel room and also filming and interviewing each other with updates on the progress of the road trip and a status update on where we were staying followed with B-Roll shots. We should’ve taken more time into consideration that more stops had to be made along the way to film scenery. This became a challenge because we could only afford so much time for scenery shots from the side of the road because 10 min here and 10 min there adds up and before you know it – you have complied more time on top of the initial trips itinerary.
Some of the sacrifices that have to be accepted in vlogging or documenting a road trip are that you might not be able to fully appreciate the views or take it all in with your own eyes. It’s unavoidable. You have to be able to make a conscious decision to either ‘film it or fuck-it.’ There really isn’t time to be nostalgic when your top priority is to get footage.
Another thing that I would have done differently is how we had arranged the route of travel. I would have researched which areas had the most historical significance worth for us to stop and spending a little bit more time at. There are several places we missed and regret not taking the time to shoot or at least take in… but no matter what we did the clock would have been against us. That’s why it would have been extremely beneficial to have at least researched which would have been the best points of interest to stop and see.
There was a specific park about 3.5 hours south of Seattle (It’s so heartbreaking that I don’t even want to mention the name) but had we’d known… we could have stayed the night and waited til sunrise. We missed this opportunity and possibly capturing some memorable footage and photos. This is something when I look back on, I want to do my best to forget because during the wee’ hours of the morning we had blindly drove through one of America’s greatest national parks.
Click images above to view high-resolution images.
Holding a camera up to your face is very easy as long as it’s not pointed at you. Anyone can do it… but try to accomplish that first step to vlogging and see if you have the courage or confidence to turn that lens around and aim it at you and put yourself out there. We’re aware that this was the first of a series of Vlogs. It was not be perfect nor is it consistent, but our goal was to attempt to put something together that can at least tell a story of who we are, what we did and what we experienced.
With all that being said we would like to introduce this series of BETA VLOGS, it is our first test and it shall be our foray into the online world of vlogging which we are proud to call, ‘The RAW Files’.
With just the two of us driving 2,400 km’s in two weeks and attempting to film / document the whole trip, we knew it was going to be a feat in itself. Considering that and navigating new lands through the western region of America we now realize we were being too harsh on what we accomplished. For what we got it’s pretty good for first-time vloggers. The key thing we take away from this entire experience is that we’re doing something we truly care about, we’re building something and it’s starting to take form.