How to Do A Video

I’ve been using video as a multimedia tool to help promote myself and my comics.  I bet some of you out there are wondering, “Gee, I wish I could do a video.”

Well, have no worries.  I’ll explain how to do a video.  It’s quite simple, but there are a few pointers you should keep in mind.

You don’t need any special sort of video camera.  A lot of the newer computers may actually have a webcam built in, eliminating the need to buy a separate camera.  If you’re like me though, you’ll probably need an external video camera.  I myself use a Flip camcorder, which I understand have been recently discontinued.  They’re still quite common so you may be able to pick one up.  Otherwise, shop around.  Check electronics stores and online retailers.  Look at prices as well as capabilities and compatibility with your own PC/Mac.  Here’s a film I shot with my Flip camcorder.

What I essentially did is take video of myself doing some drawing.  This leads me to explain an important part of how to do a video – what exactly do you film?

If you’re charismatic, photogenic, or a good speaker, take some video of you speaking into the camera.  Talk about yourself, talk about your comics, show a few samples of your work, and act naturally.  While it’s good to have a general idea of what you want to say or do (and maybe even write it down ahead of time), I advise against reading from a script.  That will sound quite cold and mechanical.

You have to remember that with video, you want to establish a rapport with your readers/audience.  It’s better to be yourself and stumble a bit.  It’ll prove to everyone that you are a human.

When it comes to getting your video onto your computer, most cameras should come with a cable of some kind to connect to your drive.  Follow instructions that come with your camera and/or its software.  If you want to edit your video ahead of time before uploading it (more on this in a moment), I recommend using a free program to do that.  If you have a Windows powered PC, you have Windows Movie Maker.  If you are a Mac user, then you can get IMovie.

Once you’re done, you can upload for video to YouTube.  Embedding it into your blog (be it WordPress, Blogger, Livejournal, etc.) is simple – follow your blog’s tutorial to see how to do that.

There’s an even simpler way how to do a video if you don’t want to invest in a camera.  Thanks to those aforementioned programs (Windows Movie Maker and IMovie) or even with websites like Animoto, you can actually splice together your drawings and comics pages into slideshows.  From there, they can be posted on video sites like YouTube.  In fact, this trailer I did for my comics is a good example.

Remember…this can be done without a camera.  It’s a very simple way to use video to promote yourself and your comics.

Well, that’s it for this week.  Subscribe via email or RSS if you haven’t already.  I’d like to hear some of your own ideas too.  How do you construct your own multimedia?  Share with me here your thoughts on how to do a video.

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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