Ellie O'Collins


Why this video was created

I wanted to create a video to introduce myself to my clients. I run a digital marketing agency and specialise in building websites, graphic design and digital marketing.  

It was important to let my clients know that I was undertaking additional study to enhance my skills. In turn from these increased skills can then pass on the additional knowledge in my services work and offerings.

I wanted to appear professional and took the time to wear clothes I would wear to a meeting and not my regular casual clothes I typically wear at home as have been during this pandemic.

Not having much experience being in front of the camera I took on a slightly altered persona. In that I deepened my voice a little similar to what the female newsreaders do. Whilst it may have been easier to hear and understand what I was saying for anyone who knows me may find it a little contrived.

How this video was made

I used an iphone 6 to capture the video component. It was a lovely sunny day when I took the video. However I recall from my days when my father who was a great photographer to have the sun behind you. Also to embrace the light and shadow effects to bring a dimension.

So after a few takes I ended up taking the video from a few feet away from the window. I was hoping the lighting would provide a natural softness to the effect of the video to soften my look.

To frame myself I ensure that there was space between the top of the video and my head to provide a decent composition. I ended up placing my iphone in an iphone stand on a can of Cadbury Drinking chocolate and sitting down. This way there was no movement of the camera and no shaking if I held it (as I did in my first few takes).

I took the video in portrait mode. In retrospect it would have been better to use the landscape mode as when presenting the video on Youtube, using portrait mode creates a black sidebar on the right and left of a video on youtube and doesn’t look as good as landscape mode.  

I did try to ensure that the background behind me was neutral and to not be too busy. I did think of positioning a green plant in the background to create more of a composition but found the focus on message and being in front of the camera challenging enough.


Lessons learnt

When I did all the initial ‘takes’ there were so many ums and ah’s and repetition of words and error in message delivery. In preparing this video I found it much easier to type up what I wanted to say and rad from this script. I found trying to ‘wing it’ with the dialogue without a script was not ideal.

So that it didn’t look like I wasn’t looking at the iphone video camera I used an ipad with the words typed up in a word document. I  placed the ipad behind the iphone so that it minimised my eye darting to the text. It is not the same as an auto queue but was doing my best as a work-around.

As I am a mature aged student I was trying to soften the light so that could look my best. Even with the various changes in areas where I took the video I had the iphone at an angle that wasn’t as flattering as if I had taken it from a higher angle pointing more downward on my face.

Whilst the iphone audio sound output is quite good it was not as good as if I had used an external microphone that had a better quality.

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