5 Steps to a Better Vlog
Demo reels are boring. Most recruiters skim through hundreds of them a night looking for the good parts. Unless you have something really stellar to put on yours, demo reels are a tough way to show clients and recruiters what you're capable of.
One of the best ways to score film editor jobs is with a great vlog. When you point a client to a backlist of videos you've created, they can see exactly what you're capable of, and a few cherry-picked vlog entries will have a much greater impact than another boring demo reel, but here's the tough news: your vlog might be pretty boring, too. Here are five ideas to make it better:
1. Cut it Short
One of the biggest mistakes you might be making in your vlog is making every entry comprehensive, thorough, and complete. It seems like a no-brainer that you would want to be comprehensive, but here's why you should rethink that strategy: why would somebody feel a pressing need to contact you if you've already given it all away in the vlog, and why would they want to work with an editor who doesn't seem to edit anything out? Comprehensive can be good, but it's never preferable to concise.
2. Be Efficient, Not Fancy
Chances are that your clients aren't impressed by fancy wipes and transitions. They want good, professional editing. The challenge is that solid, professional editing doesn't call attention to itself. Only bad or showy editing is noticeable to someone who doesn't know editing. This brings us to the next point:
3. Trust Your Prospective Clients
Anybody who you'd want to work for is somebody who knows good editing when they see it. Don't play to the lowest common denominator, play to more knowledgeable, intelligent clients, because those are the only people you want to work for anyways.
4. Develop a Video Marketing Strategy
The most important thing about marketing: talk to people about their own interests. Good news: a vlog is the perfect platform from which to do that. Consider this question: what sort of vlog entry do you think that people in your niche are most likely to share on Facebook and Twitter? Answer this question sufficiently and your marketing strategy writes itself.
5. Shoot it Well
A thirty dollar webcam and an office lamp are great if you're not looking for work in video. If you want to work as an editor, remember that people are going to judge your work, in part, based on the quality of the video itself. A cheap flip cam or a good webcam may be enough if you light well (put one light behind you or your subject, one in front, and one to fill in the shadows cast by the others), and you can use a little baby powder to get rid of the glare on your skin. You don't need to create something on par with Ridley Scott, just something that's not unpleasant to look at.
Whether you're trying to improve your vlog to land clients, or just to get more viewers, these five tips should help to make a difference.
Gilbert S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.
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