Calling all technophiles!

Volunteer Maryland recently got a Kodak Zi8 camcorder, and I have spent the last few weeks taking it out to nonprofits where our AmeriCorps members work, playing around with the editing software, and trying to understand the not so simple world of creating successful web video.  There are a lot of things to think about, including whether the files your camcorder uses will be compatible with the editing software you want to use (it wasn’t), how the light and sound will affect your video quality, and whether you can edit out that person yelling right in the middle of your clip, and still save the sounds you wanted 😛

This has turned out to be a very difficult task for me to master.  I am getting better at the editing end, and trying to incorporate some of the 5 tips for successful web video that Andy Goodman talks about on a guest blog post at VolunteerMatch.   Google has become my best friend (again) and I have recently discovered that www.ehow.com is an excellent place to get step by step instructions, in plain English, that answer nearly all my questions no matter how basic or obscure.  However, I am having a great deal of trouble figuring out how to upload these videos to YouTube, so everyone can see them!  The software we have is supposed to do it automatically, but for some reason it keeps failing to successfully upload, no matter what I try.

For this reason, I have no video for you today 😦  What I do have is a request… if you know anything about Kodak Zi8’s software, uploading web videos, or anything else, please share your tips!

I have both loved and struggled with making these videos.  Loved it, because it has allowed me to spend some time with our amazing AmeriCorps members, and see first hand the change they are making at their organizations.  Struggled, because editing videos is hard!  I don’t think I’ll ever criticize another movie again, after learning how difficult it is just to make a 60 second clip look smooth.

So far I have been to Kayam Farm to film VMC Tiferet Sassona with a group of teenage volunteers; to the St. Francis Neighborhood Center to film VMC Corrine Handy with volunteers at the Power Project, an after school program; and to Paul’s Place to film VMC Tamara Neuhaus and Volunteer Maryland staff members volunteering with their hot lunch program.  It has been a blast, and I have really enjoyed capturing the work that these members are doing, and bringing it to life on screen.

My goal with my posts on this blog is to learn and teach.   I know I can’t be the only do-gooder out there who got a camcorder with high hopes to bring videos of their world-changing work to the masses, only to get bogged down in the technical details.  So if you have any tips, or even if you want to vent about your struggles too, please leave a comment 🙂  Good luck!

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One thought on “Calling all technophiles!

  1. Pingback: If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a video worth? « Volunteer Maryland

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