Today I Learned Something New, How About You?

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On Monday I started video editing for the first time… but before I get to that;

If you’ve read my blog before, you’d know that I am overweight, unfit and unhealthy and am doing something about it.

That something is the Ketogenic Diet.

It’s a high fat, low carb diet that, among other things, burns my body fat as energy causing me to lose weight.

Last Christmas just gone I took a well earned holiday and during that break I decided I would eat whatever I liked. That meant when we were invited out, I ate what everyone else ate.

  • Pasta.
  • Rice.
  • Bread.
  • Sweets.

The very thing that is 100% banned on a ketogenic diet.

So, after not weighing myself for over a month, but noticing that I’m gaining weight – I decided it was time to do a reset.

To help with the reset, I decided to put it out there publically that I was going to do a 14 day strict keto challenge. All with my own self imposed rules of eating one meal a day.

Today, as I’m writing this blog post I’m on day 4. If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you’ll see my daily videos and how I’m progressing…

Cut out the sugar. Cut out the carbs. Be hungry for a few days…. then… ketosis. Hooray!

In that challenge, I decided to document each day by recording a short video and editing it then publishing it onto Facebook.

I’m not a camera man or trained in video editing… Normally my videos are shot by someone else and edited by them.

I have in the past done some videos myself and I have used some simple software to make very basic edits.

But this week, I stepped up my game and made the jump to Adobe Premiere. The king of video editing.

Now this software is as complex as they come…

Highly skilled veterans make beautiful videos with this software… me on the other hand… well…

BUT, and here is the BUT…

I’m Learning.

I’m learning something new EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

DAY 1

On day 1 (the first day one which no longer counts as day one) I recorded 4 different videos and when it came time to edit, I discovered that I forgot to turn the microphone on… So I had no sound for the videos I shot that day.

I also realised that the whole time I was recording my face-to-camera video that I wasn’t looking into the lens but rather into the view screen to the side of the lens, which looks terrible.

The lighting was also bad in two of the scenes I shot. I had totally failed to make sure there was enough light in each scene.

Scrap that Day 1 and start Day 1 again tomorrow (It’s a 14 day challenge and needs a day 1 where I actually record that days activity. With sound.)

What I learned;

  • Have a routine to go through before I start filming (check lighting, microphone on, look into the lens).

THE REAL DAY 1

The next day 1 (which is the new day one) I remembered to turn on the microphone and recorded a few video sequences. I had my lighting equipment and each scene looked well lit. I looked into the lens and delivered each segment as I had planned.

It took me more than three hours to perform a very basic edit of the video I recorded. I had to watch video tutorials on how to use Adobe Premiere and many of them were on Macs or outdated versions, so I couldn’t simply watch and copy step by step.

The final video after editing ran for over 9 minutes.

There were a few different scenes like me sitting in a chair introducing the challenge, then weighing myself on a scale, then returning from the gym and giving my summary of activity for the day and finally filming my food for the night. Nothing overly complex.

Most importantly, it was DONE.

What I learned;

  • How to add a title at the front of the video
  • How to cut scenes
  • How to put a lighting effect on the whole video (I used a blue tone)
  • How to render the video suitable for high definition on YouTube

DAY 2

On day 2 I had a call from a friend who saw day 1.

“It’s too long” he said…

So, being mindful of that – I made it shorter and sharper. Day 2’s video ran a little over 3 minutes.

The main difference was the content I put in the video. I kept to the main themes and did less exploration of the ideas or concepts behind the diet.

What I learned;

  • Keep your audience in mind to keep it interesting
  • Consider what is important and what isn’t and focus on including that content

DAY 3

On day 3 I had another call from that same friend.

“It’s still too long dude”.

This is his way of saying I’m boring AF.

I attempted to say that the video was made for YouTube, as if that’s a better reason for making a boring AF video…. but he wasn’t buying my BS.

The video for the day was just under 3 minutes and had a slightly better pace and perhaps was a little more interesting.

Since I had already shot the video for the day before my friends brutal feedback came in, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to change what I filmed. So I spent time watching a few successful video makers on YouTube and found some great videos from Peter McKinnon who highlighted the importance of storytelling in your videos.

What I learned;

  • Consider the story and tell the story. Stories are engaging.
  • Consider the pacing of the video. Remove lag and drag in the editing process to keep pace which increases interest and engagement.

Day 4.

Today I had a much better plan of what I was doing.

Some of the video work was routine. Like the first shot I take the moment I wake up and weight myself.

Set up the camera, open the blinds, turn on two lights, autofocus the camera, press record (no microphone needed for this shot) and go and stand on the scales.

Super fast compared to the time it has taken on the first three days.

Doing it daily helps.

After my video shoots, I sat down and did my editing.

All the technical setup was much faster.

Drag my clips into the editor, add the required layers and titles, drop everything on the timeline then start cutting then add in transition effects then queue the job, optimise the output settings to suit YouTube and render.

Up until today I had been editing the video timeline by watching the clip and making cuts and deletions with my mouse. But there is a faster way. Switching from the cut to select can be done by a keyboard shortcut (C then V). Holding down Shift when I press delete also drags the remaining timeline across to re-join the video.

OK so I’m going into some detail here, but the point is this…

What I learned;

  • I learned how to edit faster using keyboard shortcuts
  • I learned a few more transition effects

And I completed the edit in about 30 minutes!

Being open to learn

I know people who stopped learning new things in their 20’s.

They just got to a point in their life where they figured they knew enough. They switched off their brain and have been on auto-pilot ever since.

I don’t know how or why that happened to them. I do know that our brain is inherently lazy and will take the easiest course of action if we allow it to.

Perhaps that’s why there’s so many zombies looking at TV, YouTube and Social Media… while walking into the middle of the street staring at their phone.

Learning can be reactivated though. All it takes is a decision to learn. Then learn one small thing at a time.