You may know that The Convergence started as a Twitch-centric community and that many of our members livestream regularly. You might not have guessed that they use their skills in creative outlets such as art, baking, and filmmaking, with a vlog here and there.
But what makes a good vlog? Well, you’ll need a few things:
- Equipment suited for the style of vlog you envision.
- A place or environment to record.
- A topic that genuinely inspires passion for you.
Creators are quick to break the bank on the latest equipment. However, most vlogs can be shot on a cellphone. It all depends on what you envision for your “style” and subject matter. If you’re looking to get a very cinematic quality for your vlog, with lots of slow-motion shots, high-fidelity imagery, and very stable shots of a fast-moving subject… Yes, it’s going to cost a lot to get THAT look. You are looking at a high-end DSLR, a gimbal, and lots of accessories to make that work.
However, the minimum you need to connect with your audience is maybe a small tripod, a phone mount, and the phone that is likely in your pocket. If not, an entry-level webcam can get you in the door for a hundred bucks or less.
It all depends on your preferred style. And buying things appropriate for that is important. If you’re going to be outdoors a lot, get a GoPro. If you’re doing explainers, get a tripod and good lighting. If you’re going to be doing interviews get a very good mic.
Most importantly be INTENTIONAL in your purchases.
Where to record:
Similarly to the first point, this depends on the style of your vlog… But we can assume some things are universally true for all filming locations. They need to be:
- Well lit.
Being well lit doesn’t mean you need to know the dankest memes of 2019, it means you need to be able to see the subject of your shot. Shots that are too dark or too bright (underexposed or overexposed) can sometimes be fixed in editing, but it will save you lots of headaches to make sure your face/friend/cool animal/drink/whatever is bright and clear in your viewfinder or preview window.
As well as being able to see your subject, we need to be able to hear them as well. A noisy bar with lots of interesting decor might be well lit and have cool shots, but if you try to speak and all we can hear is the overzealous older man background… it might not serve your needs. Consider using those locations for interesting b-roll (shots that play without sound, supported by music or your dialogue) and then moving to a quieter location for the “meat” of your vlog.
While shooting outdoors, some microphones can’t cooperate with wind very well and can produce “wind noise.” Getting a decent off-camera mic and using a wind baffling device (often called a dead-cat) can help greatly with this.
And now that we can hear and see you, make sure you aren’t just looking at yourself in frame. Give us some eye-candy in the form of a cool landscape, a busy street, a local landmark, a well-textured wall, a bookshelf, just NOT a white wall. This can go a long way to adding OOMPH to your videos.
Vlog what you LOVE:
The internet has plenty of “noise” and you should try to find your unique voice and offering to create a genuine connection with your viewers. A good exercise before you ever press record is to jot down 25 ideas on videos you would want to make. That would be one video every other week for almost a year if you made each one. Not only does this give you a great platform to start recording, it also helps you direct and theme your channel into a cohesive brand.
You may find yourself jumping to your hobbies and personal experience as talking points when you perform this exercise, and that’s the point. If video games come up consistently as a theme, consider styling your videos toward that audience, inserting gameplay into your videos, and maybe even branding your channel accordingly. Did leatherworking and knives take up a good portion of your list? Time to find a way to film your workstation, maybe talk about your process, and cut straight to the stuff you love.
Share. Share. Share.
Have a vlogger you love? Share them with us. Make vlogs yourself? We want to see them! Did you find this guide a good starting point? HIGH FIVE! Share it with other aspiring creators! You can find our community on Discord, Twitter, and all over Twitch. We can’t wait to see what you create.