Here is some information to help you get started in your broadcasting career. Note that this method is probably the least expensive way of getting started.
Once you have figured out the basics down on how it all works, you can think about investing in more expensive equipment and software.
TIP: Make the most of the resources available to you. If you are looking for information, try searching for it on YouTube. There is an amazing amount of How to type information there.
TIP: Throughout your project, consider involving your friends and family in the process. This will not only allow you to spend quality time with them, but you may find that more heads are better than one. These are the first steps towards doing something fulfilling and fun. Don't rush it. Enjoy!
Find a way to make it fun. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break and come back to it later.
Step 1: Get a Working Webcam
Your first goal should be purchase and install a webcam on your computer if you don't already have one. Don't worry about the quality for now but do make sure your image is in focus if at all possible. Here is a video that might help:
Setting up my webcam (video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGKsntPdp_4
Webcam's can also be used to chat with family and friends using programs like Skype (free!). Essentially you both setup Skype each with a webcam on your computers and call each other. I use this to chat with my brother out in Moncton as I don't see him and his family very often.
Another option could be to use a digital photo camera. Many of the newer can double as a video camera, though the video isn't as good as a true video camera. One of the advantages of this approach is that it is a little more portable. You are no longer tied to your computer and can use other areas as backdrops including your living room, kitchen, a park or nature itself.
If you've already got something on hand, use it. We're just getting our feet wet at this point. You can always upgrade later.
Step 2: Your First Video Recording
Your next goal should be to record a short segment and review it. Adjust the lighting. Move yourself around into a better position. Note that different types of light produce different results. You can even hang a sheet behind you if you don't like the background in your home. Down the road, you can visit one of the many fabric centres in Ottawa and find a pattern you like or work on creating some other backdrop for yourself. A simple generic design can be decorated but something with a Halloween theme for example can't be changed for valentines day. But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Recording is very simple and usually accomplished using the software that came with your webcam. Either a manual or a tutorial is usually included.
At the very least there should be some kind of basic instructions. It usually involves clicking a button to start recording, and then clicking either the same or a different button to stop recording. If you can operate a CD player, you can record a video.
Step 3: Publishing Your Video
Once you have something that you like, it is time to figure out how to publish it on YouTube. Don't worry about content just yet. You wouldn't believe some of the videos people have on YouTube (like a picture of a desk for 30 seconds). Take a look at this short tutorial on how to upload videos to YouTube.
Only once you have completed these three steps, it's time to start thinking about your content. Again, start with something simple and straight forward. Make good use of those Toastmasters skills. In fact, consider publishing your Toastmasters speeches. It will be good practice. Even if you don't want to publish your speeches, record yourself practising can help you see what your audience will see. So in the unlikely event you decide to abandon this project down the road, your investment in the webcam will still have a purpose.
Down the road, you may decide you want to include graphics in your videos. You can use what ever you are familiar with. If it's PowerPoint, use it. Word? Windows Paint? Any software that produces the static (non-animated) results you want can easily be used. You can also edit your videos using software that either came with your computer or that you can download for free from the Internet. Software that is included with most computers sold today include Microsoft MovieMaker for Windows or iMovie for Apple computers. Video editing software will allow you to insert or delete scenes from your video. It will also enable you to insert graphics and add special effects to your video to give it a more polished professional look.
To produce better quality video down the road will involve using one or more real video cameras (it still might be digital) and possibly more advanced video editing software. The rest of the principles should remain the same. Before you know it, you'll be producing great videos.
For now you can still make it appear that you have more than one camera. Simply record your whole segment from the primary camera angle and repeat certain sub-segments with the camera at a different angle. It will take a little planning but you will achieve the results you want using the video editing software mentioned above to assemble the whole thing.
Finally, just note that YouTube limits you to about 10 minutes of video, which is perfect for getting started considering that it's free. If you want to have a longer video, they do allow you to achieve this by having multiple segments.
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