Corona virus has forced so many of us to reconsider our vocations, or at least how we fulfill them. Our computer expert son takes delight in telling us that we are technological dinosaurs. We were clearly born BC – Before Computers.
As a result the very notion of online activities comes as easily to us as pushing water uphill with a rake. However, I have long wished to share stories online, and figured there was no better time than the present. Therein lies a riddle, as most of our equipment could just as easily be BC.
My DSLR camera’s don’t shoot video, both our compact camera’s shoot video which our son tells us is not acceptable in terms of quality. One needs to be too close to either of our phones for the audio to be acceptable. We settled on the iPad, but trying to stabilise it for the recording of a short story is more challenging than one might imagine. So a clandestine, drive-by “meeting” was arranged where a packet was handed over by my nephew, containing his GoPro. What a pleasure, easy to secure on a tripod, great audio – we believed our filming woes were over. Clearly the GoPro is too smart for its own good, as the White Balance struggled to adjust correctly between the ambient light coming through the doors and the electric lights being used to brighten the room. We do not have the correct light sources required, clearly, having poured over numerous YouTube video’s and tutorials on video-making for beginners!
With the extension announced to the national lock down, we were keen to launch this storytelling as soon as possible, hoping families will find the offerings engaging and entertaining. We are hoping viewers/listeners will ”cut us some slack” under the circumstances. We are doing the very best we can given the equipment at our disposal, in a discipline completely new to us. After years of speaking to live audiences, the challenge of speaking to a camera alone is very difficult indeed. The tension created in not wanting to make a mistake, sans teleprompter, is very challenging. Having moved furniture around to create a studio, setting up the iPad AND GoPro, the process begins. I make a teaser video, then try to introduce myself, tell a story as naturally as possible, and conclude with a smile all the while watching the clock and hoping Karen does not grab her head when I really screw something up!
Assuming the process of recording has gone smoothly, we download the video’s and transfer them on our rural WiFi system to said son. This can take anything between two and seven hours depending on the time of day and pressure on the network.
Of course, hoping fervently the system doesn’t crash (it has twice) and that our son will find the quality acceptable. Rather like myself and traffic cops, we have very divergent views on just what is acceptable. All being well, and our son working his magic in editing the recording we send him, a video is ready to post onto Patreon.
Our intention is to share 5 short stories a month. Patrons subscribe to Patreon to watch/listen at a time which suits them. My site is called Rob Caskie – Engaging Storytelling.
With the lock down extension, we are mindful that securing gifts for birthdays is difficult. Why not consider gifting a family member or friend with a one month subscription to my stories, please?
If the stories are enjoyed, we continue this journey together…