Guest post: A director’s 5 tips for vlogging

Vicki Psarias

Vicki on set

Vicki Psarias is an award winning filmmaker and author of the Honest Mum blog. Here she shares her professional tips on vlogging.

I really should vlog more. In my day job as a director I’m mostly behind the camera, so I’m used to controlling the action rather than being the action. That said, I’ve done a few stints presenting a programme on screenwriting for BBC2 as well as judging a TV film competition for young filmmakers, which I utterly loved. As a filmmaker, I’ve made a lot of online content from commercial web films to promos and charity campaign shorts. Here are my tips in creating the best vlogs you can.

  1. Have a practice run before broadcasting to the world. I always rehearse with my actors and presenters and there’s no difference with your own personal vlog. Make sure you feel comfortable talking on camera and film your rehearsals, especially when you start out. Watch your dry run and note how you would do things differently. Are you loud enough, is your face in full view, are those dirty dishes in the background out of sight? Good. Now you’re ready for your close-up.
  2. Brevity is key. Keep your vlogs short and sweet. 2 minutes is more than enough in my opinion and 5 minutes max. Any shorts whether they are commercials, campaign films or short docs tend to be just that: short. Keep your viewer captivated and don’t ask them to forfeit too much time for their full attention.
  3. The close-up is key. Wide shots are lost online especially as the viewer usually watches video content in a small box. Yes you can expand it but that loss of resolution is really off-putting. Whether you’re using a web cam, camcorder or heck even a Canon 5D professional camera, frame yourself in a tight mid shot (medium shot) or a medium close up, look directly at the camera and fully engage with your audience as if talking to a friend.
  4. Try to always be clear, confident, friendly and well presented. If you don’t want to edit using editing software then record yourself in one take. No easy feat but totally possible. Especially if you’ve rehearsed beforehand.
  5. Vlog about something you feel passionate about and can illustrate clearly. Don’t waffle, be concise, let your personality shine through and most of all, have fun. Don’t forget to add tags and get your vlog on your blog as well as Youtube and any other online platforms you like, to make your voice heard.

Happy Vlogging!

— Vicki Psarias
Honest Mum

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