Lights, Camera, Action

No, I haven’t gone Hollywood on you. But I am doing quite a bit of video work these days.

As some of you may be aware I am writing the “Technique 1-2-3” articles for “Crochet 1-2-3” now.  Issue #11 coming out this May will be my first article in my new role.  As part of this assignment I needed to make videos demonstrating the techniques.

I had been wanting to do crochet videos for a long time. But being a recovering perfectionist was getting in my way. Fortunately, the job offer from “Crochet 1-2-3” forced me to finally jump in and give it a try.

At first I thought I would need a fancy digital camcorder, then Kimberly McAlindin (the editor in chief at Crochet 1-2-3) told me that she recorded her videos with her smart phone. Really? That surprised me, and got me wondering how well my smart phone would work.

Last March I had splurged and purchased the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone for my business. I’m still exploring all the bells and whistles on it. I was delighted to discover that I could shoot good quality video with it. I still needed a tripod so that I could use both hands in my demonstrations. I figured the local camera shop in Boulder (Mike’s Camera) would have something that would work.

1 jobympodmini

When I got to the shop I found the types of tripods I was looking for right away. There were loads of ones designed for use with the IPhone. Unfortunately the options for a phone as large as my Note were very limited. With some help from one of the camera specialist though we finally matched a tripod to my phone.

My Smartphone held in the tripod from the back.
My Phone held in the tripod from the back.

I wanted one of these with the bendable legs so that if needed I could grip it around the top of my regular camera tripod. This is the Joby Mpod Mini.

Smartphone in the tripod from the front.
Phone in the tripod from the front.

I really liked how this tripod allowed me to see the screen of my phone without any obstructions.

When I got home I started experimenting with how to get the right angle and distance from my hands for filming. The little tripod was great, but it wasn’t high enough off the table. My regular tripod was too tall for what I wanted. I know, it all sounds a bit Goldilocks.

Then I hit upon sitting the camera on top of a little box, perfect height, but it kept wanting to tip over and was wiggly when I was filming. I needed something sturdier. So I dug out a glass jar, filled it with pennies and decorative glass marbles to give it plenty of weight. Popped the tripod on the top and squeezed the bendable legs tightly around the lid. Unfortunately, when the camera was at the proper angle the little tripod and camera wanted to topple off the top.

5 Tripod height solution

Never fear, there is always Duct Tape (and mine is Purple).  Taped up the little tripod and suddenly every thing was perfect. Setting up the rest of my “studio” was easy after all the tripod drama.

4 My Video Studio

Currently my filming studio is my dining room table, nice big window to my left lets in loads of natural light and there is room for my backdrop, additional light and the necessary project supplies. Eventually I hope to be filming in my design office or art studio. Who knows it might be both locations, depending on the craft and technique I’m showing.

Check out the Crochet 1-2-3 website in May to see my first videos. For my first foray into the waters of video work I think they came out fairly decent.