How I Met My Videographer

I’ve been filming and posting on YouTube for years, so why does filming with a professional videographer make me so nervous?

I make YouTube videos as a hobby. I do pole tutorials/fail videos. I would barely call myself a professional – not in pole, and definitely not in film-making. But, ironically, I share pole tutorials on YouTube. So first and foremost, many thanks to YouTube for allowing an imposter like me to take a stab in this realm of the online world.

Why I decided to film with a videographer

What started as a side-hobby slowly became an integral part of my life. I’ve certainly gotten more comfortable with poling in front of other people but that also came gradually. Actually, let’s take a few steps back.

Years ago, it might have taken me many tries to get a move perfectly, worst part is, it might not even be replicable! By chance, I fooled the world into thinking I’ve got this! Well, if you filmed 1000+ hours of your fails, surely you will get one decent looking clip. I would never subject any photographer or videographer to that torture as they watch my horrific struggles.

Typical folder containing my raw footage for one pole move, ~5GB in size for an intermediate move.

However, as I improved, my repertoire of moves expanded, my stamina increased and my techniques are more refined. I have a few go-to moves that I know I can pull off effortlessly and still look nice on camera.

I envied YouTubers with beautifully filmed and professionally edited MV-quality promotional videos. I’ve always wanted one too! But being your own videographer while filming pole videos is next to impossible – I mean, I don’t think I can operate a camera, get it to pan, while spinning upside down on the pole.

Then one day, I finally thought, “Ok, I think I’m good enough to collaborate with a videographer for a promo video!” Who knew serendipity was actually spelled “c-r-a-i-g-s-l-i-s-t”?

Finding the right videographer

Ideally, the best avenue to find a videographer would be through friends or referrals. Depending on the type of video you are filming, it makes the whole process a lot more enjoyable when you can relate to the person you are working with. I can’t imagine what it would be like to not know the person who basically would have physical copies of me in every angle possible, including the most unflattering facial expressions! Oh god… yes, please be kind to your photographers/videographers, they hold more power than you think!

Unfortunately I didn’t know any videographers.

The Otion Pictures website looks very clean and professional. He also worked with a lot of different clients!
Sounds legit 😊

I’m sure we all heard the saying, “Don’t talk to strangers!” and maybe, “Don’t talk to strangers online“. I definitely am guilty of the latter! Did I mention I found Otion Pictures through Craigslist? (For those who don’t know, Craigslist is an online classified ads site.) Amongst the slew of sketchy ads, his stood out as the most legit. Maybe I can feature him in a blog post on ‘How to write legit ads’, because he definitely nailed that one.

To summarize, Ocean from Otion Pictures (such a clever name!) was looking for another Cantonese-speaking (✓) girl (✓) who is interested in filming (✓) or has an active YouTube channel (✓✓✓) to collaborate in film-making tutorials for his Ocean Video Tutorial channel. I’m like, “Hey, that’s totally me!” and promptly sent out a email to reach out. Seeing samples of his previous work and his current projects made me optimistic about our collaboration.
I watched a few of his YouTube tutorials and noticed how well-spoken he was.
Then I spent the next few days worrying that I might have to talk on camera if we collaborated.

Meeting Ocean, the videographer

As millennials, we exchanged our contact information through our online portfolios – website, our YouTube, Facebook and IG handles. I think that gives a pretty good summary of a person’s work, don’t you think?

We met up in-person to discuss the projects we could work on, and detailed the logistics of the most relevant one. We decided to do a promotional video for me, Pole Asana, to let my readers and subscribers put a face and voice to the nameless girl behind the tutorial videos.

Ocean’s main audience was on Facebook and YouTube, whereas mine is focused on YouTube and Instagram.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Since we are filming Kimmy/Pole Asana in her natural habitat (aka, my home), I needed to clean out my already-empty place. At the end of the clean up, it was only the pole and 4 walls! Since my place was tiny, every little bit of space was needed for all the equipment.

 

Selfie video with the equipment set-up

Ocean came and rolled out 3 boxes equivalent to over-sized checked baggages. He claimed these were already “top of the line, lightweight and compact versions”… 😒 I can’t imagine what the full-size would look like… With the full set up, I can’t help but feel nervous. Seriously, we set all this up for me? I felt overwhelmed!

Check out the gear in the bottom right hand corner!

For our video, we had 3 major components: the interview, the pole portion, and the yoga portion. One of the three are not like the others, can you guess which?

I absolutely dreaded the interview process, it took much much much longer than I anticipated. I was really hoping to do the pole/yoga parts first since it would help me open up more. Unfortunately because my make up and hair was ready, it made more sense to do the interview before my face starts melting…

The interview took around 2 hours, simply because I didn’t know what to say, I kept stumbling on my words, and laughing uncontrollably at how funny I sound on the camera. Nonetheless, it was definitely a learning experience and I can say I’m more comfortable with speaking on camera now. The pole and yoga portion was the most fun, and most relaxing part for me. Despite never having filmed pole/yoga videos before, I only had to show Ocean the move once to let him figure out how to film it, then execute it 1-2 more times for the actual clip.

While the shoot was physically exhausting, I’d much rather do 5 hours of pole/yoga than 2 minutes of interviewing! Of course, Ocean thought that comment was insane.

 

Overall, this experience was so fun, educational and rewarding! I have learned a few things and wish I could have prepared a bit more in advance. I’ll be writing a blog post soon on how to prepare for a videoshoot!

In the meantime, please take literally ONE minute to enjoy the video that we spent 5 hours filming! And if you haven’t already followed/subscribed, please do so as it means so much to us!

Pole Asana’s links: YouTube | Instagram | Facebook
Otion Pictures’ links: YouTube | Instagram | Facebook 

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