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So I've been making video blogs for like four years now and people say I'm pretty good at it. I also see a lot of people who could be a lot better if they just took some very simple advice.

Script for Today's video:

Video of me Editing this Video!
Still's very long. But it will be on soon.


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A Bunny
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Good morning, John.

Today I want to do something a little bit different that might not be appealing to everyone. I'm going to make a video about making videos. And of course, if you don't care about making videos, I'm going to do my best to make it entertaining nonetheless.

OK, first let's talk about what I'm not going to do, I'm not going to talk about your equipment. I don't care what kind of camera you have! I don't care what kind of computer you have or what kind of software you have! This is not about that! I believe that skill is honed by lack, and there's no reason to have a sword made of Valyrian steel if you're just learning how to wield a knife. So let us talk first about what's actually important, which is how to look and sound.

Important Thing: The Rule of Thirds. Divide your screen into thirds this way and this way. One of the interesting things about vlogging is that early on both the eyes and the mouth were falling on those lines, but now that screens have gotten a little bit bigger, generally it's just the eyes that are falling on the line, because the eyes — not the mouth — actually are the most important element of your frame! I think that says something fundamental about human nature. I'm just not sure what it is.

Now, how you sound. Imagine for a moment me going downstairs and talking to my wife the way that I talk while I'm vlogging. That does not happen! This is not my normal talking voice. Surprise, surprise! The way that I imagine it is that I'm on a gigantic stage, and there is one person in the audience, and I'm talking to that one person, but I can't talk to them like a normal person 'cause I'm on a gigantic stage!

Now this is obviously a difficult thing to hone; you're not going to get your vlogging voice immediately. Watch early Vlogbrothers videos and see that we sucked too when we started. It's nice for me that the one person in the audience is generally — or at least started out being — my brother. So I knew how to talk to my brother; I knew what would make him happy. Now that one person has changed, and it's kind of an amalgam of all of Nerdfighteria. It's just each of you individually I'm trying to imagine all at once; it's very strange.

Now moving on, there's Don't Forget To Be Awesome, which is one of the most important rules in life, but there's also, for vlogging, another one: Don't Forget To Be Interesting. I even write out scripts sometimes, so that I make sure that what I'm saying isn't dull as hell. I wrote a script for this video; I'm going to post that script on my Tumblr so you can see the difference between the script and what actually gets made into the video.

Also never forget that even the best audience, there will be parts of it that will have a very short attention span, and you will have to pander to those people. But honestly, it's fun, and I truly believe that pandering to those people actually makes your video better. There's a lot of ways to keep things interesting, you could move around, put some video over your voice. You could use props; awesome, funny hats. Go outside! You can sing, you can sing songs. You can speed things up, or you can slow things down. Use filters, and you can use puppets. A lot of times people ask me how I get ideas for videos, but really it's not about having ideas for videos; that's easy. Mostly I'm trying to figure out how to make those ideas interesting.

Another very important rule: Silence is extremely powerful! Use it very sparingly. If you watch one of my videos you will notice that there are very few moments that do not have sound in them, and that is especially true of the space around jump cuts. Any silence around a jump cut is bad bad bad bad, BAD!

Another important rule: Do not be afraid to try! I know that failing at something stings a lot less if you didn't really try hard, but, it's also much more likely.

And finally, let's talk about editing — no we're not going to do that because that would take forever, so instead I am literally going to post a screen capture of me editing this vlog. I'm gonna put that on my second channel at, hankschannel! And you will be able to see how I made this video, how I did all the tricks I did in this video, and all the things that I do to make my video blog seem professional, and crisp, and good, and entertaining, and all of those things.

So that's how you vlog! Of course, you can do it however you want to do it, but I figured people might be interested in seeing how I do it. I encourage all of you to vlog, and I encourage you to do it well. The video of me editing this vlog might not be online as soon as this goes up on the internet, but it will be online shortly thereafter, and there will be a link to it in the endscreen.

John, I'll see you on Monday.