A Peek Behind the Curtain
A peek behind the curtain at Ask Leo!
Hi everyone, I’m Leo Notenboom for askleo.com. As most of you know, for the past few weeks I’ve been playing a little bit with video doing these direct to camera videos as I call them, talking about various topics and issues and so forth relating to technology.
Today what I want to do is I want to give you a little bit of a peek behind the curtain, and that’s why I’m holding this. So this is my cell phone on a monopod. A monopod is not a selfie stick. What it is is a tripod with only one leg. It’s actually commonly used by videographers and photographers to give them some stability when they’re out doing whatever it is they’re doing. It’s something that I intend to play with a little bit.
In fact, I really should be holding it a little bit differently, so that it gets a little bit more distance between me and the camera. This way I’ve got a little bit bigger frame and not quite so close into my face.
But the real reason I have the camera on a monopod today is because I want to be able to do this. I want to be able to turn it around and show you what it is I see when I’m doing these things. So what you can see: here there’s my desk, my coffee cup, my keyboard, my ham radio, telephone, all that kinda stuff. But most interestingly, that’s the camera that’s actually recording me when I’m doing these kinds of videos.
The microphone you see there off to your left is not the microphone I’m using right now. I’ll talk about that in just a minute. That microphone is what I use for web cam, my screen cap recording (screen capture) and occasionally some of the audio on the podcasts.
So, now we’re in the far corner of my room, and you can see the area that I was standing in there with the white board in the background and a couple of pieces of white paper to reflect some light and such. The one thing that you may notice is that there are three light boxes: two on poles and then one on the lower left. Lighting has proven to be one of the more difficult things to try and work on and get right with this set up. But I think I’ve actually got it pretty nailed down right now. Those are all using compact fluorescent light bulbs specifically for video or photography.
So there’s my computer again, there’s the tripod, there’s the Surface Pro in the background doing its thing.
Now, what I want to show you also, on the top of my camera there is Ellen. Ellen is there to remind me; she has a very important job. Her job is to remind me that I’m not talking to a camera; I’m talking to you. You are what this is all about; what my videos are all about and what my … what actually Ask Leo! is all about. It’s not just about me playing with technology; it’s about me playing with technology and doing it in a way that makes it useful to you.
So her job is just to slap me around everyone once in a while and remind me that there are real people – you – at the other end of that camera.
The camera, by the way, is really just a Sony handicam of some sort. It’s digital. You can see its little light flashing there as it continues to record. It uses USB to connect to my desktop computer to download the video. And again, the camera itself is looking at the corner of my office with my white board where I typically will stand and do whatever it is that particular video is calling for.
Now, I mentioned that the microphone that was over there at my desk was not the microphone I’m’ using right now. You’ll notice that I’m wearing what’s called a Lavalier microphone. That actually is connected to this, a TASCAM DR-05 recorder. Now, I would hold it up to the camera, but I did that earlier, and it was completely washed out so instead I’m going to put another picture of it here in the corner.
What this boils down to is, it’s fundamentally intended to be an audio recorder: these are actually two microphones at the top of the thing. But as you can it also has an audio in. That audio in is connected via a fairly lengthy cable to a microphone that I have pinned here to my shirt.
What I do then at the end of this video, when I’m done recording all of these various pieces including the piece from my camera phone is I will take all three of those pieces of media: the video from the camera phone, the video from what I’ll call my studio camera and then the audio from the digital recorder in my pocket. I’ll use Final Cut Pro to synchronize them all up and do all the magic switching and zooms and all that kind of stuff that you’ve been seeing on these videos.
So that’s kinda sorta what’s going on here in the background. I thought I’d let you know. I’ve got a couple of people who are interested in exactly what this is and how it all works and there you go.
If you’ve got any questions about this, if you’re watching this anywhere but on askleo.com, I’m going to put a link right here that is this video posted on askleo.com. Go there, that’s where all the comments happen, that’s where comments are moderated as we talked about last week, YouTube comments to the extent that they exist, usually aren’t very pretty, so I’d rather have you all come out to askleo.com and leave comments there. They all get read, and I’ll answer any questions you might have about this set up or anything video related to the Ask Leo! videos that I’ve been producing.
Thanks again for watching. I’ll see you again next week.
Until then, have a great one!