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Greg Gunn TLDR #11 - The My First Vlog Issue

Hello again, TLDRians! I’d like to give an extra big welcome to all the people that have recently joined us. It’s good to have you :) 

I have a specific shout out to the person who filled out the survey asking if I’d be interested in speaking at their school—the answer is yes! The survey is anonymous, so email me if you’d like to talk more about it.

Whether you’re new, missed an issue or just want to experience it again, here’s a link to the last couple issues: TLDR #10 - The How To Save Time In After Effects Issue and TLDR #9 - The Stuff I Use Every Day Issue

And now, for something a little different.
 

A Day In The Life Of A Creative Director

A day in the life of creative director Greg Gunn

I have something special for you this week. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and would like to do more of—a video. With my face and voice and everything. Spoiler alert: if you like cute dogs, you might really like this video.

I know a lot of you haven’t watched this, but for some of you this might be the reason you joined TLDR. I want to make sure you get something of value here too. So below I’m going to talk about how I made it and answer the most frequently asked question I got about it.
 

What camera, mic, gear did you use?

Let’s start with the easy one: how did I make this video? I knew that I'd be lugging around this camera and a mic all day, so I wanted something light and easy that wouldn’t sacrifice quality.

Since I carry it with me everywhere already, I decided to shoot everything with my iPhone. I recently picked up a wide angle lens for it and thought I’d give it a shot. Overall, I’m very happy with the result—barring any jello-y rolling shutter effects in the footage. 

Next, I knew that capturing good audio would be critical to the success of the video. Nothing is worse than a video with terrible audio quality that you can barely hear.

The iPhone’s internal mic isn’t the best for this type of thing, so I did some research, asked around and ultimately settled on a smartphone mic rig. This thing was great! Easy to use, adjustable mic directions, comes with an arm handle and secure mount, and it all runs on a 9 volt battery.

To record the best quality video, I used a filmmaking app that gives you real-time control over compression, white balance, exposure, focus, etc. At $14.99, it’s a bit more than you might normally spend on an app, but if you plan to do any kind of real filmmaking on your phone it is fantastic. I was able to rack focus on my phone which is kind of amazing.

TLDR for the gearheads:

iPhone 7 Plus
Moment Wide Angle Lens
Saramonic SmartMixer Microphone Rig
Filmic Pro

 

All you did was make coffee and go to meetings? You didn’t do any work.

This came up a few times in the comments in some form or another. And you know what, it’s a fair assessment. I know the title of the video says “designer” (of which I am), but my real job is creative director. And—other than dismantling hard drives—this is a pretty regular day for me.

As creative director it’s my responsibility to talk with our clients, understand their needs, clarify their objectives and then strategically plan how to execute on those needs. That takes time and often several meetings and back and forth. 

Then, once we have alignment, it’s my duty to rally and lead the team in the direction I believe will solve the client’s problem. Should we go astray during the process, I keep an objective seat in the room and can course correct as needed.

Would I enjoy doing the work? Of course. I would love to! I’d get so much done without any meetings distracting me or people asking me questions.

But if I were to spend my time designing the boards, animating the sequences, rendering the CG I wouldn’t have any time to talk to anyone. Clients or team members.

There would be no one to lead and make sure that everything is moving the the right direction. The client would be frustrated due to the lack of communication and the team would be frustrated because I’m too busy to talk with them about where to go next or if something is working.

Imagine working on a project where every time you need to ask a valid question the person who knows the answer is too busy. Maybe you’ve been in that situation. What was it like? Did it hinder your progress?

Getting back to the video—yes, my day was about 4.5 hours worth of meetings. Buy hey, sometimes that’s what it takes. I should also note that I wanted the video to be entertaining so opted not to include footage of me writing emails or recapping notes with the team—just thinking that is putting me to sleep :)

 

What’s Next?

Let me know what you thought about this video. Would you like to see more things like this? Maybe something more focused? I’m all ears.

Next issue I will have something BIG to announce. And it is a thing. A thing that you can have and own. That’s all I can share right now :)

As always, thank you so much for the feedback! It makes my day when I get a message about how TLDR helped someone. If you have ideas or topics you'd like for me to cover email me and let's talk. 
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