At the beginning of this year, the only resolution that I gave myself was to try and focus on quality over quantity when it came to my videos. There were definitely moments in 2010 when I felt like, given the schedule I had forced myself onto (trying to upload a video every week or so) I was 1) making videos just for the sake of trying to keep up to quota and 2) uploading videos that I wasn’t always completely happy with – stuff that I knew I could probably have completed to a much higher level had I given myself more time.
A couple of weeks ago, I almost broke my resolution, and ended up shooting a video which was just an update on various things that were going on in my life at the time. To put it simply, I knew I needed to get something up that week in order to earn some cash, and the video had no real purpose other than that. I watched it back, realised how boring, vapid and useless it was, and then deleted it pretty promptly so that I could move onto something new. It was at that point that I also set a new rule for myself: If I was going to make a video, it had to be something that I actually found fun, and that would be fun to watch. It can be too easy to lose sight of why I even make YouTube videos sometimes, which I think is a bit of a common problem for partners who hold YouTube as being both a hobby and a job simultaneously.
There are definitely some people on YouTube who have decided to let the job aspect of their channels overtake the hobby side, and I don’t have a problem with those people at all. Some of them make absolutely brilliant videos, on a schedule that they stick to religiously, MysteryGuitarMan being a great example. There are also people who definitely opt for quantity over quality, and again I have no problem with anyone who wants to do that. Sometimes I really enjoy watching videos that have lower production values, so long as the content/person in the video is engaging. But none of that works for me. I’m not on YouTube to try and pull in eyeballs, I’m on here to try and make stuff that I’m really proud of.
I’d love to be able to make a short film at some point in the near future (something that I’ve already started work on actually, though it’s early days) and then maybe even a feature film after that. To feed that ambition, what I’m trying to do currently is stick with the exact same style of videos that I feel I’ve always made, while also doing my best to use those videos as a training ground for new ideas and techniques. My latest video, My Crib 2, is an example of that. I basically wanted to use the challenge as an excuse to play around with camera lenses, to practice composition, writing a shot list, cool transitions, directing a cameraman (Michael did almost all of the filming for this video) and to have a go at some more advanced rotoscoping (the effect at the start of the video where I come up in front of the titles). It was really fun for me to do, and I feel like I’ve come out with a much better piece of content as a result.
Just to be clear: I don’t mean to imply by any of this that I’m going to be changing my schedule to one video a fortnight or anything like that. I am still going to keep the once-a-week plan at the front of my mind, but I’m also going to allow myself more free time to work harder on a video if I feel like it’s going to benefit it in the long run. I’ll try to provide both quality and quantity when I can, but I’m going to prioritise the former over the latter. I have received a lot of emails from people, especially recently, saying that they’d like me to make videos more often than I do, and all I can really say to that is sorry, really, but that’s just not the kind of YouTuber that I am. I’ve never been like that. In theory, any videos that I do post from now on should be of a better quality, and more worth your time, so I hope that makes up for any noticeable drop in frequency. And as always, thanks for watching :)