Today I did the photography project I was preparing for yesterday. Actually it’s a video project. When I started this diary, the plan was that I first tidy up everything, put everything in order, my room, my computer, my notes and documents that help me organize my life, and until I’m done with that, I don’t do any other things that are not necessary, I won’t deal with my other ideas, plans, hobbies. But it’s taking longer that I expected, it’s been over a month, and I’m still nowhere near the end. This week there’s a big music festival in my town, and long ago I had an idea for a videography project that can best be accomplished during this event. So I decided to go ahead and do my idea, even though I’m not done with organizing my documents.
Until today I only ever took still photos, never made any videos, besides just testing the settings, but I wanted to try it out. And if I Like it, I can start making videos also. I didn’t want to just film some random uninteresting thing, I wanted to approach this as a project, like I would do if I already knew how to take good videos. Of course I knew that my first videos would most likely be bad, and I wouldn’t want to share them anywhere, but it’s the only way to really try out if I like doing it. I think it’s also a good way to learn. So my idea was that I would try finding someone who would be willing to be an interviewer, we would go up to people and ask them if they’re willing to be in a video, and if they are, the interviewer asks them interesting questions, and I record them. I planned to do this outside the festival. Inside would have been better, but I didn’t want to spend on a ticket, and I didn’t want to bother with asking for a filming permit. But there are also a lot of people outside, who are just hanging out, not in a hurry to go anywhere, and probably in a good mood and willing to agree to be in a video.
So in the last few days I was trying to find someone to be the interviewer. I didn’t write about this in previous days’ entries, because I don’t want to write about plans, but now that this project realized, I write about it now. To be honest I thought that finding someone would be very hard, and considering the short deadline, almost impossible. It turns out I was very wrong.
I have an old Instargram account that I used for an old project, but I haven’t used it in almost 2 years, and it only has less than 400 followers. I made a story outlining the basic idea what I was looking for, but I thought nobody would even see it, because Instagram would put it at the end of everyone’s feed due to the account’s long inactivity. But almost half of my followers saw it. Either Instagram has some wierd algorithm or all these people watch all the stories in their feed. 4 people even sent me a DM that they are interested and I wrote to some other people too who saw the story. What surprised me was that more then half the people I managed to reach was also interested. This is a much higher rate than when I try finding someone for portrait photography, and I expected a much lower rate than that. And when that account was active, I put out similar stories a few times, looking fo someone for a portrait shoot, and no one ever wrote to me on their own, I only found people if I wrote to them directly. I just can’t figure out how is that possible, I would think asking someone to be an interviewer for a video is a bigger ask than asking them for a simple portrait shoot. Maybe it’s because I offered money, but sometimes I also offered money for photoshoots, and my experience was that that rarely changes anything. If someone is not a model (either professional or amateur), they are either willing to try out modelling or not, and money is rarely the motivating factor in that decision. I offered the money in this case because I thought it would be hard to find anyone and also because the resulting video would probably be bad, so the interviewer wouldn’t get anything useful out of this, it’s only useful for me. But judging by the enthusiasm of some of them, maybe they would’ve been willing to do it for free. But I don’t mind spending the money on my projects, and it wasn’t a lot. By the way, all of these people are girls, because that account is almost exclusively followed by girls.
Of the girls who were interested, only a few of them were available on such short notice, while the festival lasted, and only 2 of them were sure. I met with one of them today, let’s call her Liz, I may meet with the other some other day. A few years ago we already planned to do a photo shoot with Liz, but ultimately she didn’t have the time then, so we never met. But when I saw that she saw the story, I wrote to her and this time she had the time, so we met today.
I didn’t ask her in advance, but I thought that maybe she’ll come with somebody else, but she came alone. We talked a little, I set things up, and we started searching for people. Most people we asked were willing to participate, so it was easy to find subjects. We only asked a few short questions from everybody, each take was only a few minutes. I wrote the questions in advance a few days ago. I knew in advance that this whole thing wasn’t going to be easy and I was right. I didn’t do a very good job, but I noticed many things that I can improve, so I can learn from this experience, which was the goal. But overall I didn’t enjoy shooting video that much, I like taking photos more. It is very much possible however that I would grow to like it more, if I made more videos. Or if I made videos that I like better. I didn’t like this interview format much, the participants’ answers weren’t that great. We would probably need better questions. It turned out Liz’s job wasn’t easy either. She’s good with people, she’s a good conversationalist, but making good interviews requires experience. But she improved with every try, and became more confident.
We started in the early afternoon, and the concerts at the festival only started hours later, so there wasn’t a crowd, so usually we had several minutes between takes while we searched for the right people to ask. So we had time to talk with Liz. I liked her, we had pleasant conversatons. We had quiet moments, sometimes even a bit long, and that’s something I’ll need to improve on, but it wasn’t terrible. We agreed to do a photo shoot sometime. She’s had a few shoots before, so she has experience.
Overall the shoot was interesting and very useful, I learned a lot. I tried to test things yesterday at home, but being in the field is different. I noticed a lot of things both during and after the shoot, that can be impoved. Looking back at the recordings, as I anticipated, the result is not good, not something that I will use for anything directly, I won’t share anything of it anywhere. But it was still a very useful experience. Even though I didn’t enjoy doing it that much, seeing how easy it was to find both an interviewer and interviewees, I’m now confident that it would also be easy to find participants for other video projects, so I’m willing to try other things out in the future. I’m not sure this particular idea can be made good, I think it would need a very charismatic or experienced interviewer, and that would be harder to find. But I have other video ideas and will think of more, and I will probably try making videos in the future. I also have a better idea now what works in video. Maybe I’ll find something that can be made good, and maybe I’ll enjoy making that more. I will need to learn video editing, and these recordings will also be useful to practice on.