Tomorrow, Canadians across the nation will be filming their days and talking about what it means to be a Canadian as part of the epic film project Canada In A Day. We’re encouraging Canadians everywhere to pick up a camera and document their lives. Then, once all the footage is collected from citizens, it’s all chopped up into a two-hour special that will premiere in the summer of 2017, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
We recognize the prospect of filming yourself might be a little daunting—especially if you’ve never done it before. So to help you out with your Canada In A Day endeavours, we’ve enlisted the help of some vlogging experts from our very own Much Digital Studios Creator family. Check out their best filming tips below, and don’t forget to participate in Canada In A Day tomorrow, September 10. Head over to CanadaInADay.ca for more information.
Practice makes perfect—you don’t have to get everything right in one shot. “Rehearse the beginning of your video in front of your camera before you turn the camera on,” Alayna Fender advises. “Practice speaking out loud at the volume you want to use in the video in order to get used to the sound of your own voice!”
Don’t forget to consider the aesthetic of your camera shots. “Visually, when choosing your shot, look for depth of field. What I mean by that is you want space between you and your background. A shot where you can see things going on in the background, out of focus, is much more appealing than a shot of you standing in front of a wall.”
And most of all, be sure inject your personality into filming. “Be loud! Be confident!”
If you’re camera shy, Dan Rodo has got some stellar advice for you. “Try to imagine all of your favourite people inside of your camera. Talk to them as if it’s a live FaceTime or Skype call,” he says. “I always tell myself, ‘More people will see this on the Internet than there are people awkwardly staring at me now.’ Be confident whenever you hit record.”
Capturing your day might take you on adventures outside of your house and in public—but that doesn’t mean you should stop filming. If you need some tips about how to muster up the courage to film when everyone’s watching, ask Jaclyn Forbes. “You’ve just got to go for it! Vlogging in public can be intimidating because people will probably stare, but you’ve just got to remember that they’re probably more curious than anything. Try to forget about everyone else and just do what you gotta do! The more you do it, the more normal it becomes!”
Michael Rizzi was clearly inspired by his Montreal trip when he came up with this suggestion. “My best vlogging tip for your Canada in a Day submission would be to showcase the hidden gems in your city or town. Whenever I watch travel videos, I always love to learn about the best restaurants or shops that aren’t in the city’s travel guide. Try scoping out your favourite local venue and show Canada why it’s the go-to spot in your city!”
Devon Crawford doesn’t want you to overthink vlogging. “The cool thing about vlogging is that people watch for you,” he says. “So as long as you’re genuine it doesn’t matter so much to what you’re doing. I try to film anything I find interesting, then add in music and good edits to up the quality.”
Canada In A Day encourages all amateur filmmakers to film aspects of their lives— both the ordinary and the extraordinary. Even if you’re filming the more simple parts of your day, like chores and errands, Mike Veerman says that making the content personal takes vlogs to the next level.
“Personalize it. Details help. If I go to the grocery store that’s pretty mundane. If I’m going to the grocery store because my dog Ben somehow opened the fridge door in our dingy apartment and ate everything I had in my fridge while I was at spin class, that’s a little more interesting. How did Ben, a West Highland Terrier, open a fridge door?! I’m equal parts annoyed and impressed. Is this a one-time accident or is he learning like the Raptors in Jurassic Park? Do I need to start locking the fridge? Is it only a matter of time until Ben can pick a lock?! These questions will have to wait because I now have no food, a sick dog, and I’m starving cause that spin class was intense. I have to go to the grocery store.”
When it comes to vlogging in public, Deej just gets straight to the point. “Try not to worry about what people around you think because as soon as you turn the next corner, they’re gone and they don’t matter anymore,” he says.
When filming your Canada In A Day content, don’t forget to always have your camera nearby to capture all those spontaneous reactions and emotions. “Getting genuine moments live on your vlog is always a plus so have your camera very readily available at all times, like in your pocket or dangling from your wrist.” But don’t overdo it either: “Try not to take too much footage as this will extend the editing process. Hit that record button when you have an idea or something to say then turn it right off.”
Trey and Jae Richards, the dudes of 4YallEntertainment, advise newbie vloggers to stick to a narrative. “Keep your storyline in mind at all times. If you’re vlogging your day be sure to pull out your camera and let the audience know what’s happening so they can easily follow along and understand,” they suggest. “You’ll thank yourself later when you see how well your vlog flows during editing.”
And in terms of equipment, if you’re serious about making videos, consider upgrading your camera to get top-notch quality footage. “Our favourite piece of vlogging equipment, when we were building up enough confidence to vlog in public, was the GoPro Hero 4+ Silver. It’s small, puts out amazing video and audio quality and shoots really wide so there’s no need for us to fully extend our arms when we record ourselves.”
But regardless of your story structures and filming equipment, the most important part of making quality vlogs is staying true to yourself and your aesthetic. “Create the content YOU would enjoy watching yourself. It’s always great when you can be confident and truly believe in your own work.”