Wednesday, February 01, 2012

To vlog or not to vlog? No question.

I have this brother named Tim. (You may have heard of him.) A while back, for reasons which now escape me, Tim was urging me to make some video blogs and put them up on YouTube or something similar.

My gut response to this suggestion was something along the lines of "Oh HELL no."

There's a good reason why I always prefer to write or speak rather than appear on film. During family reunions, when we make goofy renditions of various fairy tales, I usually contrive to be the narrator or the screenwriter or some other role that requires me to be off-camera 95% of the time. When my sister Julie made an art book with cut-paper images of family and friends, I didn't appear in it because I couldn't provide a halfway decent photograph of me for reference material. I have been known to dive wildly behind the couch or flee the room to avoid being photographed by a still camera, let alone a video camera. All this because I have a face (and body) made for radio. Seeing myself on film is painful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to terrorize you if you come across me in a dark alley or anything, but I'm also not going to win any beauty contests any time soon. And I'm not masochistic enough to subject myself to the sub-literate ridicule of 13-year-old boys worldwide by putting my pasty face and blubbery body on display online.

Just to verify that what I've said here still holds true, though, I made a few experimental video clips this week of me sitting in my computer chair and holding forth for a few minutes on any subject that came to mind. Replaying each one was torture. My voice isn't too bad, but I look like a double-chinned dead fish on camera. Plus I have all sorts of visual tics: my eyes wander, I scratch my nose, flip my hair out of my face, pick at my teeth. Gahh. Just shoot me now. (They were all promptly deleted.)

So, Tim, I love you and all that, but after some deep cogitation on the subject: HELL NO.

14 comments:

Tara Chang said...

silly silly goose. you are darling.

Soozcat said...

Aw, my friend. I may or may not be fun in person, but on camera... it's not pretty.

As Mr. T says, "You can't deny! It's been proven by science, fool!" :)

Tara Chang said...

You forget, I *have* pictures of you! They are adorable.

Soozcat said...

Bleah.

Tim said...

I never said you needed to APPEAR in them...

Soozcat said...

Well, what kind of vlogs were you suggesting, then?

Fatherly Uncle Jim said...

Slide shows, PowerPoints, pictures of cats, robotic avatars, Clutch Cargo lips...

Soozcat said...

Clutch Cargo lips? Why in the infernal name of the TSA?

Fatherly Uncle Jim said...

The Clutch Cargo Lips segments from Conan O'Brien's early days on Late Night were among my favorites.

What you have to say is the important thing. Creating a Hook that lets you feel comfortable at the same time can only be to the good.

xtranormal.com makes the avatar approach quite easy, I'm told, if you want a video but prefer to leave the delivery to someone else.

Soozcat said...

If I can choose to be Dame Not-Appearing-In-This-Vlog, and if I should happen to come up with a concept worth sharing that is best served by video format rather than text and still images... maybe. But I'm still not entirely convinced it's a good idea.

Tim said...

Come now. Your writing, in your OWN voice... Now that's good Vlogging...

Douglas Cootey said...

I have tried video blogging. The working theory was that the best way to not feel stupid in front of a camera was to practice being in front of one. The end result was that I didn't just feel stupid; I looked it, too.

Soozcat said...

How is that markedly different from this, though?

Soozcat said...

Douglas: trust me, I feel your pain. Though you did pretty well in front of a camera if memory serves me.