We’re currently drowning in the hours and hours of footage we took over the last 12 months of the Walk Sew Good journey, trying to create videos that honour the stories of those people and businesses we’ve met along the way. It’s a spectacular problem to have. We conducted over 50 glorious interviews across Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and we aren’t even through with editing half of them. So why is it taking us so long?
Below is a run down of what we do to bring these videos to a Facebook page/Youtube channel/Instagram feed near you. Part of the reason we wanted to share this process with you is to show people that, while it may be time consuming and a lot of work, anybody can create videos that tell a story. Other than a weekend with the Digital Storytellers crew we have had no formal media training. Despite this, we’ve had thousands and thousands of people watch and interact with the stories we’ve been sharing. If you think there’s a story in your world that has the potential to change things up and make people think, create a video. We dare you.
Might as well start at the beginning. What normally happened was, that after a bit of online research, we showed up at a business or organisation with our phones, microphones and gorilla grip ready for anything. Getting there was sometimes a challenge in itself because people could be reluctant to give us actual addresses and tuk tuk drivers aren’t always familiar with the places we wanted to visit. Thank goodness for phones and the internet. Our problem solving skills were put to the test but we always got there in the end.
(Megan filming at Thygesen Textiles Vietnam)
Because we didn’t have the time or the capacity to visit every business before the interview to work out a quiet, beautiful place to film, we often had to improvise. People don’t realise how noisy the world is until you’re trying to find silence. Our audio has been ruined by temples blaring loud sermons, construction, coffee machines, wind and more but we make it work.
We had a list of questions we liked to ask but so often we would have such a great conversation with the person first and then we’d turn the camera on and they’d tense up. I completely get it. Point a camera in my face and my weirdness factor increases by about 78.4%. Just ask Gab, she has a whole heap of photos and videos of weird proof. Getting people to stand up, wiggle around and dance it out can get rid of some of the nervous energy and settle them down.
Interviews could take anywhere between 15 minutes to 2 hours. Gab and I took it in turns to interview people. Our technique slowly got better as we went along. Watching videos online and being interviewed ourselves really helped us hone our skills and work out what makes a good question.
We also tried to take as much footage of the facility/shop/products/people as possible so we could edit everything together later on. This wasn’t always possible though as there were times when we were interviewing somebody in a coffee shop away from their business.
(Gab filming at Chula in Hanoi, Vietnam)
I love editing. You get to cut it all up and spend hours and hours fine tuning it. Listening to yourself interviewing can be painful and I have had to tell past video Megan to be quiet and stop saying stupid things on a number of occasions. She’s so annoying. No one likes listening to their own voice but my voice is truly awful. Way more awful than yours.
I’ve never actually timed the editing process but it can take a really long time. You have to cut hours of footage into 2-3 minutes of gold. Selecting music for the video can take up to two hours alone. We use Adobe Premiere Pro and before we started this project we had exactly zero experience using the program. The kind people at Digital Storytellers trained us up before we left but Google and Youtube did and continue to do an excellent job of consolidating our skills. It’s kind of amazing what you can teach yourself to do these days with the power of the internet.
Once it’s all done and we’re happy with the result we send the video off for approval to the interviewee and their team and cross our fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes, hoping they like it. This is the really nerve racking part of it. You’ve spent hours and hours creating this video and you want them to love it. It’s kind of like releasing a piece of yourself into the world.
Honestly, this part is hard. When you release a video and you’re not seeing the number of views creep up it can be a bit disheartening. Inversely, we’ve had some of our videos reach over 50,000 views and that can be a real buzz. If we were just making these videos for fun I don’t think we would be so concerned about the numbers but we’re making them for impact. We believe that the more people we reach, the more people will feel empowered to engage with and support a positive kind of fashion industry. Please share our videos whenever they pop up into your newsfeed. There are lots more to come!
What do you think about the stories we’ve shared so far? Did any in particular resonate with you or spur you to action? We’d love to know! Please drop us a line in the comments. And if you do decide to make your own video, we’re always here to help, just drop us a line.