So Thursday I went to a CHIFOO meet up, I have only ever attended PDXSASS meet ups. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that this meet up was just as good as I expected. CHIFOO is a user experience meet up that is spending this year focusing on presentation of media. The speaker of the night was Julie Yamamoto, a clearly intelligent and experienced person in this field. Julie had many qualifications making her a good speaker but they were best explained by CHIFOO in the following statement, “Julie participated first-hand in the information revolution that brought mainstream communications from print to pixels.”
Julie’s presentation covered DIY video production of all levels. It was a really interesting presentation and well put together, with well laid out visual aids such as cameras as well as the perfect media to compliment her topics. Her goal in giving the presentation was to be sure that we would walk away knowing how to make videos that were properly laid out and palatable for viewers. Right off the bat she addressed the issue that we were at a UX meet up and argued that videos are just as much part of the experience as the layout, I agree very much with this statement. I know that I am just as quickly going to leave a site with an annoying, pointless, or painful video as I am to leave a site because the font is ridiculous. Julie first started out by pointing out one simple thing, that videos need a start, middle, and end. It seems almost laughable to look at such a basic thing, but with out this foundational concept how can you progress into making a story? This was one of my biggest takeaways from the meet up, to enter with a plan. All to often videos suffer from a lack of just simply being thought out beforehand, Julie took this very concept and tied it into her next two subjects; knowing what category your video will fit and what tools you will have to do it with. There are three categories that we looked at Thursday • Event • Profile • Narrative She made a point to state that when making a video you need to know if your start, middle, and end will be focusing on an event, following a person, or narrating a story. She also noted that just as much preparation should go into knowing what you would be filming with.
She gave us a walk-through of all the levels of cameras, from camera phones to professional cameras. Great care has to go into being ready to light areas, stage them to look better, remember tripods, any of the tricks to make things look good. I did enter the meet up with a good amount of this information already under my belt (not that revisiting it ever hurts!) but there were some huge takeaways for me regardless. One nice rule of thumb I learned was to shoot two times more b-roll than footage of the subject. I was also very interested to learn about mirrors dslr’s, firmware mods for dslr’s (that fixed issues I was not even aware of), and lastly about lynda.com and Pro Photo Supply which are two companies I can use to test the waters as I move away from my GoPro and toward a dslr. As always the nicest part of the meet up was getting together with and getting to know like-minded people! Having a lot of people from the school was a very nice change, its rough going alone. CHIFOO was a great experience and I fully plan on going to the next meeting as well as becoming a member!