I proudly call myself a content creator, and this week, the youngest of my three platforms turns three. On Thursday, I will officially have been a YouTube video creator for three years. Scrolling through my old videos, it’s clear that I’ve come a long way and my editing style has progressed. I’ve also gotten a lot more comfortable with a camera and being in front of it. With that, I’ve also learned a lot more about who I am and grown my own confidence. If you’re considering getting a start in media production, I most highly recommend it, but there are a few things to know before you get started.
Number one: you don’t have to know anything or have any fancy tools. I started with my iPhone for everything, and edited all my videos on whatever version of iMovie came with it. My family had a DSLR camera and I eventually started to use that. I didn’t get a camera for vlogging until last year, nor did I start using Premiere Pro until I got to college. I didn’t have the slightest bit of experience in anything besides writing or causal photos, so I taught myself. I observed, watched videos, and learned a lot on my own. It ended up giving me a great base when I made it to college and started taking production courses for the first time. Now, a lot of what I do comes from what I’m learning in classes (it’s the perfect hands-on practice). Starting with what you have helps you get accustomed to the process and the concepts, and you can get a taste for if you really like it or not. From there, you can grow, and your toolkit can grow with you.
Number two: you’re probably not going to be great when you start. Even if you’re happy with your work in the moment, you’ll probably go back and cringe. It sounds like a bad thing- I promise it’s not. One of the most influential professors in my life tells all of his classes that if you go back and cringe at your old work, you’re doing it right because you’re growing. He adds that you can go back and re-edit and learn from what you outgrow. If your work is good at the start, you’ll probably find yourself outgrowing your aesthetic at one point or another and that’s totally ok. Media production is all about evolution.
Number three: you’re going to get stronger, learn a lot about yourself, and grow as a person. Media production is a hard industry- there’s a lot that goes into creating even the simplest of results and the online environment can be frustrating and comes with not-so-friendly criticism. If you create, you have to do it because you love it. If you do love it, though, the rewards are endless. Content creation has become such a big part of my life and the process is often therapeutic for me. On top of that, I’ve been able to look at who I am and get closer to becoming who I want to be along the way.
Media production isn’t for everyone, but it’s always worth a shot. There are so many skills that I’ve learned that are beneficial far outside the realms of the Adobe Creative Suite and social media platforms. If you’re starting out in the industry, or just trying it for fun: enjoy it and make the most of it. I’m certainly not an expert yet, but I’m happy to give advice based on my own experiences from the past three years.
Have a terrific day,