I have no problem putting myself in front of a camera and acting, performing, “hamming it up”, or delivering other recorded performance. It seems many Millennials are comfortable being YouTubers as well, putting themselves in front of the camera for school work, personal projects, or just sharing thoughts.
However, I’ve also noticed that a large number of students and teachers can become quite shy when asked to get in front of a camera and perform. The number of students that are uncomfortable with it dwindles each year, but many teachers are still firmly in the “don’t put me on camera” camp. I’ve tried a few tricks to get them more comfortable when recording video; filming some “ice breaker” questions for interviews, so by the time we get to the good stuff the camera is already rolling and they’ve forgotten about it is one of my favorite tricks. I’ve also had a good amount of luck with encouraging students to perform multiple takes, so they can select the best one later, rather than be stuck with one embarrassing shot.
Then last week I decided to turn on my video camera while my kids were playing around in front of my podcasting microphone. This is the result.
It was a great example of simple unstructured play; Dad’s microphone sounds awesome when we plug headphones into it, so let’s see what our voice sounds like when we make goofy noises, fart sounds, and other vocal tricks (mostly variations on fart noises and songs from hit movies). I captured 30 minutes of the video, and cut it down to just about 2 minutes. My hope is to use it to lighten the mood for future video and media workshops. I might be biased since they’re my kids, but I think it’s a humorous video that would help remind those reluctant to step in front of a camera that confidence comes through play. Playful learning is essential in establishing a more comfortable environment, and has the potential to help shy and reluctant video participants become more comfortable with being in front of the camera.
I’ll keep you posted on the reaction to it, but feel free to use it in any workshops you need to help lighten up.