So I made my first barbie video the other day. It was not easy.
I had been in awe of Vanessa Morrison for some time, but I had absolutely no idea how difficult it could be until I tried it myself. My video is actually done for a group of friends I work with on learning Spanish at home, with your kids. I really like how it turned out but I had to have really low standards about what appeared in the background.
My undergrad degree is in Technical Communication so I have lots of school and work experience with video scripting, production, editing, etc. Here are some tips to get you started with barbie video production.
Tip 1: There are lots of free sound effects on the web. That’s where I got the frying egg, chair screech sounds and Dun-dun-dunnn.
Tip 2: You can make your own sound effects or what is called “Natural Sound” (“Nat Sound” for short) by layering sounds. The playroom scene is my daughter’s voice layered three times.
Tip 3: Use what are called “Cut-away” shots to pass time. The close up of the frying pan gives the viewer the impression that enough time has passed for the daughter to leave her room and come to the kitchen. The viewer needs a short rest and will accept the time passage as realistic. When transitions are abrupt they are called “Jump cuts” and they give the viewer an uneasy feeling. During the shot where the daughter moves her chair and gets back up on it, I have what is called “jump cut” because it feels too abrupt. I should have used a cut-away shot but was feeling lazy. You can’t cut from a shot of her on the ground to a shot of her up on a chair without it feeling wrong. If I wasn’t going to show her getting up on the chair I should have cut away in between. So, this video shows one well-handled cut and one jump cut.
Tip 4: If you are voicing all your own characters you can use free sound editing software to deepen your voice or make it sound like a child’s. You have to change the pitch and the speed. The main voices are mine for the mom, my daughters’ for the daughter and my voice deepened and “echoed” for the title screen.
Tip 5: If you don’t want to deal with sound, you can use “subtitles” to narrate. This is what Vanessa Morrison does in her popular videos and her stories have a strong following so she’s doing things right.