I Would Appreciate Advice On How To Become A Video Producer/Part Time Writer

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Macdude2010, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Macdude2010, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

    Macdude2010 macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #1
    Hello All,

    I'm looking for some help, as I'm stuck at this point. I started up my YouTube Channel (Macdude98) in 2009, and my website (thinkjacob.com) in 2014, but now I want to move on to the next level.

    I am trying to apply for a job at any of the tech websites I have spent so many years reading and analyzing. The problem seems to be that no one seems to be interested.

    I would appreciate some help from my fellow macrumors members. If you, or anyone you know would be interested in taking on a part time writer/video producer, please let me know (you can PM me.) I also would love constructive feedback on my work and also tips for trying to become an editor at one of these sites. I thank you in advance.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #2
    Okaaay.

    Four things occur to me that need to be pointed out to you, before I even begin to address the remainder of your post. You may need to pay greater heed to your actual writing.

    The first is the very title: 'I Could Use Help'.

    Change it. Firstly, it is far too general (the thread title should give some indication as to what type of help is required - 'I could Use Help With…..'). Why make your readers wade through an entire post to find out what sort of help you require?

    Still on the topic of your thread title, the word 'please', or a suggestion that gratitude might be forthcoming ('I would be grateful if….'), rather than the sense of entitlement implicit in the sentence 'I Could Use Help', might be a good idea. We 'could all use help' but that doesn't mean we shall get it, and nor does it mean that anyone owes it to us, or that we deserve it. Ask politely, and respectfully, and people will be more likely to respond in a positive manner..

    Better still, amend your verb. Even reading a sentence which states "I Could Use Help" has me gritting my teeth. A thread title on the lines of 'Advice On How To Become A Video Producer Very Welcome' firstly, tells me more about what you want to do, and secondly, sounds somewhat grateful rather than endlessly entitled.

    My second concern is with your actual presentation skills. Paragraphs are a very good idea because they break up the body of the text and thus, make it easier to read. Each new idea, or thought, or plea, should come nicely tucked up in a brand new paragraph.

    I wear glasses, and I deeply dislike having to wade through ill-conceived blocs of poorly written prose. Make it easier for your reader to read what you have written.

    Thirdly, there is the small matter of grammar and spelling. By this I mean the minor matter of syntax, structure, spelling and grammar: The nuts and bolts of how you write a language and construct sentences in writing when putting words on paper, or on a computer screen.

    Now, I'll readily admit that these are matters which we are usually instructed not to discuss, draw attention to, or refer to on this forum as not everyone is a native English speaker, (hence errors are inevitable) and secondly, people are usually writing in their free time (and thus, it is a leisure activity, not a professional one).

    As a consequence, normally, I would not be this harsh, especially on a youngster.

    However, the combination of the tone of entitlement implicit in the thread title, and the desired job - part time writing - means that you are looking to make a living of some description by writing professionally. In that context, grammatical mistakes and spelling mistakes are unforgivable, and I, certainly, would not employ anyone who did not make - or take - the time and trouble to correct what they had written when soliciting a job prior to pressing the 'send' button. Your last sentence is brutally bad: You don't thank your recipient 'in advanced'. You thank them 'in advance'.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #3
    Are you looking to build your resume, or desire to be paid? My guess that the average web site has a small cadre of people, maybe only one receiving significant/any income from the endeavor as compared to many volunteers. I am not expert on this subject. I spent about 7 years writing game reviews for basically free. The only perk was some free games. :)
     
  4. Macdude2010, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

    Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #4
    Thank you for the constructive criticism, I have made changes based on your suggestions.

    Right now I am just looking for experience, I don't care if it is a paid job.
     
  5. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #5
    You're going to need to do a lot of (nearly) free writing/copy editing to build up your resume. Once you have a body of work, you can shop yourself around to tech sites.

    Craigslist has writing jobs.
     
  6. Scepticalscribe, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    My pleasure.

    Now, as you will undoubtedly see, I have made a further change (from 'changed' to changes') in your text. I suggest that you alter yours in accordance with that.

    Seriously, if you really want to make a career in writing, firstly, read, read, read, in order to build up the necessary subconscious, unconscious and effortless awareness of how the written language is supposed to be written. If you don't read a lot you will never be at ease with the written word or a master of language when writing.

    Secondly, get someone who knows how to write, or who understands the written word, grammar, syntax, and spelling, to read everything you write -and correct what is wrong - before it becomes public; otherwise, errors will creep in.

    Private writing is something else entirely - when writing for a private audience, or in a personal email, or a text, nobody will fault you for poor writing, not even the grammar police.

    However, when writing in public, or for the public, especially when your actual job, or task, is writing, to my mind, there is no room for error - whatsoever - in the written word. This is because grammatical or spelling mistakes in a publication look careless, and casual. They also make the writer look uneducated and incompetent, and lazy. Above all, they make the company under whose heading, or logo, or brand, this material goes out under look exceedingly sloppy and unprofessional. Not the message you want to transmit when you are touting for business.

    So, my third piece of advice to you is to practice your writing skills, and have someone ruthlessly correct, amend and edit whatever you write, someone who knows what they are doing, and is extremely competent in the field, and take advantage of this process to learn how to write properly.
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #7
    Have you ever applied to become a writer on this site? From time to time I believe they advertise that they are in need. Also, if you're going to link us to your website after asking for help becoming a video producer and part time writer, maybe that should be added to your interests under your name. Unboxing photos should maybe be moved away from the kitchen sink. :)
     
  8. Macdude2010, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

    Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #8
    I've been looking at jobs on craigslist, unfortunately there aren't any open positions.

    You have made me realize that for now, I will not be pursuing any paid jobs. I am currently enrolled in an AP English class, but I guess I need more practice. I also am contemplating favoring the video production than the writing, as this allows more room for error and I enjoy it more.

    My website it Thinkjacob.com and my youtube channel is Macdude98, I would actually prefer staying on the video side, so if you think Macrumors should pursue videos, let me know!
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #9
    Interesting idea for a thread. These usually don't disappoint.

    If I may, it looks to me like your post boils down to this:

    1. I have a YouTube channel and a website.
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    You suspect that no one seems to be interested in hiring you as a writer, and I suspect you're absolutely right. At the risk of sounding condescending - I'm actually trying to be helpful here - ask yourself this very, very important question:

    "What have I done to set myself apart from the crowd?"

    No matter how you look at it, that's how hiring people are going to look at it. The reality is that anybody with a camera can build a YouTube channel. What makes YOURS so special? What makes what YOU have to say any more interesting or compelling than what everyone else has to say? Keep an open mind - I'm not saying you aren't interesting, I'm saying that if you want to get hired you have to prove to people that you're more interesting than someone else.

    I'm honestly not trying to disrespect what you've done on YouTube or your website, but those two things are hardly enough to distinguish someone who's trying to break into a medium. You have to think beyond that.
     
  10. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #10
    I'm glad you brought this point up. I was speaking to a friend of mine that knows about advertising an idea and he asked me the exact same question. The answer is that I review products from a design perspective. I want to study industrial design, so I incorporate that into my videos.
     
  11. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #11
    That's a start. Now what makes your opinions on design more valuable to a viewer than someone else's? What level of design expertise do you have that others don't? That's what I mean by setting yourself apart.
     
  12. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #12
    Frankly, I believe design is objective, what might not look right to someone is a perfect design for someone else. I meticulously analyze designs of different products and give my opinion and reasons to support that opinion. I'm using this approach because of the uniqueness of it, but it doesn't seem to fit into most blogging models.
     
  13. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #13
    Frankly, there's nothing at all unique about what you've described - every product review out there is doing the same thing.

    You may have misunderstood my advice. You're still thinking in terms of trying to make your review process unique (although based on your description, it's just like all the others), when my advice was to focus instead on what makes YOU unique.

    I wish you luck.
     
  14. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #14
    Oh, I see what you mean. The only thing that is setting me apart right now is my age. At 16, you don't find many people doing the same thing I am. Unfortunately, this also is a disadvantage, because no one wants to hire a 16 year old for more than serving food or stocking clothes.
     
  15. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #15
    If you believe that "what might not look right to someone is a perfect design for someone else", then that's subjective ("in the eye of the beholder"), not objective ("agreed upon by all beholders").

    Giving reasons isn't "objective", it's simply called a rationale. I could give subjective reasons in a rationale, such as my fingers are bigger than usual, so tiny buttons are more difficult and error-prone to use and I don't like making mistakes or corrections. That's still subjective, even with the rationale.

    So basically, I agree with Scepticalscribe.
     
  16. Macdude2010 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Macdude2010

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    #16
    Both you and Scepticalscribe have made it clear to me that this is not something I should pursue professionally, so for now, I would just like advice on video production.
     
  17. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #17
    In my first year of college, a lady came over and talked to us about internships relating to the music business. She advised us not to pursue these things on our own. People will take advantage of you because they know you really want the "experience" noted on your resume, even if it's just sweeping the floor. She told us about going to some places and seeing how disgusting some of these places actually are. There are a lot of non-profits who hold themselves in this manner too. A college won't subject you to these kind of places, and they'll make sure that the work relates to your studies.

    Right now, focus on making a portfolio, and getting into classes/clubs related to photography, video, journalism, and writing. Maybe even find some opportunities to film projects, there's always people who'd appreciate it.

    Whatever you do, don't just focus on reviews. There's so many things out there beyond things you just buy and film.
     
  18. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Find a local video producer. Get to know their work (so you can talk about it intelligently). Knock on their door and tell them that your greatest desire in life is to learn the craft from them, that you're a great admirer of their work and that you'll fetch coffee or shine shoes just to be in their presence.
     
  19. Scepticalscribe, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #19
    Both Tomorrow and citizenzen have given you some excellent advice, the sort of advice which is well worth heeding.

    I'll add to that. I think it a good idea to give a wide berth to the notion of writing for a living, for now, and concentrate instead on video editing and production.

    While I cannot advise you on actual video editing, I can offer some general advice. If there is anyone - not necessarily only a local producer, - in this field whose work you admire greatly, and wish to emulate, seek them out and ask to shadow them or study under them, even if only for a very short time. At the very least, try to get in touch with them, and ask their advice on how they think you ought to proceed. You will learn far more from such an experience than you ever considered possible.

    As an undergrad, I had - and still have - a great respect and admiration for two of my professors. As I viewed them as role models, I wished to learn from them and learn to be a bit like them.

    One of them was the best teacher and public speaker - bar none - I had ever seen, a brilliant historical analyst, - who subsequently became my supervisor and mentor - while the other was an extraordinary scholar, a gentle, reserved man who ran a tolerant and impressive department, where a warm and welcoming ambience allowed for the cultivation of a rich and stimulating intellectual environment. I was exceedingly fortunate in that - at different times - I was able to work under them both, and the debt I owe them - not just for what they taught me as an academic, but for what they taught me about a great many things, is one I doubt I have come anywhere near discharging fully.


     
  20. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Ouch. So much for the writing career.
     
  21. Scepticalscribe, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21


    Ooooooh. Mea culpa.

    In any case, my advice was not aimed at you - it was directed to the OP, as his first two posts contained errors of both spelling and grammar, which to me, were red flags for someone who wishes to write for a living.

    However, he is only 16, and it is a very positive sign that he has signalled an interest in a number of particular areas at such a young age.

    In my experience, having a passionate interest at such a young age is invariably a very good sign, as he will develop the expertise in his field (his youthful energy, interest and passion will supply the necessary motivation and tenacity) which means that by the time he is in his early 20s, he will probably have become a genuine expert in the field, one who will be very much worth talking to.

    For now, the task is to learn, learn, learn, preferably at the feet of those he views as worth emulating; this doesn't mean that you have to be a carbon copy of your mentor; rather, it means that you learn from your mentor in those areas where his (or her) expertise, talent, and vision make them worth following and emulating.
     

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