I kicked off The Quarantined Wargamer, as its name suggests, because of the first lockdown in the UK, just as everyone was going into what we all thought of as enforced quarantine. My initial idea was that it would just be me rambling on about what I was doing, showing off some of my models and maybe some of the solo games I was playing. As time has progressed my idea about what the channel should actually be about has evolved a little bit. However, I have stuck to some basic principles.
When I started this malarkey I just shot some video on my phone but there were some issues with the sound quality and the picture quality that I couldn't live with. It didn't take me long to switch over to use my Canon G5X camera which meant I could film in full HD quality and with better sound recording. Another development was the move to a very simple video editing program that gave me the basic tools I needed to do some fancy things with film. Unlike my first videos, I'm now doing transitions cuts, splices, overlays and even the occasional special effect. I can insert pictures and links to other sites and videos which I couldn't do at the very beginning. Also, I'd like to think that my presentation skills have improved a bit as I have got more comfortable in front of the camera (I can probably be described as an introverted extrovert and borderline narcissist, so I'm getting more comfortable with every video)!
With the setup ready, a semi-quiet moment found and my script prepared, I can usually film the whole video as a single take. It hasn't always been as smooth as that, but practice and experience are slowing making my finished product better (I hope!). Of course, more complex videos such as tutorials need more planning and assembly, but the 'talking head' type videos I mostly do are a very simple setup that most people could replicate. It's worth stating that other than a subscription for the video editing software, and a small layout for a bracket to mount my script cards on, all the other equipment is stuff I already owned.
One of the most surprising and hardest parts of the whole process has been trying to find a photograph to use as a title page for each video. YouTube allows you to pick a thumbnail from some of the images that have been shot, but this is nearly always a picture of me pulling a gawpy face! I now hunt down a suitable cover picture from my photo albums to use. Sometimes I take a picture specifically for the title page, but a lot of the time I can find something from my personal collection of over 100,000 photos taken at games, wargame shows and living history events.
I have now made 40 of these videos and dipped a tentative metaphorical toe in the world of YouTube. I may eventually have to scale back the weekly publishing schedule, if and when the world gets back to normal and we start doing things at the weekend like we used to do. In fact, I was chatting with my wife today about how, in normal times, we always have something to do on a Saturday or Sunday and the hardest part of the last eight months has been adapting to staying at home. We have been keeping ourselves busy (in my case making these videos) but its a poor substitute for weekends away, visiting museums, attending living history events, exploring wargames shows or just haveing games with my friends or shopping with the family. Eventually, these things will resume and I'll have to reevaluate how I make my videos, but for the time being, I have no plans to stop.