Studio Test #3

We’re getting close. First half has some very basic color correction done- the lights are at 5000K, and really, to be neutral, 5500-5600K would be better. So I’ve got to pull a little red out. No biggie.

The second half is color corrected, and then has a filter applied that pushes some blue into the colors, but filters for skin tone and warms those somewhat. I’m not sure it’s my favorite implementation of the effect, and I’m looking into some more fine-control options. For now, it’s getting me the better separation between my subject and the background that I wanted.


Tangential’s not dead. Really.

I know there’s not been a new episode in a while- actually, something like two months. Fine. In that time, I’ve been super busy. Vacation (cause I needed it), surgery (cause I needed it), and tons of work & family time.

All that said, as the school year starts I thought I should run-down the changes I’ll be making to the show:

After a bunch of talking with Patrick Larkin, I came up with the following idea: I’m going to make two versions of each episode. The first version will be just like what’s up now. That means 4-6 minutes of high-speed delivery. These are meant to be jumping off points- things that you could use in a classroom to spark a conversation or lead into a debate. Or something. The second version will be longer- say, 10-12 minutes. The delivery will be slightly less… manic. And the depth I go into will be more substantial. These will be meant more as a flipped-classroom (as much as I hate the term…) tool. I think they will be too long for in-class viewing, but they might work well for a homework assignment that involves watching and then responding.

Anyway, since all the videos I’ve made thus-far are the short form ones, I’m going to be trying to go back and shoot long-form versions of the existing videos. Ideally, that means that I’ll be doing both types at the same time going forward, but there’s only so much time for me to shoot and edit, and there may be times when only one of the two shows up for a while.

First priority on the shooting schedule is the Red Head episode- and I can tell you that given start-of-the-schoolyear-crazy, I’ll be doing the short version first.

Just so you know.

How long is it ok to be a sage for?

So I have this quandry:

I’ve made a few Tangential videos thus far, and have met some (limited) success in the response to them. I worry, though, that despite the frenetic editing and my high-speed delivery, they’re really just a video version of sage-on-a-stage. Which is, to some degree, needed here. There’s information to be disseminated, and me talking to you is a efficient way of doing that. Also, given the nature of video, it allows students to watch multiple times to catch anything they might have missed. So that’s good. And, to be fair (to myself?) I keep the length of Tangential videos pretty short- usually around 5 minutes or so. That’s not much sage-ing, and I really intend them to be a jumping off point for class activities, discussions, projects and whatnot. Plenty of whatnot.

I had known about (but really, never watched) Hank and John Green’s YouTube channel CrashCourse, in which Hank teaches biology and John teaches World History. They are, it seems, better at it than I am. Which I am, for the moment, ok with. But these videos are clocking in at 15 minutes (plus or minus 5). Which seems like a lot of sage-ing. But maybe it’s not- and I’m not sure what that threshold should be. Thoughts?

BTW, here’s an early video from John:



That’s what I’m calling my newest project.

It’s in-progress right now- some test shooting and a prototype intro are in the can, so to speak. It’s easily the most complicated self-shooting rig I’ve worked with in at least a very long time, and maybe ever.

Here’s what it is:

Tangential is a series of video podcasts that cover a wide range to topics related to texts taught in High School English classes. I’m not teaching any English classes next year, and I can’t bear to have some of my more fun and tangential talks sit on the shelf. Plus I get bored. So I’m doing all the stuff I really like as videos so others can watch and learn and enjoy.