I had never given a thought to make videos as Santa Claus until the pandemic hit. Sure, I was making tutorial videos (and I've done some not-so-professional quality videos on other YouTube channels) of Santa Claus things, but I didn't see how big of a deal my college education and avid hobby would mix until the 2020 season.
I found myself prepping for a world of Santa live calls. Though I only had a handful, I quite enjoyed the mix of these two worlds I had kept a bit separate until then. Now I wasn't just in front of a camera talking about Santa, I was Santa, while still being in front of a camera. With this, came the challenge of not only acting, but producing in real time.
In the past I have ran camera for live events, but nothing has compared to the team of one doing the job of many that I found myself doing. With seeing the quality (or lack of) in other videos featuring Santa out on the web, I had a choice to not give it my best shot, or to take the high standards of cinematography I had been taught at university and give Santa what the children and he deserve: the best I could give. So I did just that.
It takes work, practice, and research to get near a standard of production of the videos I produce. In fact, it took me 10 years of hobby video making and 4 years studying at a university to understand what I do today. There were many times I had no idea what I was doing wrong when being critiqued for my lighting. On occasion I thought a shot looked fine, even it it wasn't exposed, framed, or focused properly. For student projects, that is common. When it comes to Santa Claus, it discredits his image if anything goes wrong, and I didn't want to be the reason for children to stop believing.
I've learned so much since this past season. I utilize OBS and do live broadcasts now as well as my pre-recorded and polished pieces. Without spending an arm and a leg, anyone can have decent quality for video calls and promo work. However, it is a rabbit hole that I'd encourage you to do a bit of thinking on before investing time, resources, and a massive amount of brain power to learn (again, many years experience to get a good grasp on it).
At the request of a few who have reached out to me personally, I have made a series of 3 episodes detailing the most important aspects of professional video work. This week's episode is all about prepping one's self to learn and continue to improve upon the technical and performance sides of Santa video work.
You can watch this week's episode here: Season 02
Yours as always,