Last week, I planned on writing and filming this murder mystery concept for my upcoming video. I had been thinking about executing this idea for a very long time and finally one Monday, decided to put this in action. However, things didn’t translate to what I had in mind. Let me start from the beginning.
IDEA & PLANNING
The idea was pretty simple. Okay, who am I kidding? It was a big ask. But, I believed in myself to execute something that would require a big crew. The idea was to write a serious dramatic murder mystery script and have the audience guess who was the killer. I would play six distinct characters and set a cinematic scene but later switch to cinematic/ video game format from the perspective of a detective.
This would be a fun way to engage the audience while also enjoying the freedom of creating a fictional reality. The script was simple and easy with a little inspiration from Friends – ‘the cake scene’ and the second half individual interrogation of each character. Each character had a different character trope which was revealed in their personalities . A few characters were picked from the previous video to set familiarity and comfort for the audience.
The idea was to divide the script into two halves. Part one would focus on the dinner and showcasing the relations between each character and part two was to focus on the interrogation of individual characters from the point of view of the detective a.k.a the audience. I decided to film at midnight as I stay close to a very busy street and well you know people love to honk in India. However, while it prevented the sound, it took a toll on my lighting and the fact that I was exhausted was evident in my acting.
Another issue was the sound. Despite having set the entire set for midnight to avoid sound issues, I couldn’t escape the wrath of the midnight honkers. Okay, I am exaggerating. The biggest issue resolved around a lavalier mic. It was not compatible with my camera and I had to resort to recording the audio separately on a podcasting mic, which did not do its job right. (and syncing it on my editing software was a hassle.) It was only after uploading my video that I realised that the lavalier mic had a knob to switch between phone and camera. So basically, I could have recorded the good audio straight to my camera and not have to rely on an external source for recording the audio.
Furthermore, I realised that my editing software was actually a Power Director phone version. It sounds weird but, Chrome OS actually works as an Android phone and instead of downloading and installing a product from the internet, we install the apps from the App Store. So while I managed to film all the footage on the camera and get 4K Footage, while exporting, I basically provided the viewers with a resolution/ version that is much lower. So, all that hassle of transferring heavy data between devices was not really worth it and I had to find a different laptop to do my editing.
I did not focus on marketing much for this video as I wasn’t really happy with the final product. But, to still be relevant on social media, I made a small reel in a Who Wants to be a millionaire format. And well this blog and my latest podcast was another marketing tool to drive the audience to my videos.
Let’s start with the learnings. I cannot stress enough how planning is. Had I planned in advance and done recce, I would have done a much better job. But, it is important to show up and deliver. I promised a video every Sunday so even if I had to post a below average video, I did. But, at the end it is about what you take with you. Anticipating the worst is important and on days you are planning to take a major risk and trying something out of the ordinary, keep a backup simple but good quality video for that week so that you still have something to show while you mend the errors of the experimental video. And for the insights, the click through rate ( number of people clicking on your video because of your thumbnail or title) was pretty decent although I aimed at keeping the thumbnail and title less clickable because of the content. The likes for the video was extremely low but the audience retention (how much of the video did the viewers watch) was average. The tags used weren’t as powerful and could have driven more audience to the channel so an hour should be dedicated to the right tags to drive the right audience. And Tube Buddy should be used to its highest potential.
I would be talking at length about each of these segments on my latest podcast- The Eye Production’s YouTube secrets. So if you haven’t already, Subscribe to my YouTube channel and My Latest Podcast, tie your seat belt and get ready to take off. I know the pilot is inexperienced but trust me this flight ain’t gonna crash.