I’m pleased to introduce Forris Day Jr. as our next screencaster our continuing “Meet the ScreenFlow-er” series. Forris began using ScreenFlow only about two months ago. He uses ScreenFlow for software product reviews to compliment his written reviews. His reviews are posted and sold on www.writersstore.com. This is a great example of someone who — with little to no screencasting experience, and a simple studio — can dive in and start creating tutorials very quickly, learning as he goes. So without further ado, let’s get to the interview!
How long have you been screencasting and approximately how many screencasts have you made?
I have been screencasting for about 1-2 months. I have created three software overviews so far for www.writersstore.com. I will be doing about 2 screencasts per month. I have never used any other software for screencasts.
For what purposes to do you make your screencasts?
The screencasts are used within my written review of software products that The Writers Store sells. They are designed for people, particularly writers, who may be interested in particular software to see it in action and to answer common questions they may have about the product. They are accessed on Vimeo and exported directly from ScreenFlow.
What kind of studio or set up do you have?
I use a MacBook Pro with an Audio Technica AT2020 U
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of creating your screencasts?
Researching what I’m going to say is probably the toughest part. I try to do them with minimal editing and they are not designed to be perfect. I do them to sound natural and honest, so I do not clean up little mistakes. Th big mistakes I, of course, do but if I clear my throat or something to that effect it stays. I get distracted easily so that is what makes it difficult for me.
What’s the process you use for creating your screencasts?
I do software overview videos, so I first learn my way around the software. I go for one take but I usually do two because the second one always feels better. Once I’m comfortable I create a bullet list so that I do not forget any points that I want to touch on. I open the software and narrate as I go through the features of the software recording the video and audio at the same time. Once I finish the video I create an opening and closing screen using a picture of the product with a title and website information. I place these at the beginning and end of my video. I then go through the video adding callouts.
I like to enlarge at about 130% with 40% opacity on the non-highlighted areas when highlighting small things and just use 100% sizing when highlighting something larger such as half the screen for instance. I then loop my production music at about 10-15% volume under my voice. Finally I export to Vimeo directly from the software. I like how you can keep it logged in to do it every time. Very easy.
Do you have a screencast that you’re especially proud of?
I’m new to it and only have 3 up so far so I do not have a favorite. This is the first one I ever did using the built in mic from the computer. It is for Story-O outlining software.
In the second one I used my AT2020 USB mic for better sound. You can hear the difference.
What other programs/accessories do you use besides ScreenFlow to create your screencasts?
So far the only other thing I use is the AT2020 Mic just because it is easy to use. It’s USB, so it’s plug and play. The audio is far superior to the audio off the computer’s built in mic. I use this mic because I was able to purchase it from a friend of mine and I knew it was a good quality mic.
What advice would you give to other screencasters or video makers?
Use a good microphone! Do not use the computer mic if you don’t have to. It will be good but not good enough in my opinion. Watch your finished product to make sure it is clear and concise.
What’s the stupidest mistake you’ve made when creating a screencast?
I tend to swear when I mess up. Must be careful NOT to include them in the finished product. I just can’t help it. Misspellings are always on the top of my mind and sometimes I just do not like the way I say certain words such as “always” I sometimes pronounce it as if the “L’ were silent saying “ow-ways”.
Besides ScreenFlow what’s your favorite program for the Mac?
I like just about any program for the Mac. I just did a screencast for Movie Magic Screenwriter so I have to say at the moment that is it. I like Garage Band. I use that for my Podcast called “Coffee Shop Conversations” that I do for www.scaredstiffreviews.com.