I used to be afraid of video. I was fighting a cocktail of anxiety, perfectionism, and fear of failure. It went much deeper than the fact that I didn't want to. I couldn't. Being sent on assignment to do video gave me anxiety attacks.
I knew it wasn't rational. I knew getting started was necessary for my survival as a multimedia journalist. I became increasingly frustrated with myself and afraid of what would happen if I continued avoiding it.
I've always watched videos and enjoyed them. I understood their purpose and was occasionally inspired them. I just couldn't wrap my head around any part of the process. Editing was scary. What are all those boxes and those other boxes and those things and how does it all fit together? Shooting was somehow even more overwhelming. I couldn't bring myself to learn.
I just really didn't really know where to start. My perfectionism was in the way. If I couldn't do THAT, today, why should I do it at all? I'd been building my skills in photojournalism for about four years by that point and saw how much I'd grown. It was about then that I realized that video would be the same process. My best advice is to start small.
I set out on my one second a day project. My goal was to complete a month of one-second clips, leaving me with a 30-second video. This was about two months ago. I was encouraged to start recording video on a daily basis. This quickly became my norm, actually. I started to see movement and recognize what made interesting frames. The best part is that I was using my phone, which didn't carry the physical barrier my camera seemed to. Baby steps, people. Waddle if you gotta.
I started to put my energy into studying the reasons to use video. I started to get attached to the idea of removing my voice somewhat from the story. I watched hundreds of mini-documentaries and learned about moments in a video, fell in love with people's voices, started to see what made a good story and started recognizing the general formula for videos.
It wasn't until I sort of learned how to edit by sheer force of will from my current job that I really overcame the fear enough to produce my first video. Once I could use a video editor and stitch pieces together, I started being able to learn to edit video just by watching it. I can study how interviews are cut together, the kinds of shots to use, how much b-roll always seems to be needed which was something I couldn't consciously do before I knew the basics of editing.
I wasn't able to edit until I had a lot of inspiration from watching videos, a lot of support from my job, and the mental health support to overcome anxiety and perfectionism. My first real video for my job was shot handheld on an iPhone with no exterior microphone. It was edited in WeVideo, which is free and online.
Once I became comfortable with shooting and editing with very simple tools, I could start easing my way into using my camera with a shotgun microphone. I'm saying that it's completely okay to be afraid of video, and it's hard to overcome, but possible.
How to overcome the fear of video.
1. Get inspired. Find videos that interest you. Contact me for inspiration links! Facebook works too.
2. Try to find the source of your fear and fight it! Mine was perfectionism and anxiety. It will look different for everyone.
3. Ditch the tools. iPhone and go. Use a free online editor. You'll learn your frames per second and how to develop a workflow when you get over the initial hill!
4. Shoot anything. Your dog, your friends, whatever.
5. Watch tutorials and don't be afraid to ask for help!
6. Don't be afraid to take baby steps! I highly suggest a one-second everyday project. I can't explain all the ways it helps. I use 1SE on iPhone to stitch it together. It makes it very easy.
7. Realize that these steps might take time, and any forward momentum is good.