Video Review Mentors -- Would you use one?

Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
In the last poll about video reviews it turned out that quite a few people were uncertain of a) how exactly the program works and b) how to edit a video or put one together properly.

We've been thinking about Video Review Mentors for awhile now. If that option were readily available and you could learn to make a good video in a stress free setting with one of our amazing mentors, would you sign on to do so?

Mentors, how many of you would volunteer to teach people how to do video reviews? How many non mentors would sign up to be mentors just to teach this skill?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
I would totally use a mentor to learn to do videos!
11
I would not use a mentor - it's just too hopelessly complicated to me
2
I am a mentor and I"d love to teach video reviews
8
I am a mentor and I would not teach video reviews (tell us why in comments)
3
I am not a mentor but would love to sign up to help people do videos
3
I am not a mentor and would never sign up just to teach videos
Other - the inevitable other
1
Total votes: 28 (23 voters)
Poll is closed
12/22/2011
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Antipova Antipova
Good question, and I hope this can come to fruition!

I, though, am a mentor who would probably not mentor video reviews... not because I think it's a bad idea, but because I think I would be really bad at it. Asking questions and giving comments on a written review is easy for me, and I think I do a pretty good job of helping my written review students improve their focus and their writing. Mostly because I can do everything by asking questions. "Where was the motor? Why were you excited to choose this one from among all the other similar ones possible?" But videos... seem much more personal, and I think it would be really hard for me to say "try not to say 'um' so much, try to / not to show it like that, be concise, be sure you include..." I don't know, it just seems like it is much harder to give feedback on something that's a recording instead of a work-in-progress like writing is.

As far as giving technical information or helping navigate the program, I'd be glad to help. So if there was a technical side mentoring program, I could do that, but probably not creative side.

Creatively, I think I'd have the same tips for everyone:
1. Show the rigidity, flexibility, squishability, vibrations, and if you can stop the vibrations with your hand
2. Use good lighting, bring in a lamp and take off the shade
3. Have a little outline of what you're going to say in advance
4. If you notice that you repeated yourself a bunch, edit the repeats out
5. Be concise

And after that, I'd feel like any commentary I would give would be trampling on their creative license, so I wouldn't really have anything else to say.
12/22/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
I have a certain way I tend to do videos, and I wouldn't mind helping people stick with a format for videos, but at the same time I would also probably sign up to learn from somebody else because I feel like my videos are hopelessly boring.
12/22/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
I'm working with my current student and she is VERY interested in doing video reviews! I'm planning on working with her on reviewing her two assignments for the class, and then walking her through making a good video review. I really think that this is an awesome idea!
PS: If anyone's looking for a mentor, I'm open!
12/22/2011
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I've done several video reviews and had private comments on how folks like them. I would not mind helping someone "find their voice" in doing a review and with a bit of the technical aspects of it.

What bugs me is there are some folks whose reviews aren't always in focus or its like their auto-focus keeps messing up and they will show up and not show up or something as they move around. I no longer watch their reviews because it irritates me to no end.

But I love doing reviews and I do them without showing my face - so I wouldn't mind helping some learn how to do this.
12/22/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
I would sign up to teach. Especially in teaching others how to streamline their information and not discuss redundant info that belongs in a written...
12/22/2011
Kindred Kindred
I would love to mentor video reviews and have tried in the past with students with mixed results. I'm not completely sure how it would work technically speaking. When I worked with past students, it was typically a retrospective teaching. So for example, a student would make a video review and I would make comments/suggestions for them to incorporate into the next review. I've also ha brainstorming sessions with a student prior to making the video to give them creative ideas of how to overcome specific obstacles. I can't think of an easy way to do real time editing/commenting on a video without it being extremely time consuming and potentially frustrating for students. I'm looking forward to this development.
12/22/2011
Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
Quote:
Originally posted by Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I've done several video reviews and had private comments on how folks like them. I would not mind helping someone "find their voice" in doing a review and with a bit of the technical aspects of it.

What bugs me is there are ... More
I want to add onto my comments that I've had this happen to me too with my auto focus and JR was kind enough to point it out to me but told me to not bother redoing it.

I do wish we would "standardize" the reviews a bit. I mean - I'm sorry - but a vibrator review darn well better show it turned on and vibrating. I don't care about the package but I wanna hear it and see it work.

As far as lingerie -I adored Badk1tty's reviews of two lingerie outfits as she showed the lace and design, etc. without actually wearing it. I'd love to be able to do some of those (although I do show photos of me wearing the item) because I wound up buying the two outfits she reviewed and they ARE perfect for me.

ok - shutting up now!
12/22/2011
indiglo indiglo
I'm not a mentor yet, but when I become one I'd be happy to focus on video reviews. I'd love to help people keep redundant info out of the video (as BBW mentioned) and help them learn how to streamline their videos so they get all the pertinent info in and keep it under 3 minutes.
12/22/2011
Steph Steph
i would like to be able to use a mentor to learn to use videos. i think it would help the site with better produced videos
12/22/2011
Kallisto Kallisto
Probably not, I'll never do videos. Too much work.
12/22/2011
Owl Identified Owl Identified
I'm a mentor, which I very much enjoy, but probably wouldn't want to do video mentoring. The reason is simply that I'm kind of picky about how I like videos to look, and I probably wouldn't make a very patient video mentor. I get really irritated by shaking cameras, inaudible speech, repetition...lots of things. I'd be interested in maybe coming up with a sheet of pointers or tips for new video reviewers to look to, though! Written resources, I could do!
12/22/2011
Beck Beck
I could use a video review mentor, but I would not want to be one.
12/22/2011
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
I would love to have a video reviewing mentor! I'm not sure if I could be a mentor, but I would love to know how to make videos because I'm unsure of the process and would love to make my reviews more helpful
12/22/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Hot 'N Sexy TexasMama
I want to add onto my comments that I've had this happen to me too with my auto focus and JR was kind enough to point it out to me but told me to not bother redoing it.

I do wish we would "standardize" the reviews a bit. I mean ... More
I agree that there should be a list of things shown; I personally really like to see packaging! And also turning on a toy for the review!

I wish that there had been a video mentor program when I was starting, some of my earlier video reviews I really wish I could re-do now that I know more about editing, my personal camera, lighting, ect!
12/22/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I agree that there should be a list of things shown; I personally really like to see packaging! And also turning on a toy for the review!

I wish that there had been a video mentor program when I was starting, some of my earlier video reviews I ... More
a few snapshots can show packaging in the text review. If there's something different, special, or difficult with the packaging, then I like seeing the packaging
12/22/2011
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
a few snapshots can show packaging in the text review. If there's something different, special, or difficult with the packaging, then I like seeing the packaging
Hmm, true! I guess it's up to personal opinion
12/22/2011
Silverdrop Silverdrop
If I ever started doing videos, I'd definitely want a mentor for the technical side, and also a mentor for helping to script it out and make it more creative. I think there are people who could mentor both skills, but there might be people who would prefer to only mentor one or the other.

A set of guidelines for things that should be included in every (applicable) video review is a very good idea. If it's flexible, flex it. If it has a motor, turn it on - then set it on a hard surface so we can see how it vibrates. If it's waterproof, drop it in a bowl of water and show us it's still running. If you own a comparable toy, show them side by side. If it's a male toy, and you own a dildo, then use the dildo to demonstrate it. That sort of thing.
12/25/2011
Illusional Illusional
I'd totally want a video mentor.
I get nervous and I say um a lot. I'd like to perfect it.
They look fun and get across the same amount of information ya know?
12/26/2011
Owl Identified Owl Identified
Quote:
Originally posted by Silverdrop
If I ever started doing videos, I'd definitely want a mentor for the technical side, and also a mentor for helping to script it out and make it more creative. I think there are people who could mentor both skills, but there might be people who ... More
I actually don't think putting a vibrator on a hard surface necessarily shows me a lot. You can have a crappy, buzzy vibrator that won't get a lot of folks off, but because the motor rattles around inside a lot, you'll get a lot of banging on the table. Some of the higher quality, rumbly awesome vibes I have don't buzz around on a hard surface too much. I think this "test" can be misleading. I don't mind when people do it; sometimes it actually helps a lot. I don't think it needs to be a requisite, though.
12/27/2011
SilverIsis SilverIsis
I'd like a mentor program for the video reviews. My main problem at the moment is that I have no idea how to edit out all the incidentals so I end up doing 20-30 takes to get those down to a minimum. I'd also like ideas to make them more creative/helpful to those watching.
01/08/2012
Carrie Ann Carrie Ann
Thanks so much for all your answers, guys! Seems like most everyone would use a mentor and a lot of you would be mentors.

Good news is, any of you can put availability as a video review mentor on your mentor profile! Letting new folks know that you can teach them those skills should encourage more new people to do videos while at the same time ensuring that they're doing them well.

Also, though it's not official at the moment, if any of you already advanced reviewers are interested in doing video reviews and want to work with one of the mentors who is willing to teach them, we're okay with that! Just contact me (carrieann at edenfantasys dot com) and we'll work out the details.

A few things about video mentoring, however.

First, there is no one style or way that is "right". We all have preferences and opinions on what makes a good video -- and I'd say you should, if you want a mentor, choose one who does videos in a way that you enjoy -- but there is no correct way. They are not required to show certain things. Many of you have mentioned that they need to turn the product on or show if it flexes or show the packaging. While this is great it is not at all required.

People can do video reviews to show any aspect of the toy they feel requires video or just to give you a quick peek at the toy. Video reviews should absolutely not mimic the information given in the text review. They do not need to have all the sizing and cleaning info and all the small details that can be given in text. In fact, the staff actually prefer videos that are creative and fun to those that are "too" full of specs and tiny details.

The point is, don't feel that your way is wrong or that you need to do videos the way this reviewer or that reviewer does. Videos should be done YOUR way. We like you best when you are you.

Second of all, I think most people seem to want a mentor to teach them a lot of the technical aspects of doing a video. How to actually film and edit one, how to use the software that comes with their computer, how to upload and add the intro. If any of you are going to hook up as mentors and mentees (is that a word?) please be sure you're clear with each other regarding what sort of teaching you'd like to receive or give. We don't want people being told they have to include this, that and the other info in their video only to find out they just wanted to know how to edit out a dog barking. Ya know?

More feedback about this is totally appreciated, even though the poll is closed, btw.

Also... More polls will be coming! I'd say look for another mid week or toward the end of the week. We really appreciate the feedback we've been getting so keep giving it, please!
01/10/2012
Total posts: 22
Unique posters: 16