So your child wants to be a kid YouTube star? Where do you even begin? I mean most of us know how to upload a video – but there must be more to it than that… and is it even safe?
Meet ACMI’s Arieh Offman. Arieh has a background in education and filmmaking. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with the next generation of screen creators and consumers, organising workshops at ACMI for families to learn tips and tricks to create engaging videos.
Arieh knows all about creating your own videos from scratch. One of Arieh’s earliest creations was a Ghostbusters remake he made with his sister when he was eight years old – using tennis rackets as ghost catchers!
These days there are more sophisticated ways of creating great video content and kids are leading the pack; some even with lucrative careers!
Ahead of ACMI’s first free Family Sunday event on Sunday 2 April 2017 (which is YouTube themed) Meetoo caught up with Arieh to find out how families can embark on creating their own videos to share online.
How do I establish some ground rules for my child before we decide what kind of content to create?
The first, and perhaps most important, aspect to creating a fun and safe way for your child to make and post videos to YouTube is for you to be involved in the process. Whether you help create storylines or help shoot and edit, it is important you review the end product before it’s posted for the world to see.
Before publishing something online it’s really important to talk to your child about what information is appropriate to put online and what should be kept private. For example, avoid sharing anything that could identify where your child lives, what school they attend or local places they frequent is generally best kept private.
When filming, keep everything in the frame generic – but generic doesn’t mean boring! With ACMI’s tips (see below and/or enroll in a workshop!) kids can superimpose themselves onto cool backgrounds and transport themselves to a whole new world or galaxy!
The internet can be a tricky place to navigate for kids and adults alike. Luckily it’s possible to turn the comments section off, or make the videos on your YouTube channel private, which means only users who you allow access can view your videos. Family and friends often provide feedback that’s positive and constructive, encouraging your child’s development of essential screen literacy and technical skills.
What are the benefits kids can learn from creating content and filming/editing footage?
In this day and age children are not only voracious consumers of screen content but often creators as well. Being screen literate, that is, understanding how to interpret and create videos that people will want to watch, will give them a deeper understanding of the medium as a whole. It also allows them the opportunity to connect with others who share similar passions (by reviewing their favourite book or video game online) and to create a sense of community. It can help to improve a child’s confidence, while also helping to teach them a host of practical skills that will be useful in school and in their future careers.
Ok, so we’ve decided we’re going to create a You Tube Channel. What’s the first step? How do I decide what to post and when?
First, decide on your subject matter. Narrowing your page down to a topic or theme is a great idea. Choose something they are passionate about, be it a video game, unboxing toys or imaginary worlds. That way, you’ll post regularly keeping viewers interested and coming back to your channel. You can also create a social media page, such as a Facebook page, as another way to let your viewers know when new clips are available.
Young Melbourne YouTuber, Grace Mulgrew, 11, uses her dolls to create entertaining videos. Grace has developed storytelling abilities through practice and has now almost 700,000 subscribers to her channel, Grace’s World.
How do I create the best video I can?
For a video channel to be successful, you should try for the best quality clips you can achieve. Hand held devices such as iPhones and iPads have good features for filming and editing. If you have access to one, an HD camera can give you an even better result. Using a tripod or stand will prevent the camera from shaking.
There are plenty of neat editing programs around, and they are an essential tool to give your videos a polished look – from adding titles and effects, to layering music. As you get more adventurous you might consider your background and props – perhaps try out a greenscreen.
How do I make my channel inviting for my audience?
Personalising your channel will make it more inviting for an audience. Stand out by creating a customised banner image across the top of your page and share some information about what your audience can expect to find on your channel. Set exciting thumbnails that reflect what happens in the video is a great tool for encouraging views, and a customised end card when your video finishes can help to promote your child’s other videos.
Children’s entertainer Debbie Doo shows how it’s done with a colourful homepage that describes exactly what viewers can find on her channel – lots of music!
ACMI’s Family Sundays will be held on the first Sunday of every month from 11am to 4pm at ACMI in Federation Square. Entry is free and the activities are too. The very first event on Sunday 2 April will teach families about online screen content creation through a range of activities with appearances from YouTube stars including Grace Mulgrew, Debbie Doo and AFL Women’s league players throughout the day. For more information, visit acmi.net.au/family-sundays.
Oh and remember… if there is anything you ever want to know how to do – just search for it on YouTube… there is always someone whose shared their how-to video!