Steampunk inspiration and resources

The Campaign for the Steamfest Gazette is now Live! (Plus Tips for Making a Campaign Video)

Alright, so I know our theme this month is DIY, but sometimes you also need a little help from your friends. 🙂 Crowdfunding through sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo is one of the ways that Steampunk makers find the support (not to mention the funds) to make their dreams come true.

I have just launched my second Kickstarter campaign for The Steamfest Gazette, which is both similar to and different from Steam Tour: An American Steampunk in London. But, why tell you when I can show you? Take a gander at my video below or visit the campaign page for more info, including how to get your hands on a “United we Steampunk, Divided we Fall” pin.

I have spent a lot of time and energy both on my own campaign and combing through the campaigns of other Steampunk enthusiasts. I will be bringing you lots of resources this month related to the planning, launch, and snazzification of your own Kickstarter campaign including making your video and creating slick graphics (without needing to be a Photoshop aficionado or needing to buy expensive software). Today, let’s talk about the video.

Compared to my first campaign video, this one is a vast improvement. I didn’t know anything about video editing the first time around, so I had to keep my script short enough that I could have it memorized (or at least well ad-libbed). This meant I had about one minute to get all the information in without stumbling over my lines. This time, I found some advice through an amazing website called Shillshare. I have actually signed up for the a paid account, which gives me access to something like 2,500 instructional videos, but the one I used to get advice for making my Kickstarter video is one of the free ones that anyone can watch. The teacher is Nick Paonessa, and he makes videos, including Kickstarter campaign videos, for a living. You can get access to his video, “Crowdfunding Video Creation: From Kick to Start” by signing up for a free account. (But, if you are interested in getting a paid account, let me know and I can send you a referral link. We both get free stuff that way)

I didn’t follow his advice to the letter (for instance, he says no video should exceed 90 seconds and mine is over two minutes) but I did glean some useful info. The most important tip that I followed involved the structure of my video. Paonessa says that you should start and end your video with a direct appeal right to the camera, but the middle can, and should, have other footage or images. This way you can have at least 30 seconds where you are reading a script rather than having to remember everything and deliver it.

“But, how do I add images?” you ask. There may be software already on your computer that will help you edit your video like pro! For instance, did you know that there is a way to edit videos in Photoshop? I used software called PowerDirector 12, which is an extension of Cyberlink, and it came as a free download with my new HP laptop. But, there are other platforms out there that you can download for free and they have very easy interfaces. YouTube.com even comes with its own rudimentary editing interface. It turns out those “YouTube stars” don’t actually know all that much more than you do!

So now that I have a little bit of knowledge under my belt, you can bet that you will be seeing more videos here on the site.

Have you ever made a Steampunk video, for a campaign or otherwise? I’d love to include them in my reader gallery at the end of the month, so send ’em my way at ForWhomTheGearTurns@gmail.com if you’d like to participate!

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