I seem to alternate between berating Nick so that he doesn’t get a big, fat head and adoring the s**t out of him because he actually is pretty damn awesome. And this blog post is all about the latter.
More specifically about his creative abilities and his relatively new found knack for throwing together some awesomely shot videos made up of snippets of footage that he’s taken on his iPhone or his shiny new Go Pro and edited on either said phone (which he did a lot of to begin with) or on his MacBook (which he tends to do more of now).
The first time I really saw him do this was when we first arrived in Nanjing, China. We went to a class with Mum and Dad, and Nick was very quiet on the train ride from class to dinner. He was fixated on his phone and barely even looked up as he stepped off the train, into the crowd and onto the escalator. He followed us to the restaurant, we ordered while he was still fiddling on his phone and then he sat back looking pretty pleased with himself. He handed his phone across the table to Mum and Dad with his headphones and told them to press play. He had been taking little snippets of footage during the class we had just been teaching and, all on his phone, he had just edited it into a little promo video for Mum. It was so cool and Mum was chuffed! And of course, that meant that Mum wanted more. As she always does. And thus poor old Nick became the official Anna M Anderson videographer in residence. He did a few videos of the classes and events she had in China. One of my personal favourites was a Christmas party we put on, which for anyone who knows us is hilariously ironic since as a family we don’t celebrate Christmas and never have! Pretty much what we ended up with was a kids party, complete with the chocolate game, word games (so technically it was still learning English hahaha), lots of dress ups and even a toilet paper snowman team competition. It was a really mad fun chaos and Nick captured it brilliantly. It’s a shame that it was posted on a Chinese video platform cos I have no idea how to link it here!
When we started working in Croatia as a sailing holiday team, Nick really got stuck into filming and making videos. At the beginning of the 2016 season, he only had his iPhone to film with. He made a couple of short videos for the company that we worked with to use on social media, and then he offered to make a trip video for a couple of guests we had. You know because when you come back from holiday, you tend to want to show your friends and whanau all 379 of your photos. Which some people politely sit through, despite being bored out of their mind. Nick reasoning was, if I could make a video for you of your sailing holiday, a) it’s much shorter to watch than 379 holiday snapshots and b) it’s way more engaging to watch than static images! It was a great idea and I was even more proud of him when he sold a few videos to guests. They really liked his work, he really enjoyed making them and aa whole new world of opportunities open up for him.
Now, as far as making videos goes, Nick inspiration has come from two main sources: Casey Neistat and a couple of great guys that we met in Sydney, Ben and Tristan. We met Ben and Tristan as skateboarders (another one of Nick’s hobbies!), and soon learned that an interest in long boarding was not the only interest that they had in common with my Blondie. As working professional videographers and amazing story tellers, the stuff that these guy could produce with video equipment, a subject and a story was spectacular. And they were kind enough to not only share some hard earned pointers with Nick but to also give him feedback on his work which was incredibly generous of them, especially given how flat tack Ben was with his own business Redscope Films.
If you haven’t heard of Casey Neistat, then you probably don’t spend much time on Youtube or in the cool kids world of social media. A self taught film and content maker who lives in New York city, Casey started a daily vlog in March 2015 and managed to keep it up for 534 consecutive days. WHEW! Thats a lot of footage and a truckload of editing! Casey’s vlog was definitely another inspiration for Nick and in May this year Nick decided to follow Casey’s example and begin his own vlog. Daily vlogs was a stretch (editing being the main time eating consideration) and so Nick set himself a goal of publishing weekly vlogs. It was a tall order to begin with. Nerves definitely went haywire in my poor Blondie’s brain, and the first vlog he shot he didn’t actually end up publishing until a couple months later. He fought against perfectionism, against his very strong tendency to procrastinate, against time and other commitments that drained his energy and motivation. And he stuck with it. He is currently editing vlog number 21 and has learned so much along the way. As well as vlogging regularly, Nick has also made time to shoot and edit trip videos for some of our guests this year for the summer just been (each trip has a hashtag and each trip video is named after the trip hashtag! Hence why we have a video named #heygriffcanyou hahaha) , plus some gorgeous little vanity edits that he has done for himself (like #newobsession which is all about free diving, a hobby he loves to share and get other people hooked on!) or friends, like “Crowds and Balloons” made for a friend of ours Sabrina as a way to wish her brother in Montreal a happy birthday from Split. He has even recently broken into the world of boat reviews, with his first walkthrough of the More 55 posted two weeks ago. Telling stories and telling our story is pushing him outside of his comfort zone and expanding his abilities! Not to mention creating some awesome contacts for us here in Split and surrounding areas here in Croatia.
Vlogging from just his naked iPhone has now evolved into using GoPro footage plus his ‘vlogging rig’, his iPhone with a fluffy directional mic on it, on a clamp that often holds a portable battery pack that is always connected to his iPhone, because shooting footage is charge hungry. He looks like a bonafide vlogger now, instead of just another guy always talking to his camera phone! A guy at the Biograd Boatshow saw Nick and his vlogging rig, was too shy to come and say hi, so googled vlogs pertaining to the boat show, found ours and commented! Which felt pretty cool, to have a comment on one of the vlogs from someone we didn’t know hahaha.
His self taught abilities and his natural eye for what to shoot (and how to shoot it better than he did last time!) has really come along in leaps and bounds. He has worked really hard to take on board constructive (and not always pleasant) feedback, he is constantly looking at how to make his vlogs and videos more concise, more audience friendly and more interesting to watch. I am really proud of how he has risen to this challenge that he set himself, at how he has collaborated with others (Tash, here’s looking at you!), and at how he has created content and opportunity for him to try new things. It might drive me mental that he is constantly recording (I have managed to stop making rude gestures at the camera, woohoo) and I can deal with that. Especially when I see the awesome videos that he turns out. And we are already starting to reap the benefits of having our lifestyle and story out there for people to really get to know us before they book a sailing holiday with us.
Yes, this is a shameless plug for my husband’s videos. I am 150% a proud partner and wife, proud of his staying power, proud of his learning curve and and super DUPER proud of what he has achieved so far. Check out our Youtube channel and maybe even subscribe if you think you will enjoy the vlogs!