We talked to prolific content-creator and time-lapse photographer Matthew Vandeputte (known online as @MatJoez) as part of our brands social video guide.
The following is an excerpt from the full interview which can be downloaded as part of the guide. Register here to receive a copy
How would you define your existing social media strategy? How do you use the different social media platforms and video formats on them?
While I’m on Instagram and Facebook, YouTube is the most consistent channel, I host my content on. It’s also home to a lot of other creators like myself.
I’ve just actually fine-tuned my YouTube channel, which covers the three main areas of:
1- Time-lapse photography
People can learn through everything from simple tutorials to video blogs, where I might be talking about gear or doing an unboxing, for example.
I always try to deliver something of value from the start. There was always the idea of “I don’t want to talk about boring things, I want to show people something of value.
It might be a beautiful scene like a sunrise, or an epic view that no one else would have seen before. Or it might be imparting knowledge or an experience that can be seen through my eyes. As long it’s got something the viewer can take away or learn from then that’s a good video.
What’s your creative approach when shooting a new project? Is the way you shoot influenced by the platforms you’re shooting for?
I plan what I am going to shoot in advance, and always think about what it is I’m shooting, and what I need to capture. For instance, I might bring a couple of cameras to do a long shot, a wide shot, and bring an extra camera to do some stills.
I usually set up a time-lapse camera first, which I leave recording. Then I do some quick ‘behind-the-scenes’ photos and video of what I am doing. After that I might put a drone up to get some aerial footage.
Again, if you know what you’re after it’s much more efficient time-wise.
I’ve got a mental checklist, but even though I’ve been doing it for a while, it can be overwhelming, especially when there is time pressure, so I do use a physical checklist as well.
The use of checklists when you are shooting with multiple cameras is the key to efficiency and making sure you are in control of everything you are doing. It’s imperative that you leave nothing to chance.
Instagram celeb Lauren Bath says you’re like having 2 or 3 content creators in one person. How do you do it?
It doesn’t come easy, and takes quite a bit of training to get good at it. But that’s how I live my life and you’ve got to be as efficient as possible otherwise there is no way you can pull it off.
This goes from how you store data, to which hard drives you use. And you need to be educating yourself and pushing yourself constantly. For example, when I buy a new camera and I spend weeks and weeks working with it, so I’m completely focused on the client and the job.
Tourism Australia commissioned me earlier this year to do a time-lapse video for Chinese New Year, and the fireworks and festivities around Circular Quay and The Opera House. And they wanted a fast turnaround.
For jobs like this, you need solid-state drives and a fast-mobile editing system because there’s just no room for error. If an upload goes wrong there is no reshooting. There’s only one set of fireworks going off.
So, I was running around with two assistants that night and had three or four cameras running to shoot multiple angles. I then edited all that footage overnight, and the video went live on their page at 8am.
You recently worked on a Facebook Live project for Tourism Queensland at Australia Zoo. How did this come about and what were the challenges?
Tourism Queensland knew from experience that animals do well on social media, and so decided to go live first with one of the zoo’s top stars: Wattle the Wombat.
Using Facebook as a vehicle for pushing-out really appealing and fun content meant we were able to reach a decent live audience straight away. And despite being a pretty straight-forward production, we still generated plenty of views.
But the responsibility of making sure it all worked was stressful. I didn’t sleep the night before as I had all these thoughts of what could go wrong. But I did all the testing, and had a couple of back-up plans.
My advice to people wanting to go live is prepare as much as you can.
To enable the livestream, I used the new Teradek Vidiu (see his unboxing video) product which plugs directly into the camera.
Obviously, it’s more than that, as you need experience with your camera, and you need to be able to think on your feet when a wombat smashes into your lens. Or the light changes or the wombat runs away.
All these things happen in a livestream, so it’s not the easiest. You need to ensure not only that the focus is right, but also that the exposure and composition is right. Then on top of that making sure the tech is up and running correctly; making sure the livestream remains ‘live’ and doesn’t cut out.
How did you start vlogging and do you think it is becoming the new normal on social media?
I just didn’t realise I should start vlogging, as I was already doing behind the scenes time-lapse diaries, where I would shoot a one-minute video explaining where I was, what I was doing and what I was shooting.
Then I discovered Casey Neistat, and thought if these guys can make a video a day then I can make it as well. I went out and made 100 vlogs in a row. That was almost two years ago.
And although I wasn’t getting too many views at first I loved the idea of having an audio-visual diary to look back on.
Will vlogging become the new normal? I think we will see it becoming less and less weird, while becoming more common. It’s certainly now becoming part of a new form of social media behavior.
Who are you drawing inspiration from at the moment?
I’d like to collaborate with be Casey Neistat, and one of the other guy’s I love is Julian Solomita who is YouTube Celebrity Jenna Marbles boyfriend. It’s the way Julian captures his personality and his life. There is no catch. It’s just him as he is in real life, which is in stark contrast to a lot of other YouTubers who try to monetise everything. I mean, I do that a little bit of that, but feel that I’m still genuine, and always open about stuff.
Vlogging does take up a lot of time, and while you don’t see much of an immediate return for the investment in gear time and energy, I just love doing it, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop vlogging unless something weird happens.
What’s your thoughts on some of the new immersive video formats like 360 and VR?
I love 360 and I love VR. I’m incredibly excited about the future of virtual reality. I think not a lot of people realise where it’s going to go.
I see a future where we live for a large amount of time in VR because it will allow us to do so many things. I’m thinking generations ahead where we can do photography workshops wearing headsets, for example.
By then we’ll have the processing power to transport us to craziest landscapes or Mars, you name it. Then you can host a workshop there. We’re still talking about physical settings on cameras and stuff but experiencing things differently.
360 is just going to get bigger; way bigger than 3D Television ever was.
This article is taken from Evolve’s forthcoming Brand Guide to Social Video.
Register here to receive your copy as soon as it is published.
You can connect with Matt on the following channels