Most project creators will tell you that making the perfect project video is really tough. It's true! But when artist Lori Leaumont sat down to make the project video for her small (but big-hearted) crafts project Girl Stories, she learned a few lessons that might make it a bit easier for the next time you have to hit "Record." Read on!
One of my Mom's favorite sayings is “The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” This is a truism that was particularly true for me the day I tried to make my Kickstarter video.My Kickstarter was supposed to be ready to launch on July 22nd, but sadly, things did not go as smoothly as I'd planned. I needed a video, and I'd been wracking my brains trying to come up with something cute or clever, but I had nothing. Finally, I decided to film my daughter Maddy running around the backyard in a cape, but it was brutally hot and she got really overheated, and then my camera battery died. I was totally stumped. I can write, and I can make art. But getting in front of a camera? Soooooo not my thing! I had no idea what to do for this, and everyone told me the video was so important. My camera was charging up downstairs. I didn’t know if I should just sit down in front of it and ramble a lot, or keep trying to think of something better. I just didn’t know. I wanted this project to be awesome! I wanted it to show people how excited I was about this, and tell a good story.
I was so frustrated and nervous about making that video, I almost didn’t launch at all. Now that I see the wonderful response I’ve gotten to my idea, I am so glad that I went through with it. Just putting it all together and telling my story was a great experience for me.
I realized that part of my hesitation came from a lack of confidence in my work and ideas. There was a nagging little voice in the back of my head that kept telling me that this was stupid, and would never work. I had already convinced myself that the project was going to fail, and I was wasting my time. I had psyched myself out before I even began.
I was also trying to make a video that looked like everyone else’s. My friends had made a video that was silly and endearing, and I really wanted to make something similar. I got so stuck on that idea, I just couldn’t move forward. When it came right down to it, I’ve never been comfortable in front of a camera, and I had to realize that that was just not one of my strengths. Rather than fighting myself, I had to let go and do something that was comfortable for me.
The other thing I realized was that I was trying to do it all by myself. I’m not always good at asking for help, but when I finally did, my friends came out of the woodwork to offer proofreading, video ideas, camera equipment, and to help me film. Telling my friends about my idea got them excited about what I wanted to do, and that boosted my confidence. I couldn’t have done that alone!
I was doing a project about girl’s empowerment; when it came down to it, I was really doing it to empower myself. Once I realized that, and I knew what I wanted to say to the world, I found my determination to get it done. Finishing that video was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done!
I’d like to quote one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman: “Trust those that you have helped to help you in their turn. Trust dreams. Trust your heart, and trust your story.” I think that sums it up for me pretty perfectly. Making a Kickstarter video was a way for me to share my story with the world, and I had to trust in my story and myself. I’m so glad I did!
Visit Lori's project page here.