For those who have been wondering, yes, the rumors are true—very soon I'm going to be starting my own YouTube show. And I'm very excited, because as I understand it, I'm the last person left on earth who doesn't have his or her own YouTube show. So . . . huzzah!
The show is titled "Tell Me About Your Damn Book™" and I'm going to be interviewing local authors about their work. It's gonna be the monkey's eyebrows, baby. The eel's hips. The elephant's instep.
Anyhoo, before I even entertained the notion of having actual authors arrive on my set, I had to acquire certain skills and equipment.
Learning about aspect ratios and video framing? Check. Setting up clear and properly leveled audio? No sweat. Getting up to speed on the coolest video editing software? Eh, that was frustrating and took a while, but I got there.
But then there were the lights. Oh my God. The lights.
I got myself some softbox lights and looked up where to place them and placed them where they were supposed to go. Then I lit them and it was like the set was on the surface of the sun. So I swapped out the bulbs they sent me with softer ones and lit the set, and it looked like the dark side of the moon.
I moved those goddamned lights here, there, and everywhere in every configuration imaginable. One setup cast too much shadow on the background. Another setup had the lights bleeding into the camera shot. Yet another made me look on camera like I was eighty years old. (I'm only seventy-eight.) The lights were too high. The lights were too low. Hours and hours spent researching, rejiggering, re-configuring, resetting, rejecting, and restarting. Take my word for it when I tell you that lighting a set is not for the weak.
But finally—finally!—I got the lighting just the way I want it. Now I just have to caution my interview guests not to trip over the lights, nudge the lights, breathe on the lights, or engage the lights in any way.
Because I am not going through that again.