I was lucky enough to meet Nathalie Lussier a few weeks ago at BlogWorld. I was immediately drawn in by her enthusiasm (not to mention her healthy glow!) and after learning she was a ScreenFlow user, asked her to be the next subject of our Meet the ScreenFlow-er series. Nathalie is a Software Engineer turned business owner, known as the Real Foods Witch. She turned down a career on Wall Street to help people eat more fruits and veggies, and now blogs about making healthy lifestyle choices easier. Nathalie does some great videos on her website, with a surprisingly simple set up. It just goes to show that a little creativity can go a long way.
How long have you been screencasting?
I’ve been using it for a little over a year, and I make screencasts almost every week for a variety of different audiences and locations.
For what purpose to do you make your screencasts?
I make screencasts for a number of reasons: 1) To create promotional material for my blogs, or to put on YouTube, 2) during presentations and product creation, 3) to teach my colleagues and employees how to use software or do certain tasks
What kind of studio or set up do you have?
I work from home, so my office is also my living room. I have an iMac, with a super simple USB headset. I’m looking to upgrade the microphone soon too! Oh, and I’ve got a set of bright lights to help with shadows, but I haven’t quite mastered the art of lighting without blinding myself.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of creating your screencasts?
When I’m creating a screencast that includes a video of me, I find that it’s hard to “look at the camera” when you’re also clicking around the screen or reading through some slides.
What’s the process you use for creating your screencasts?
If I’m doing a presentation I’ll create the slides first, and do a test run to see how long it will go for before recording. I always record the screen at the same time as the audio, since it seems to flow better and I can always edit things out if they don’t flow later. I don’t generally have a script, but if I’m doing something that doesn’t have slides I’ll have notes on what I need to highlight.
One of the things I’ve learned to really appreciate about ScreenFlow is the transitions, and the cool resizing functionality. At first I just made plain Jane videos, but now they’re really starting to become polished and fun. Sometimes I’ll export a ScreenFlow movie to iMovie and incorporate other types of video, audio, or stills. I also use iSkySoft to convert between .mov files and web ready video that I can upload to Amazon S3 and play in my membership area.
Do you have a screencast that you’re especially proud of?
Ooh good question! Probably the most fun I had was doing a spoof video of one of Google’s advertisements, with a raw food spin.
What other programs/accessories do you use besides ScreenFlow to create your screencasts?
I use the built-in iSight camera on my Mic. I have a Kodak Zi8 but I haven’t used it together with ScreenFlow, so maybe that’s next on the list! I have not tried any others.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out screencasting?
I would say to make a presentation using Keynote, or even just a PDF document that you can read through and practice getting the timing right. Also, doing more than one take works wonders! It helps keep the pressure off, and it’s so easy to edit parts in or out.
What’s the stupidest mistake you’ve made when creating a screencast?
The funniest ones are definitely when I try to record a screencast with me and my dog Millie together talking to the camera. Since she’s all black it’s really hard to see her, and it ends up looking like a funny shadow.
Besides ScreenFlow, what’s your favorite program for the Mac?
Mac-specific, it’s definitely 1Password. But I’m a huge twitter fan, so Tweetdeck is probably one of the programs I use most often. Oh, and I love Scrivener, MarsEdit and Skitch.
Thanks, Nathalie! You can reach her @NathLussier on Twitter.
Great YouTube video. I really liked the fast cuts.
Don’t be afraid to combine the Kodak Zi8 along with your screencasts. It’s a great way to add additional b-roll footage to your presentations. It’s also easy to combine the footage with your screencast recording. I talk about this technique at http://www.macscreencasting.com/using-multiple-cameras-in-your-screencasts
I find the Zi8 gives me a better more natural view than the iSight camera.
Using more of your video allows your viewers to better see your eyes, smile, and that glow Lynn speaks about. I believe it establishes a deeper rapport with your viewers too.
Keep up the great work and if you need help with your Zi8, just holler.