frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (haters gonna make good points)
I'm getting a bit behind on answering comments today due to an epic bad mood this morning, but I'm carrying on with the daily posting!

[personal profile] goodbyebird asked: what do you look for in a beta?

In the past my main answer would have been to not be afraid to give me concrit. Don't get me wrong: my feelings are as tender as the next vidder's, and it will take a moment for my bruised ego to recover. But I'm always grateful for it. Not only does it help the vid and me as a vidder, it also gives me a boost of confidence that, when I post my vid, it's been viewed by at least one person who would have told me if it sucked.

I don't even mind if the concrit is of the "if this were my vid I'd do this" type, because it's obvious to me that if my beta has a different idea of what the vid should be doing than I do, I can always ignore some or all of their advice. But it's still useful to get the information of what they think the vid should be doing, because maybe it means that it's not currently getting its purpose across clearly enough.

However, praise is also great! I love the confidence boost, and if the praise is specific about what is working and why, that's every bit as useful as concrit.

So a more general answer might be, as [personal profile] shati said, a "discriptivist" beta. As in, "the vid is doing this", whether that functions as praise (because that's what I wanted it to do!) or criticism.

A few vidders have answered this question along the lines of, "someone to bounce ideas off of", which sounds SO GREAT but I'm always worried I'm asking too much of my betas so I've never done this before. I mean if nothing else, just having to put into words what I want a vid to do would probably be super useful. Anyway after the Orphan Black S2 finale I did have a great time chatting with [personal profile] violace about a vid idea, so that was at least a step in that direction.
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (watch all the vids!)
I'm putting together a panel for vidukon on vid feedback.  I haven't sorted out what the panel will look like, and I know that at Vividcon there have been multiple panels related to feedback and beta processes.  If anyone knows of posts that have talked about what was covered in those panels, how the panelists structured it, etc, I'd love to see them!  Or if anyone put on or attended one of those panels and wants to tell me about it, that would also be awesome!  Also, general posts about feedback/beta processes would be super useful.

(I have looked at the Fanlore pages for VVCs past, and they include links to some people's post-con write-ups, which have been a helpful start for sure.)

Right now I definitely want to include some space to discuss whether/how we can constructively criticise vids for their content and not just their form, but I don't really see myself filling a full time slot with just that.  In addition to that, I was thinking some other things that might be good to do:

 - a group concrit or beta process as part of the panel (I'd ask for volunteers to submit a vid for this, or do one of my own). 

 - people share experiences with feedback/beta that was helpful and talk about why

 - people talk about how they approach being a beta or other ways of giving feedback

Any other ideas?  I'm in brainstorm mode so I'd love to hear anything that might be relevant.  Even thoughts on feedback, praise, and constructive criticism of things other than vids would be super cool.
frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (vidding!)
Day 23: When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

I upload the video to my website for people who want a downloadable copy as well as to Vimeo.  I've finally given in and started uploading to youtube as well.  I dislike how youtube makes my vids look, but I also want more people to see them. 

When I first got my website, I'd imagined it would be a cool little site with summaries and images to go with each vid.  But I haven't actually updated the site itself in ages and it's basically become a semi-permanent repository for downloadable vids that I link to directly from my vid posts, as well as for images that I want to include in random DW posts.  Since it doesn't seem like people really go to individual sites to find vids anymore, I don't feel a lot of motivation to change this.

Also, I keep meaning to post all my vids in AO3, and I keep forgetting.

Day 24: Betaing: How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your vid? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

0-2, most times.  I've gotten really solid, helpful feedback from all my betas.  There have been a few times when I just didn't feel like using a beta, most recently with "Everywhere".  Mostly because it was a birthday gift and, by the time I had a workable draft, the deadline felt too soon to ask anyone.  I also didn't ask for a beta for "A Thousand Miles" and I think that could have been a mistake.  A good honest beta might have pointed out that the vid would be massively improved by cutting down a whole verse/chorus early on.  Something I didn't really appreciate until a month or so after I posted it.  Oh well. 

When I first started vidding I was desperate for betas and had no idea how to find one.  At the time it felt like the hardest thing about getting into vidding, much harder than finding tutorials on tech questions or something like that. 

Once I put out a beta request on vidpub and got two responses.  One of them ended up having a serious personal issue that kept them from beta-ing, which obviously I totally get.  The other person just sort of stopped responding to my PMs.  Not exactly a horror story, but I ended up dropping the vid entirely despite having a full timeline and a concept that I think was at least workable.  Sometimes I still wonder if I should give that vid another go, but it was a horribly depressing vid and I don't actually want to come back to it all that much.  Which is another reason why I dropped it, but the main reason was that I started having serious doubts about it.  Maybe a beta would have confirmed my doubts, but maybe they would have been my cheerleader and given me the confidence to finish it.

Another time I did an "open beta" on vidpub, and that was a great experience.  I got some really helpful feedback for the first time on a vid.  I almost feel like things like that are easier to do when you're a newbie because, if you're afraid the draft sucks and you don't know it, you can always tell yourself that no one is judging you too harshly.  Or at least they shouldn't be.

I've tended to only work with betas when I have a full or almost full timeline.  I think it'd be interesting to try working with a beta when the vid is less developed and seemingly-final.  But I'm afraid to ask for that much from someone, you know?

30 Questions )

frayadjacent: Buffy smirking over Giles with quarterstaff (vidding!)
I've been vidding a bit over a year now.  I've joined Vidpub, participated in Festivids, posted on various vidding-related coms, signed up for another vid exchange, and even spent hours and hours in #vidding chat.  But something is missing: a handful of solid betas to give me feedback on my Works in Progress. 

Soooo..is anyone out there OK with being asked to beta future vid projects?  Saying yes doesn't mean you're promising to beta anytime I ask, but rather that 1) you're OK with being asked, and 2) you imagine you'd say yes at some point, depending on availability, fandom, etc. 

[personal profile] jetpack_monkey has already offered beta services for future projects.  This is awesome!  But I'd love to know if there are other people out there as well who are willing to share their thoughts on my WIPs.  More brains = better vids, I suspect?

Since I don't have much experience yet with the beta process, I'd also love to hear how it works for you, how much depth you like to go into in feedback, how many versions of a WIP you'll look at, etc.

ETA: Um, I forgot to write this?  But I am more than happy to exchange beta services, not just receive them!  Be forewarned that I have not yet ever beta'd a vid before (or any other fanwork), but I'm getting more confident that it's something I could do.  A gal's gotta start somewhere, right?

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