In the era of getting knowledge from the Internet, development of blogs and popularity of services like YouTube, CVs written on paper or even digital ones are becoming less and less attractive. Creative people looking for a job invented a Video CV.

Short, self made films present not only the experience but also candidate's education. As it draws senses, the film presentation allows to catch recipient's attention and it delivers much more information about the person, and it's more effective than the written form. It may be an asset, but it's worth remembering that the film material will be watched many times and analyzed in various ways. This is why self-presentation should be taken care of, made in accordance with the basic rules of filming art. Production may be entrusted to the professionals. There are companies offering such services, you can also do it yourself. But can one person be the producer and the executor at the same time? Of course. However, it's good to have someone to help, because as the production of self-presentation is a small project a helping hand and eye may be very useful. Such a "crew" can get to work.

A scenario is the first thing. It's the most important step to create the film. It orders thoughts, precises the ideas and of course it may, and even it should be written by the presenting person. Video CV is a story about the knowledge and skills, about the career path and talents. Remember, however, that this story must be absorbing, it must be interesting. And you should stick to a simple rule saying that every story must have the beginning, middle part and conclusions. You'll avoid being misunderstood and you won't make the recipients tired by watching it. It's good to look through the achievements of other people before you start with your own Video CV. After you’ve watched various self-presentations it's easier to come up with great ideas and learn how to avoid some of the mistakes. 

Step two - filming. Twenty years ago, getting the appropriate equipment could have been a problem. Today, digital cameras are widely available. Even a mobile phone can be used to film. Nokia N8 and iPhone 4 are the great choice. Also photo cameras have the filming option. As a matter of fact, every Canon DSLR released in the last year is an almost professional filming camera, and it can be bought for almost 1500 PLN.  Of course, you can use the equipment you have to make the self-presentation, it's not necessary to invest in new appliances. 

Having the camera and a tripod, you can begin your work. That's where you could use some help. Setting film frame and filming yourself with the camera on tripod may be successful at first, however, the success is more often achieved after about twenty attempts. The second person behind the camera, listening to what you say can make the process efficient and natural. And you can ask your assistant to hold the text under the lens. An actor will feel confident and the text held next to the lens will make the speaker look exactly on the recipient, just like on the news.

Recording language versions is worth considering while filming. It may occur useful for people speaking foreign languages. Extra asset to show.
You should also think about the lighting. Natural daylight would be the best. It's good to have proper lighting even though the cameras can deal with difficult conditions. Well filmed material allows to obtain better, focused view without image noise.

After you've done with the camera it's time for editing. It'll give the final shape to our presentation. Almost every computer software has an editing program (Movie Maker, Pinnacle, Sony Vegas, iMovie, Final Cut Express). You can use free application or purchase one (you can have a good program for 300 PLN). There are applications enabling the edition of film material in a mobile phone. There's the variety of tools. You just have to think the edition over. It's worth to remember that even a film which is 2-3 minutes long, presentations are usually like that, may be boring if the only thing it presents is the talking head. The editor should begin his work with putting the whole statement so that it's logical and coherent with the scenario.  When single words make the logical statement we can diversify it with additional view. When you talk about your work - show the studio, ready works. When you talk about the inspiration for your inventions - show yourself in the environment that inspires you. 

Sound is the next step. The Internet provides you with many sites, which offer ready tunes for free or just for placing the author's name. You can also become a composer thanks to programs creating music from samples available on-line. Many of the compositions from the credits are created with Garage Band - for Mac, available in the basic package.

Publication is the last task. Usually, self-presentations are published on-line because it's easy to send link via e-mail. YouTube is the most popular place to publish film, but you can also use Vimeo, SmugMug and Daily Motion. If you don't want to become popular, don't forget to mark your film as non-listed (it won't appear in the results). "Hidden" film will be available only through the link you send.

You can send your presentation on a CD or pendrive. It's good to code the file in at least three formats: avi, mp4 and mov. This ensures you that at least one of them will be read successfully. 

Interesting, well prepared self-presentation will not assure the job, but will definitely help to get it. You can use automatic device creating Video CV available in some employment agencies. But have you ever dreamed of being the Talking Head?

Sergiusz Wasilewski

no 67 January 2013

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Check the archive

From editors

Fast ride without popcorn - interview with Sławomir Fijałkowski - Maciej Mazerant

Directed by Jakub Czekaj

Film and mimesis - Artur Zaguła

Career in Culture
The Internet gives freedom - interview with Dawid Marcinkowski, director of Sufferrosa - Daria Głowacka

Culture Industries
Idea is the most important - interview with Olgierd Cygan, the initiator of Filmteractive - Daria Domańczyk

Young Culture
I like my characters - interview with Kuba Czekaj - Magdalena Skrzypczak

Self-presentation - Sergiusz Wasilewski

From Lascaux to series on-line - Arkadiusz Biedrzycki

On the Margin
X, y, z... - Agnieszka Furmańczyk