Are You a Teacher? These Tips Might Be Useful, Considering…

I was chatting to an old friend this morning, a lecturer at Swinburne Uni (where coincidentally I have just started doing an online Bachelor of Media and Communications over the next 4 years online).

In this chat, she mentioned that because of the switch to online teaching / learning as a consequence of this dratted BeerVirus, a LOT of people are having to do crash courses in self teaching of video creation and all the things that go with it. These include audio, lighting, writing, special effects and so on.

So here at Chez AuscamOnline, we have decided to put some serious resources into creating these.

Now if you are a seasoned and grizzled old shooter or soundie, these will be of utterly no use to you :  you have this known stuff since Noah wanted to buy a life jacket.

But we hope for those others whose sole experience up until now was possible learning how to hit the shutter button of their smartphone, they might be of some use.

While we ramp up, here are some we prepared earlier. And if you have any ideas for specific things, pleased drop me a line at, via PM on our Facebook page or indeed, you can call me on the old fashioned telling-bone thing that rings occasionally when not being used for Instagram snaps on (+61) 0456952227

By the way, if you want to register for our FREE monthly e-magazine covering all things video, simply fill out the popup (or send me your email address ONLY – we don’t need any other detail). To download the latest edition, click here.

So What To Do Now? Working At Home For Us Creative Types…

Just as lots of artists, musicians and the like jumped on the Lord of the Rings bandwagon and created LoTR inspired pieces, so lots of people are posting stories on how to work at home.

So I thought I would to, having done it since around 1987.


The first thing to say is that in the real world, not everyone can do it with 100% success, or even 75% success. It is far too easy to put off something on the grounds you’ll “do it later”. So, if you are a large procrastinator this is going to be hard make no bones about it.

To Do Lists

One thing that helps in this, is the last thing at night before going to bed, make a list of all the things you need and want to do the next day. I use a $10 white board I got from The Reject Shop in conjunction with a copy of Microsoft OneNote that is also on my phone and syncs the two auto-tragically.

Next label these according to priority – As MUST be done and done before anything else is attempted. Then Bs which must be done that day, Cs can wait a day and Ds are something you want to do, but the sky won’t fall in if you don’t.

When each is completed, physically put a line through it.

Dedicated Area

As most of my peers have suggested, make sure you have a dedicated area to work in, free from distractions if possible, such as TV noise (as cute as Bluey is) or Alan Jones on the wireless.

Music is good. I’ll repeat that. Music is good.

Take a break every hour if possible and walk around, go outside, smell the roses, play with the dog, hug the kids, kiss the partner but then GO BACK TO WORK.

Have a proper lunch break and don’t drink too much coffee.

Make sure you have a knock off time when work has finished for the day and do not go back to it apart from your list making.


If you run out of things to do, may I go back what I talked about last week and suggest you spend the time in self-learning? There are any number of trial versions of software to try out for editing, effects, compositing etc – some are even free such as Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve and (NLE and Fusion (compositing and effects). I’d also recommend those from BorisFX and chuck in HitFilm (fxhome) too.

The full post on this is here.


Some people find it useful to dress as if they were still working in an office. I had one friend in the past who needed to not only dress in his normal office clobber (a three piece suit no less), but had to get in his car and drive around the block a few times to “get in the groove”.

Social Media

And finally the hard one. As tempting in times as it is in times like this, if you have work to do, actual work, resist the temptation to also having social media running or even live news feeds. Trust me, it is far too distracting and potentially, even distressing.


We are all anxious in this current situation to some degree, mostly I suspect as we cannot see, or have been given a hint of some sort of time frame or end point. There is no light at the end of the tunnel so to speak, and our freedoms have been cut.

For control freaks especially, this is an anxious thing by itself. I certainly get that.

For what it’s worth, personally I consider that China seems to be the benchmark, and after 3 months, they are coming out of the severe austerity measures they had to put into place.

If this is true, and I have no evidence to suggest it is so (or not), hopefully we will all be having a slap up Happy New Financial Year party.

Won’t that be brilliant?

These are difficult times. For the arts / entertainment industries, here is a possible antidote. Just an idea … it may just help…

I am not to proud to admit that the current “situation” has me a tad jumpy. Oh I am not concerned about actually getting the BeerVirus, I am more concerned about two other things that have arisen as a consequence of it.

The first is the way people are reacting.

This “bugger you, it’s everyone for himself” attitude of late, particularly when it comes to panic buying, is not just shocking, it is downright scary, and I thought we were better than that.

This is only a small step away from anarchy (already in the US we are getting footage of people queuing to stock up on even MORE guns and ammunition).

Most of this has been caused, I believe, by our Government’s tardy response, or failure to see, the mood of the people. Simply, the masses are scared as they simply don’t know what the Hell is going on. Thankfully, as of today, that seems to be abating somewhat, and I would suggest the fact that at last, some sort of time frame has been offered for this to be, if not all over, at least under control is the reason. And people such as Dr Norman Swan  have brought some calm and easily understanble and digestible knowledge the average person can understand and relate to.

(As an aside, THIS alone is a very good reason the ABC needs funding at decent levels).

Perhaps 6 months they are saying. Maybe even 3 if some huge stroke of luck occurs.

Which leads me to the second thing.

6 months – even 3 months – is a long time, especially if you are in the arts and entertainment business. There is the prospect of little or no money coming in, short of what the Government offers, but maybe equally as bad for fertile minds in these professions, is the prospect of boredom and stagnation.

It worried me too; major exhibitions and conferences in the world of video and filmmaking such as NAB in Las Vegas have been cancelled, Integrate here in Australia has also been knocked on the head and major film production ceased here in Australia and around the world.

This means that in what I do, there is a dearth of things to write about. No new products announced is a major thing. And for a magazine involved in all aspects of video and filmmaking, this is little death.

But this morning, I saw a Facebook post from an old, old friend of mine who now resides in the UK. In essence, it asked what will happen to children’s learning and education if they are forced to stay away from school for an extended period. Then it posed the next question; who said learning was only mathematics, and languages or science and literature?

So why not take this time (if it happens – but then, do it even if it doesn’t happen anyway!) to teach other things. Forgotten things. Things they would probably never have learned if not for this chance.

Basic things. How to cook. How to balance a bank statement. Change the oil in the car. Operate a washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Yes, even sew on a button!

And this got me thinking.

Extrapolating this out, why not use any extra time you have now to do similar things? Learn stuff in the past you “never had time for”.

In the realm of film and video making, why not download that trial version of the NLE you have promising yourself to look at for months – even years – and learn it.  Or that 3D modelling and animation application? Have a play with some new plug-ins?

Teach yourself audio engineering or the art of lighting. Even just the basics. Tackle a skill that you haven’t tried before. Expand your horizons.

Anecdotally, during the Great Plague in Europe in the Middle Ages, William Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton did some of their greatest works and made their greatest discoveries whilst in their equivalent of our Coronavirus pandemic.

We could do a lot worse than attempt to mimic that. Who knows what you might write, what scene you might create, what new use of a special effect you might master?

And come out the other side bigger and better than before with more skills, more ideas and even perhaps, more confidence!

And I call on vendors during this period to perhaps extend trial periods and even make special pricing available in order to encourage this idea. A sale of a copy of your latest version of software for less 75% is better than no sale at all for example.

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them! Please contact me via the comments section below, via Twitter (@auscamonline), Instagram (AustralianVideocamera), Facebook (Australian Videocamera) or privately via

And keep safe everyone.