Steve Garfield is one of the pioneers of video blogging and renowned experts in the field of online video. He’s been putting video online since people were putting video online and today he still spends his time creating video, interviewing the stars of the online video world, revolutionizing citizen journalism, and teaching and advising brands on how to use online video. Steve is also author of the book ‘Get Seen: Online Video Secrets To Building Your Business’. I had the opportunity to ask Steve a few questions about his beginnings, his experience with online video, and his tips for people looking to break into the industry. Read on to find out what he had to say.
It is clear that Steve Garfield has really taken online video and run with it. With online video being so much of Steve’s persona and what he really represents, I was curious to find out about what he did before he started putting video online. Steve told me, “Before I started putting video online, I volunteered for many years at public access TV. Public access gave me a way to learn everything I needed to know about producing video, for free. I learned how to run the camera, editing, lighting, sound and directing. That experience led me to get a job in Boston on the Monitor Channel. One of the interview questions there was, “What do you know about TV production?” Well, after volunteering all my time at public access television, I knew everything about TV production.”
Steve certainly draws from what he learned in public access television in his book, Get Seen. In the book, he goes into a great amount of detail about shooting, lighting, sound, editing and more before he even begins to get into how to actually upload your video to the web, making it a great resource for online video beginners.
But enough about Steve’s pre-online video life. Since he entered the online world, he has been using online video in all sorts of cool ways to achieve all sorts of cool goals. He has met and interviewed all sorts of interesting people, including Felicia Day, Chris Pirillo, Shira Lazar and Jimmy Fallon, who he actually met as a result of his online videos. When asked about his most exciting interviews, Steve told me, “One of my most exciting interviews was with Jimmy Fallon, at the consumer Electronics Show. That interview was really fun, because during the interview Jimmy expressed an interest in the history of video blogging, so instead of just me asking Jimmy questions, I joined him in front of the camera and told him about the early days of video blogging. It was a great interview, and we had a great moment during the interview when Jimmy said that he felt like he already knew me. That’s what the power of web video is all about.”
Steve also says, “On my live show, SteveGarfield.tv, I’ve interviewed a lot of really interesting newsmakers. Many of them are my friends through online video. Recent interviews include Andy Carvin, who’s been covering lots of breaking news on Twitter, and Brian Conley who’s been doing some breakthrough work in translating videos from Egypt and elsewhere.”
It seems like Steve does everything when it comes to web video, from covering news stories and events to offering advice, speaking at conferences, interviewing people, writing and more. I wondered if there was one aspect of his career that Steve enjoyed most. He said, “The thing that I enjoy most about my career is that I can choose projects that are interesting, and people who are fun to work with. The best situation is when someone approaches me and says, “Just do what you do.” They are already familiar with the kind of Web content I produce. When I work on a video project, the client gets more than just video on the web. They get Twitter posts, Facebook posts, Flickr photos and blog posts.”
It seems like any time something happens in and around Steve’s world he’s there on the scene to make a video, so I asked him whether he takes his camera everywhere with him and how his friends and family feel about it. He said, “I always have a camera with me. Just in case. I advise people to use the camera they have with them. I always have my iPhone 4 with me. The thing that’s so cool about the iPhone is that you can also share from the device you recorded video with. That’s a fairly new development.” In response to the question of how his friends and family feel about the fact that he and his camera are attached at the hip Steve said, “All my friends get it. My mom gets it. My mom is one of the oldest bloggers on the Internet, and you can find her at My Mom’s Blog. She’s 85 years old, and she gets it.” Watch Steve’s mom, Millie, in the video below.
Finally, I asked Steve what piece of advice he would offer to someone looking to get into the online video industry. He told me, “My best piece of advice is to just do it. Be authentic and real. Don’t worry about the technology. Just get started, and with practice you’ll find that space where you are comfortable telling stories with video.”