Do Tell (video series)

I started this video series as a month-long challenge to create a video every day. The project has morphed into an experimental series in which I test out new story formats, filming styles and visual concepts.

Video styles include monologues, how-to videos and traditional vlogs. 

Getting started

I was inspired to start this series after watching a Tim Ferriss talk (some day I’ll link it up here) in which he suggested making a list of your 10 greatest fears surrounding a new project idea.

After outlining my biggest fears about daily videos, I sat down with my wife and talked through potential solutions. By addressing these fears up front I was able to avoid the top fears that were holding me back from starting.

I initially committed to 30 days. One of my fears was getting discouraged and quitting, so I needed to have a clear end date in mind. I’ve done a 30-day challenge before, so I knew that it was doable even if it’s a stretch for a few weeks.

Common elements and themes

While the format continues to change, I’ve made an effort to build consistency with certain elements that are included throughout the series.

  • Vlog-style shooting and editing: I took a lot of ideas from Casey Neistat. Shooting in a vlog style allowed me to shoot with much less equipment and to cover up technical mistakes much more easily. It’s also more forgiving as I experiment with different story formats.
  • Music: most of the videos begin and end with some sort of thematic music. I took these tracks from the default music library within the video editing app (Splice).
  • Sunglasses: in the first 30 videos I regularly wear sunglasses. I borrowed this idea from Casey Neistat as a solution for constantly looking off-camera to check my shot o the camera screen. As I got more used to the camera I no longer needed them and eventually phased them out.
  • Titles: partway through the series I adopted the title Do Tell and began using it near the beginning of each video. I also added an outro title using the words Live On.
  • Intro hook: generally I open with a clip that teases the main content. I borrowed this idea from several sources, AskGaryVee and Casey Neistat being two main sources that come to mind.
  • One-Take Wonders: several videos are cover songs recorded in one take.

Watch the Do Tell video series on YouTube.