A few months ago I announced on this blog I was planning to record the video course: 10 steps to ultimate productivity!. It took me a little while to get the recording going but finally we started recording last week and yesterday we finished the recording process. It was a roller coaster of an experience... but definitely one of these moments you feel you're alive.
As I mentioned in my last post I was scared it wouldn't work. We had only a little over a week to record an 11-unit course (Intro + 10 steps) in 5 languages. It was the first time I hired a professional recording crew, it was the first time I had to use tools like tele-prompter and speak for almost 12 hours straight into the camera... and do it every day in a different language... and wearing make-up (crazy!). It was the first time I had to record myself speaking Japanese (luckily for me - Zofia, our Japanese "Happiness Officer", recorded most of the course in Japanese... which was a "first time" for her as well :-)
The "Resistance" was with me at all times
I wanted to give up several times while recording the course, here are a few examples:
My mother tongue wasn't that easy...
We started with me recording the course in Polish first (which is my mother tongue) to help me start off the easiest. Big mistake. Polish language is very difficult and pronunciation in Polish is very demanding. I was having a hard time recording the course in Polish. I had many moments when I just wanted to say "stop!" and cancel the recording in Polish...
German language required a lot of effort...
German language was even more demanding than Polish. Although I have a degree from a German university, last time I lived in Germany for a longer period of time was 7 years ago. I haven't been using my German much since then... so it was frustrating for me to struggle with saying something I knew I could say perfectly a few years ago... again, wanted to give it up... but I finally warmed up and we recorded it. It involved working long hours and even over-time on a Sunday, but the crew stayed with me and cheered me the whole time.
The Spanish translation required too many corrections...
I wrote the course in English and asked trusted people for the translations. I later went through them all myself with a native speaker... but the Spanish translation wasn't up to my standards. I had to hire an additional proof-reader and he sent me his work at the last minute - one day before we wanted to record in Spanish. Even then, as I was going through the translation I had to make lots of changes... I stayed up until late at night to perform the changes and learn the text... and I felt like I should announce the next day that we wouldn't be doing the Spanish version of the course.
In the end I did show up... and we started recording... and it was the easiest recording I've done... Suddenly I was relaxed and just enjoyed myself talking Spanish. To my advantage I spent a large part of the last couple of years in Spain so it did feel very natural to me...
The Japanese was a welcome challenge for all of us
Luckily, Zofia, our "Japanese Happiness Officer" speaks Japanese better than she wanted me to believe. It was the only language version of the course that I didn't record myself. Zofia did most of work and I just said a few sentences in the beginning.
First off, she was very much stressed, but when she started, she was on a roll and was recording very quickly. She was a natural... although before we went to the studio she asked me, begged me even to cancel the Japanese version and just do the English one with the Japanese subtitles. I said no. She did an amazing job in the end.
Then it was my turn to record just a few phrases in Japanese. Although I rehearsed a lot, when I appeared in front of the camera, the basic words weren't coming out of my mouth... I wanted to say to Zofia to just "leave me alone" and just record my parts in Japanese as well. Finally I did record what I set out to do and felt great about it.
The English version wasn't all that easy, too
As the English version is THE VERSION we'd be using on our main web site and I assume it'd be the version most of our customers will be watching, I had to put an extra effort to make it "look and feel" good. It required lots of re-takes as many times I didn't like how I said something. In the end I think we've nailed it :-)
Special thanks goes to...
- The Resistance, for being there all the time, begging me to give up... which was a clear indication we were doing a work that matters
- Zofia, who not only recorded our Japanese version of the course, but she was with me the whole time, cheering me up.
- Our recording crew - Bartek for organizing this and having so much patience with us, Wojtek for his amazing artistic feel and for constant encouragement he gave us all, Daria for taking care of our make-up and making me and Zofia look great the whole time and Tomek for his support... and all of them together for simply working their hardest the whole time.
- My wife Ewelina, even though she wasn't there physically, she showed up "via Facetime" for the entire time I was recording the German and Spanish course to help me catch mistakes and encourage me to record these the best I could
- Keisuke-san - Zofia's fiancee for being there for her and for me, helping us making the Japanese course the best we could. Amazing guy.
- All the translators and proof-readers - you've all done an amazing job: Lori (English); Delfina and Elisabeth (Polish); Delfina, Luis, Jesus and Ana (Spanish); Iwona and Svetlana (German); Zofia, Kiran, Toru and Keisuke (Japanese).
- Michal and Staszek for being great hosts in Poznan and Krakow - thanks to them I felt at home the whole time.
- And the rest of my Nozbe crew for cheering us up.
When will the course be published?
As I mentioned before, our crew did an amazing job recording the course but now they'll have to work even more to edit it and prepare for publishing. It should be ready by the end of March. We'll probably publish it officially in April. Stay tuned!
Question: Have you ever done anything that required combating the Resistance the whole time? When was that moment you wanted to give up altogether?
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- Michael Sliwinski