I've had a couple of gigs languishing on Fiverr for quite some time, and neither got any bites. So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to put my voice and face on the line and offer a gig for doing voiceover narration, and a gig for speaking in front of any graphic via green screen.
And things just started happening. I've gotten seven gigs in less than two weeks; five are already completed. They run the gamut from straight commercial work to "what really happened" video narration to appearing in someone's YouTube trailer video.
I've discovered a couple of things. First, recording voice narration with my current set-up is really easy. I've got some great tools, and the biggest problem is finding enough quiet time in the house to record a clean track. But it's not that big a problem.
I expected the same to be true for the video work, and the green-screen part of it is certainly simple enough. But when you're being paid four bucks (Fiverr takes 20%) to do an on-screen performance, you don't really have time to memorize 30 seconds worth of lines.
This is where me teleprompter comes in. It's something I built some time ago from scrap lumber and a $1 picture frame, and it worked really well on its first test. But, not using scripts that often, I stopped using it as a teleprompter and started using it as a framing aid.
So when I went back to using it as a teleprompter, I had a couple of nasty surprises. First, when I had tested it, the lights were not so bright as the ones I used for shooting in front of my green screen. And the screen for the test was just my phone, which is pretty bright.
But the phone is too small for the working distance I have to use for the green screen, so I had to switch to my old tablet, which is not nearly as bright. Between that and the light shining on my camera and the inside of my hood (a cardboard box), I couldn't see the text at all.
So I had to very quickly rig up a shade for the box, which I made with an old t-shirt (because no one in the house had any black paper—boxes and boxes of craft materials in this house and no black paper). I couldn't find anything to hide the camera with, but I discovered that if I moved the tablet to the outer edge of the platform, the image would appear above the camera and be very readable.
Not the perfect solution, since I'm looking above the lens and not into it, but it worked out very well. You'll get to see soon, because I'm shooting a couple of Challenge videos against the screen with the teleprompter this coming week.
Sound was another issue, but that was only because my microphone setting was wrong. I have to re-do one gig because of it, but I warned the client that it would be so and they were very understanding. In fact, they are giving me another job before I've even finished the first one, based on the first version with the bad sound.
I don't expect to make a fortune on Fiverr, but it does add a little money to the budget for something I spend time doing anyway, and it gets me at the mic and in front of the camera on a regular basis. And that can only be a good thing.
Maybe I need to offer some writing gigs, too, to keep me at the keyboard.