Ever since YouTube became a huge thing, Everyone wants to be YouTube famous. Whether it’s music, movies, or customer service reviews on products or a million different other topics. There is one part in particular I would like to talk about and that is action figures. I’m a part of a genre that is taking YouTube to a different level along with many great pioneers, and that is the toy review industry. Today’s nerd notation will be on “How to become an action figure reviewer”, and how I came up with the production company “Yeahhh Budddy!” as seen in all my reviews. So with that being said here are the steps that you should follow, or at least the guidelines that I set for myself:
Step one: Confidence..
If you don’t have confidence in yourself, then how are you going to succeed?? Taking that first step is hard.. trust me.. I know it was for me. When I first started recording the original video for the Inner City Geeks, which was on the Figma Amazing Spider-Man from the first of the Andrew Garfield films, I nearly quit. I tried doing different versions of how I wanted to begin the review, however nothing seemed to work for me. I recall stuttering and messing up certain words, or just plain old not liking the take!
Step two: Script writing..
The best way to insure a great and successful review is to write out a script. I of course learned that part after my first review was already completed. When you write a script it makes for a much easier project. The key elements to script writing are as follows:
A) An introduction – Introduce yourself to the audience. You don’t have to use your real name if you’re not comfortable. Come up with a catchy nickname that people will remember. My original nickname was CaptainTW as my friends call me Cap in regards to me resembling Captain America in face and hairstyle. The TW started because well.. I’m the token white guy in the group lol. We went with it because that’s how the ICG family is. We consider ourselves “The Avengers of the geek realm”! For your backdrop some reviewers use something related to the figure in the background while others use a plain backdrop. Others don’t open the figure until they record that part of the opening part of the video. Everyone is different so please choose what’s most comfortable for you!
B) The body system – When it comes down to the body system , I like to look at it two different ways. The body of the script and the body of the action figure. The reason I say that is because when reviewing the action figure and when you get to the part where you start talking about the points of articulation, You might forget the ones on the body. It can have at least four points alone including, abdominal crunching, waist swivel, diaphragm joints just to name a few and that varies depending on if it’s an import figure or not.
C) How articulated is it? – When it comes down to the articulation, You want to make sure you have played and posed the figure a lot before reviewing. A typical domestic figure such as a Marvel Legend from Hasbro will have a head and neck ball joint system for a full on 360 degree rotation, the arms will swivel a 360 degrees as well. It’ll usually have an upper bicep swivel, double jointed elbows, those multiple body system points I mentioned, upper thigh swivel, double jointed knees, fully articulated feet including ankle pivot. The imports are better known for that however they may include more depending on which figure and that’s what you need to look out for.
D) Does it come with any option parts or accessories( For example.. hands, feet, head or hair, guns knives etc.)? – These are key elements in reviewing! You need to know how to swap out the option parts so that when you’re on camera, You don’t have to do multiple takes. Show the audience how to swap these out as well as showing how the accessories fit in the option hands or even face (For example the S.H.Figuarts Vegeta with scouter).
E) How tall is it? – This is a step that some people skip, however I don’t! I use a measuring tape which I keep extended to the ten inch mark. If you measure right then you’ll see whether or not it fits into scale. This can go either of two ways. If it’s from the same wave and /or series and is perfect fitting with the rest of the series or say it’s Figma Iron Man which you wanted to pose with but it is a drop taller and doesn’t fit in scale with Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. That’s a key element in perfect reviewing!
F) Closing statements. – So you’ve made it this far! Congrats, however you’re not done yet. You still have to come up with a clever way of closing out your video. For me I talk my likes and my dislikes about the figure. I keep it real and keep it simple. I also credit my team since mine goes up on the innercitygeeks.com website and being I am the creator of “Nerd Notations Presents”,and the creator of “#GeekApproved” which I later repackaged as “Yay Toys!” for the action figure community, and of course the podcast titled “ICGPW slamcast” for which I am the third chair, I plug them in the closing statements. It is what we all do here as we are a family and we wish an equal amount of success to one other!
Step Three: Equipment.. For this part of the video process I originally used my iPhone for the shots. If you do this I highly recommend airplane mode so there aren’t any interruptions as you are recording. I currently use a point and shoot camera made by Cannon but will soon be upgrading for a better quality picture. Not recommended at first but down the line it’s something to consider. I also use a mini tripod for better angles. You can use whatever is in your environment for the shot as I used a cup that I cut grooves in as well as the box the iPhone came in. I got the tripod when I got the camera. As for the editing software, just like my friends Shartimus and Sean, I use imovie on my MacBook pro. For me that’s what works best. If you have a Windows based computer then use what software works best for you.
Step Four: Recording.. Ok so now you have your script, your equipment and your confidence! Take these pieces and make some magic! I’ll wait until you’re finished to give you the next and final step……………………………………………………………………………………………………….
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Great you’re finished! (Lol I just wanted to have some fun with this part ;p)
Step Five: Editing your magic.. In step three I mentioned that I use imovie. With this program Apple gives you hundreds of combinations to create magic. Whether it’s using jump cuts or transitions or when piecing together your video and even adding credits and they even allow you to add music. They give you options which is great! They also give an itunes option, however if you use it be careful when you post it as you don’t want to have any copyright infringement if you decide to use a song you like. Shartimus uses a song he created and I am working on one myself for future episodes of “Yay Toys!” Regardless of whether or not it was “#GeekApproved” or for “Yay Toys!” I always say ” This has been a Yeahhh Budddy! Production”. This is my easter egg of sorts in constantly thanking one of my best friends which is my brother Mario for always being there for me whether it is for good times and the bad and he has always supported my decisions and ever since we bonded over swords on the first day we met which was NYCC 2k13, he has always been on my side! So Mario… This is for you as well…. Yeahhhhhh Budddddddy!
Step Six: The final step to the magical world of YouTube.. Ok so you used your confidence to create a review on your favorite action figure. It’s now time to upload your magic onto your computer and show the world how amazing it is! I hope you had fun! My friends and I have a lot of fun when recording reviews. My original review now has over 2000 hits which is mind blowing! I never thought that could happen and I am truly grateful that I have the opportunity to show the word what I do, the best is yet to come! Now it is your turn!! No excuses! You have the figure,The confidence,So to quote Mary Jane Watson… Go get em’ tiger!!
Congratulations you got over your fear and did it! Please use these guidelines as a way to create magic. As I said before, pioneers such as my friends Sean Long and Shartimus Prime paved the way into YouTube and opened up a world that I never knew existed and I am forever grateful!!! Remember… With great power, comes great responsibility.. So be passionate… be honest… be a geek and of course be proud of what you accomplished! When you see how many hits you get on your review it hits you right in the geek spot! With that being said….. Be geek and Proud! ~ Bri_2J~
This is my ever toy review for the ICG team which was recorded from my iPhone 4s.. enjoy…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdw5zzIMCoE
My first ever recording… https://www.instagram.com/p/lJb1gEHqE8/?taken-by=bri_2j