Would YouTube not be a better place if every video had funky title sequence?

Published on 1 November 2019 in , , , , , , , ,

I’ve been trying to catch up with the insane backlog of content updates I have for my hiking website, Rambling Man. I’ve got notes to type up, photos to process, some structural things to sort out, and the whole thing’s a bit weary-making at the minute.

When I was updating one page, I found one of the YouTube videos I did for the site. It’s called the Battle of Bow Fell. You can watch it if you like.

If I’ve counted right, I did 39 videos for the site. Some did reasonably well. One has over 7,000 views as I type. Which is nice. Looking at some of them reminded me how much I once enjoyed making them. Coming up with the ideas, putting it all together, cursing about the fact that the audio would be dodgy on one of the recordings… You know…

But a couple of years ago, I stopped making them.

Now there’s several reasons. There’s no coincidence that the rate I began to make them really slowed down when our first child was born. I didn’t have the same amount of energy and time to make them as I once had. Like I say, I struggle sometimes to just keep my website going with text and photographic content.

But there’s other reasons I stopped. Like software problems. I just wanted some software that made video editing a complete doddle. But I use Linux, and I never found anything on Linux that really did that. The closest I got was a programme called OpenShot. It was quite easy to use. I could do stuff quite quickly. But it would crash so frequently that it drove me round the bend. I tried other programmes that didn’t crash, but I couldn’t replicate the simplicity of OpenShot.

One of the big problems was generating captions. My videos tended to have a lot of captions. They were useful for hiding video, or avoiding klunky transitions. And also, they were a bit of a homage to TV comedy Frasier. I liked them.

OpenShot had these really easy to use caption generators. Type in some text, select your font, and you’re good to go. No messing. But then later versions of OpenShot seemed to break the functionality. Also, as mentioned, it would crash a lot, and I couldn’t find any other software that made captions anywhere near as easily.

It all got too much effort. Especially once I got a HD camera and found that OpenShot either wouldn’t import the files, or would crash more than it did before.

But you know what really put me off? Title sequences. Or lack of.

See, when I started doing videos I’d put a title sequence on. Like the video was a mini TV episode. It really did make me feel like I was making TV. Except with not very good production values, and rather naff picture quality. Well it was 8 years ago that I started, and you didn’t have HD cameras on your phones back then.

Sadly though, next to no YouTube creator ever uses title sequences. I increasingly felt like I was an odd one out. That no one cared about title sequences. That people were probably turning off. And in the end I started to drop them. Just to start with a small animated caption. I kept the end credits, complete with my “theme music” because I’m not a total philistine. But the title sequence went.

When the titles went, so went the feeling I was making anything that resembled TV. And I kind of wanted to make TV. It’s extremely unlikely to ever happen, but if someone came up to me and said “Hey, do you want to make a TV programme about walking?” I would be well in there! Especially if I didn’t have to edit it. Making “YouTube”, nah, it’s not the same. Not to me.

All that conspired to make me lose the passion. Lost the inclination. Stopped recording random things just in case they could make an interesting video. Just stopped thinking about it.

I write that and think that seems a real shame. A bit of me now misses it. Although the more I think of it, the more I’m sure it’s the title sequences I miss the most… Seriously. Would YouTube not be a better place if every video had funky title sequence?