Adventures in Video Production at SikhNet

It’s been a long time since I posted any new video interviews with Guruka Singh. I keep getting emails from people asking to make more videos with Guruka Singh. So, in preparation I have been noting down topics and questions that people have asked over the past months so that we can use them to record some new videos for you all!

I’m always looking to improve the technical aspects of the videos (lighting, sound, equipment, technique, etc), especially since we would like to show these videos Guruka singh on the video set with the green screen backgroundin a variety of ways offline as well (Television, DVD, VCD, etc). So earlier this year SikhNet purchased some lighting equipment and a background stand. This will make the videos look much nicer and more professional. I also got a "green screen" background which enables us to record the video and then later on add in a digital background (or full motion video in the background). This provides more creative flexibility and makes the video more interesting.

Guruka singh on the video set with digital anandpur sahib background

We are currently in talks with various Television channels that have Sikh/Punjabi audiences about showing some of these videos as part of a program to help inspire people. Let’s see what happens :)  Video for TV generally requires a high quality standard, so we are trying to upgrade our equipment so that we will be at that higher standard and keeping up with the technology (High Definition TV).

In order to do this we need to purchase a new professional video camera which will cost about $3,500 US Dollars. If you have benefited from these videos and would like to support SikhNet in making more videos then please consider making a donation to SikhNet. (If you can afford it you could even purchase and donate the actual camera it self!)

On Tuesday we did our first video recording session with Guruka Singh using the new lights and green screen background. Our small SikhNet office room became an "obstacle course" because of the light stands, background support, camera/tripod, microphone, wires, chairs, etc, right in between our two office desks and couch. It was quite a scene! I’m surprised we fit in the room (which isn’t a large room) and were able to record! I should have taken a picture. We don’t have a spare room that we can just setup as a recording studio, so we just made do with what we had. 

We sat recording almost non stop for about an hour and a half as Guruka Singh shared his thoughts on lots of different interesting topics. I think we recorded about 12-14 different topics. Guruka Singh is so great with all this. I just ask him a question and inspirational stuff just comes out of his mouth. It’s not like he plans ahead what he is going to say either. Most of the time he doesn’t even know what I’ll be asking him. I love the universality of the way he explains and relates to the topics. You won’t get a dry intellectual answer from him :) I’m happy to have Guruka working with me at SikhNet and his positive outlook on life which has helped me in many situations.

Yesterday I was grappling with editing the first video, trying to work with the green screen by adding a video or still background. As it turns out the software I was originally using wasn’t going to work out and most of the other editing programs didn’t remove the green background properly. After much effort I figured out how to make it work! . I’m no expert in all this and didn’t take video production classes. It’s just one of those learn as you go things for me. Next time I’ll be a bit wiser and learn from my previous mistakes (I need a larger room, larger green screen background and more lighting for the background). It’s all good fun! I love doing this kind of stuff.

So, in the coming weeks me and Gurujot Singh will edit the videos and post them online for you all to watch. You’ll see the first video in the next day or two.

Insider tip for those avid readers: If you subscribe to the MrSikhNet YouTube channel you’ll be able to see the videos before everyone else. I normally post the videos on YouTube a day or more before I post it on MrSikhNet/SikhNet.

As always, feel free to send me suggestions for future topics to cover in future videos.