telling women's untold stories text with three individuals

Why We Need To Keep Telling Women’s Untold Stories: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Vlog

Another month, another vlog, and this time Tara Walsh hosted the vlog with some special guests all the way from the U.S! In episode 15, Tara chatted with two co-producers from the Women & the American Story and Untold stories to discuss why we need to keep telling Untold stories.Read More

how to look natural on camera text with image of woman smiling

How To Look Natural On Camera: Makematic Behind-the-Scenes Vlog

In episode 14, I’m showing you how to look natural on camera. Not for the purpose of Zoom calls or Zoom presentations, as I am still working on that. This is to produce quick vlogs at home or for that TikTok video that you’ve been working on for 30 minutes, just so you could get the lip-sync timing right.Read More

Gain while you game behind the scenes text featuring two women

Gain While You Game: Makematic Behind The Scenes Vlog

In this vlog, I’m taking you behind-the-scenes of our first Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) video: “Gain While you Game“.Read More

Lets Talk About History

Let’s Talk About History: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 10

The history that doesn’t make it into the textbooks is the best stories to tell.

It’s a new year and not much has changed in the world. We’re still in a global pandemic, we’re still at home and we’re still washing our hands. But some things have changed. The US has a new President and Vice President, there are vaccines being administered every day around the world, and a lot of new Untold videos are being released.Read More

Vlog 9 Thumbnail Makematic Catherine Davies Gianna Pornasdoro

Makematic Year In Review: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 9

We’ve made it folks. The end of 2020 and what do we do at the end of each year? That’s right. We eat and celebrate and eat. But since the team can’t come together this year to celebrate and eat during our annual Christmas dinner, we’ll do a bit of reflection on the year that was.

This episode of the vlog we reflect on 2020. I was joined by Catherine Davies (Co-Founder) and we chatted in the vlog on how the team coped and adapted to our working from home situation. If you’d like to see what our working from home situations look like, check out vlog #5. It’s got some great dog pictures, so you’re welcome. Additionally, Catherine mentioned in her own words the tweet below, which is completely true and something that I personally keep in mind during the days when like the weather is a bit grey.

We also reflected on what the company’s challenges were this year and what we did to overcome them. On a brighter note, some of the wins that we experienced, such as doubling our team from 22 to 42!

Check out vlog #9 below! P.S. it’s a long one! We did reflect on 2020 and in case you lived under the rock this entire year, 2020 had a lot going on.

Though we are all looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and the challenges it brought to everyone across the world, we will bring some of the lessons and experiences that we faced during this year into 2021. We will be more conscious of our travels in 2021. We’ll ask ourselves if a meeting can be conducted over Zoom in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ll look far and beyond for amazing talent. And most importantly communicate to each other when we are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or just need to take a break.

What were your wins and challenges this year?

Image of two women holding up a sign saying We Hosted A Webinar - Belfast Design Week

We Hosted A Webinar: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 8

If you’re like me, a 20-something-year-old who is eager to learn and try new things but at the same time who is terrified to learn and try new things because it’s – well – new, then you’ve come to the right page.

Public speaking. Two words that for some people it’s a walk in the park, but for others who don’t have that much experience in (a.k.a me) it’s a -20C walk in the park with sleet, heavy rain and realising that your coat doesn’t have a hood. This year, I decided to take that walk into public speaking, albeit it was online and someone else was there to co-host with me. Besides that, the nerves were there, the pit in my stomach was present and I ran out of breath a lot.

This episode of the vlog explores the journey that Tasha (our Social Media Producer) and I went through when we hosted our first webinar for Belfast Design Week. It was a journey, to say the least. We prepared our content a week before, figured out what we were going to say the day before and mentally preparing ourselves for the pressure two weeks before. So in short, a lot of prepping happened.

To ensure that the webinar ran smoothly, I had to venture back into the office to get reliable WiFi. If you have the same internet provider as me, which fails on a daily basis and consequently makes me appear to freeze during Zoom calls with an unflattering expression, then you know what the frustration feels like. I won’t name names as to who this said internet provider is as A) I might get in trouble for legal reasons and B) because I don’t want anyone else to suffer the same internet fate as I do.

If you haven’t already watched the vlog, have a look at it below!

Fun fact about this vlog, we practised the webinar 7 times. Practised social distancing whilst doing the webinar. And learnt that public speaking (virtually) isn’t too bad at all. Though I can’t vouch for in-person public speaking, I think that’s a whole other level of panic.

Watch episode 8 here!

Shameless plug right here, but after you watch the vlog, watch our webinar too called “How To Design Your Instagram Feed To Educate Your Audience”. It’s now live on the Makematic VOD. It’s short and sweet, and you might learn something about how gen Z wants to use Instagram now. If you don’t fancy watching and prefer reading, I did write about the webinar in this condensed version. Just to warn you, this doesn’t have as much information as the webinar, so you might as well watch the webinar.

Person watching video tutorials

The Evolution Of Vlogging

Our endless viewing of vlogs, baking tutorials and those fascinating videos from Jungle Survival, has Nellie Bly to thank. She can be considered as the world’s first blogger. In 1887, her work “Behind Asylum Bars” where she went undercover in a Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island went viral and changed the way institutions are run forever. Inspired by the book Around the World in 80 Days, Bly set sail in 1889 and documented her adventures – travel blogger (or vlogging) style. Her record-breaking trip only took 72 days!

Bly’s viral work and travel blogging got me thinking about how vlogging has dominated the way we tell stories and document our lives. 

And as someone who has done 7 vlogs (that you can watch here) and counting, I thought it would be interesting to dive into the evolution of vlogging and see how it has changed the way we tell stories. 

But Before That

You can find out more about Nellie Bly and other historical figures within our Hidden Histories collection from the Untold series – a project of the Driving Force Institute for Public Engagement. Produced and distributed by Makematic with the USC Center for Engagement-Driven Global Education.

The Early 2000’s

Adam Kontras. You’ve probably never heard his name, but he is known to have created the world’s first vlog. Kontras set off on a cross-country road trip and along the way, he would write blogs to send to his friends and family about his adventures. On January 2000, he posted a video with his blog, that shows him sneaking a cat into a hotel that has a “No Pets” policy, thus creating the first vlog.

On 24 April 2005, “Me at the zoo” by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim was published on YouTube. You may not be aware of the significance of this video, but believe it or not, this was the first YouTube video ever. With Karim speaking in front of the camera and explaining his surrounding in this 18-second video, some even classify this clip as the first vlog ever on YouTube, which has 99M views and counting. 

The Bedroom Scene

Majority of the now-famous YouTubers began their vlogging careers in their bedroom talking in front of a webcam. However, one ‘video blogger’ as she phrased it in 2006, became the first viral sensation, first popular blogger on YouTube and first internet hoax. What a woman. Lonelygirl15  gained viewership quickly despite the seemingly ‘dull nature’ of the videos, pretty sure she says boring almost 6 times in her first video. However, a couple of months into her vlogging career, it was revealed that the channel was fake and that ‘Bree’ was actually an actress, and the whole series was produced LA-based creators. 

Despite the hoax that lonelygirl15 was, she paved the way for vlogging and future creators. She showed the world the potential of YouTube and how stories can be made, and it all started in the bedroom. It also shows you how old we are if you remember lonelygirl15. So thanks ‘Bree’.

The $21,000 First-Class Airplane Seat 

This was the first vlog I watched. To be honest, I didn’t want to watch vlogs back then because I would tend to feel jealous of what the person is showing me – like Casey Neistat (12.1M subs), who as the title states got a $21,000 first-class airplane seat, something that some of us can only get if we win the lottery. But after watching this vlog, I went down a deep rabbit hole and spent days watching his vlog channel.

Vlogs have evolved throughout the years and trying to write about it in one blog, is impossible. Famous vloggers, such as Casey, Liza Koshy (17.8M subs), David Dobrik (17.8M subs), have all brought something different to the vlogging world. Whether that’s playing truth or dare in public or filling the entire backyard with foam – vlogs can be about anything. 

Vlogs are about the authenticity of a creator. It’s about sitting down and talking in front of a camera or filming something completely different. Some vlogs have a staged element in them – pioneered by lonelygirl15 – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s difficult to shoot something that happens spontaneously, after all, it’s not every day that you get to film the cutest baby talk ever. So planning your vlog content to make it more interesting is a good way to start. Personally, I think this video illustrates it perfectly, it’s a planned vlog that is so chaotic and entertaining that it makes you want to watch more. 

So there you have it, a condensed version of the evolution of vlogging. Vlogging continues to evolve and creators continue to rise on the internet. So why not start your vlogs today?

Image of young woman smiling with an office background. Back to work, covid-19 edition stated as text

Back To Work: Covid-19 Edition | Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 7

Technically, we’ve been working. We’ve never stopped. But in this vlog, we’re showing you the office space – COVID19 edition. So technically, we went back to our official workspace.

Fun fact, there were more sanitisers and face masks in the office than there were people. This is probably quite a common thing nowadays and our office in Belfast was no different. In this vlog, I take you an “unofficial” office tour to show you the measures we have taken to ensure that the space is safe to work in. I say “unofficial” as office spaces should be more lively, with more people and more banter, hence I vetoed this tour just like I am with 2020.

In this unofficial tour, you’ll see the layout of the office, the sanitisers and face masks that I mentioned, and clips of me aggressively wiping surfaces and anything that I’ve touched at the end of the working day. You’ll also hear various safety messages (e.g. wash your hands, wear a face mask, etc.) that you may have heard over the past six months because those messages are the only consistent and non-changing rule that we’ve been told to do.

If you haven’t watched the vlog yet you can watch it below, where I have embedded into this blog (you’re welcome).

Spoiler alert: we’re back at home because the rules change all the time. Literally, all the time. We’re complying and working back at home in our little office spaces. If you’d like to see our home office spaces, you can read it here.

I don’t know when we’ll be back. But when we do, I hope that we can go back to when we feel safe and when there are more people than sanitisers.

Watch episode 7 here!

How To Get Work Experience: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Vlog Episode 6

It can be quite challenging to gain work experience as a young person, and especially during this pandemic. 

In this episode, I organised another Zoom call that I did not prepare for. You’d think after one screen recorded Zoom chat in episode 4, I would have it all figured out by now. This episode is also a lengthy one, so I recommend getting comfy.

This Zoom call features our work experience student Amelia, who worked at Makematic during the month of July. I asked her about her time at Makematic, including questions about the benefits of work experience, the skills she has learned and if she enjoyed her time. I don’t mean to spoil it for you, but she did, in fact, enjoy her experience and has been re-acquainted with spreadsheets this month. 

Even though Amelia only worked at Makematic for a month, she did, in fact, make a huge difference. From being featured in the vlog to helping Tara and I get organised, and even writing a fantastic blog – Amelia has definitely been an amazing work experience student, who – hopefully – has gained some valuable experience that will help her future career.

Here is what Amelia had to say about her experience at Makematic:

Honestly, this has been a really interesting and insightful experience. It was great being able to have hands-on experience in the media field and let me truly know that I want to pursue this sector of work. I have been able to hone many skills and I don’t feel as worried about working in a team anymore, or communicating in general (it’s a process). Being able to do real work like spreadsheets and researching curated content really made me feel part of the team! I feel like this whole experience has made me grow more as an aspiring adult and I really encourage any fellow teenager wanting to dip their feet in work experience, to just do it! It really is a lot more insightful than just listening to your teacher talk about it or searching it up on Google, and it really does open a lot of doors for you. Take your step into the working world and figure out what you want to do!

Amelia Knopik

As mentioned above, it is quite challenging to find valuable work experience. Luckily for you, this vlog will provide you with 3 tips on how to secure work experience. However, I should point out that I am not a careers teacher or leader. Nor am I qualified to tell you that these tips will work because I cannot guarantee that they will. I am an individual who has received an abundance of rejections and, “I regret to inform you” emails but has still managed to gain valuable experience over the years. 

If these tips and Amelia’s experience are not enough, you can always check out our careers resource Skillsumo, where you can find free bite-sized careers videos to better understand the world of work and the key 21st-century skills that are relevant to the workplace. 

Screen capture of Future Proof videos, including how to find valuable work experience, how to search for jobs and how to craft a cover letter
Future Proof series, Skillsumo

Watch episode 6 now!

Working from home space

We’re Working From Home: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 5

You might have already seen a working from home vlog, but here’s another one. 

Working from home is something that the team of Makematic is fortunate enough to do. We have been collaborating and communicating with each other and our clients and partners for the past four months now. During these four months, we’ve acquired some tips/hacks/insights that may be useful to you – whether that’s how to make a laptop stand out of books or simply just giving you some office design inspiration.

In this episode, I reached out to the team and asked if they have any insights, hacks or tips about working from home and to send me their office space, mainly because I need some office space inspiration and designing a Pinterest inspired office was not in my budget. Safe to say, I got a few responses from the team.

I won’t spoil it all for you, but the episode includes a couple of dog pictures, a lot of tips and some major home office inspiration. One of the tips that I found ingenious was from Claire, who is one of our motion designers, and she said that she likes to play Spanish music and thus making her feel as though she was in Lanzarote. Brilliant. Alexa…play Greek music. Can you tell where I was meant to be this July? 

My personal tip was to leave a sign on the door – preferably ones that state to not enter the room, to prevent anyone, from entering. It’s definitely foolproof if you’re living with more than one person in your house. 

Below are some home office spaces that you could definitely take inspiration from. For me, I’m definitely going to be adding a plant somewhere in the office area, get myself a notebook and look at dog pictures on Instagram, because it will be the closest thing I’ll get to having a dog – for now, #GetGiannaADog

Do you have any working from home tips or hacks?

Watch episode 5 here!

Image of Gianna and Ryan talking

Let’s Talk Lighting: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 4

Thank goodness for Zoom. This vlog is not sponsored by Zoom.

In this new normal that everyone around the world is experiencing, making a vlog about the company, live-action shoots, events and office things is quite hard to do when you’re stuck inside and have been for the past two months. 

So we find new ways. 

Luckily, technology has evolved and has helped the entire company operate without being in the office. In particular, Zoom has been the MVP for Makematic even before the pandemic happened. We’re very familiar with the “Hello, can you hear me’s?” and “Sorry my wi-fi connection’s a bit dodgy” scenarios. 

Zoom in Action

This vlog – at home edition – is dedicated to lighting. I don’t have any professional equipment at home, all I’ve got are several windows at my leisure. Since I’m still filming on my smartphone with no lighting equipment, I have to make do with what I have.

I set-up a Zoom call with our Assistant Producer, Ryan Lee, who kindly spoke to me about his tips on how to get the best lighting for video calls and self-recordings because given these times of endless online calls, meetings and presentations, lighting is key. 

His best tip is to face a North or West facing window to get an even, natural and consistent light throughout your recording. 

I didn’t know which type of window I had prior to this Zoom call. So I went on my compass app on my phone and found out that I’ve got a SouthEast facing window. If you have the same type of window, watch the fourth vlog to find out how you can adjust your light 

During this new normal, I’ve found that collaboration has been key to making everything work. I’d like to thank Ryan Lee, Brian Shaw and Kevin Gillen for helping me create this vlog! 

Also, we’re hosting The Good News Broadcast competition in collaboration with SchoolRubric and Clickview (shameless plug). It’s open to students aged 11-14 and all they have to do is share their good news stories in a video that’s under 60 seconds long! So pass on the message to any siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins that you’ve got!

Stay safe and we’re going to get through this!

Watch the fourth episode of the vlog now!

Image of woman smiling in front of the camera

Events & Other Things: Makematic Behind-The-Scenes Episode 3

From the title of this blog, you might have guessed what it’s about. 

Important note to mention: all the footage from this vlog was filmed during the month of February. 

Before the entire country went on lockdown, we managed to film some highlights from the events that we attended and the bake sale that we had. This vlog is reminiscent of the times where we could go outside without having to douse our hands with sanitiser every couple of minutes, which in turn dries them out like the desert. It’s been concluded by everyone on the internet that 2020 is not a good year so far.

So I hope that this vlog is somewhat a source of escapism and entertainment, at least for four and thirty seconds of your life indoors. 

During 13 February, we hosted a fundraiser bake sale to support those affected in the Australian wildfires. Some showed their skills of baking and some showed their skills of eating – safe to say it was a satisfied group of people! We conducted a mini taste test of an Australian delicacy that is very complex and only the few can handle, below are the reactions of Ryan, Kyle and Zoe who dared to try it – you will have to watch the vlog to find out what it is, no spoilers!

Also, do you know what “You’ve got a face like a dropped pie” means?… No? You should watch the vlog

We attended two events in the month of February: Digital Youth Event and The OnlyJustMedia Summit. Both completely different from another, but nevertheless, both very insightful. 

The Digital Youth Event allowed us to speak to young people about careers in the digital and creative industry. It was a busy morning that day, so busy that I forgot to vlog majority of it! But the good thing is we recapped the event to reflect on what we learned about today’s young people.

The OnlyJustMedia Summit. I can only saw a few words without having to spoil too much. But what you can know (through this blog) is that I attended and enjoyed myself, doughnuts and burgers were involved and you can learn and be inspired by so many people in a short space of time.

Stay safe and wash your hands. And remember…

Watch the third episode of vlog now!

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