UC Davis undergraduate, 4th year
Major: Environmental Science and Management
Daisy and I practicing our camera and media skills with a photoshoot for the website
This week, our lab meeting consisted of discussing social media, where we can further showcase our respective projects and encourage community interest and involvement. Nora and I decided we would like to take on the challenge of creating a TikTok account, uploading funny and educational videos of the many wonderful animals in our program. Though neither of us have a ton of experience making videos on the platform, we both find our animals in the lab silly and entertaining, and felt like we could work together to make some quality content.
After setting out to make my first TikTok, I realized that it was significantly more challenging than I had thought it would be. How am I to create a cohesive video off the top of my head? I surely have some silly videos of baby mini-donkey Memphis biting his mom’s fly mask, or our precocious mini-horse Randy scratching his belly on the muck bucket- but we also want these videos to prove informative. While I know I could very well make something silly, the educational side of this is what will be the most important. In figuring the app out, I realized that the caption of the video can be significantly more informative than the video itself, given the lengthy area opportunity for video description. While the video can be a bit more on the funny side, the description can contain educational content and that further elevates the video to a more information-based level.
My second struggle is that I personally treat first drafts as if they are the final, which is something I have been actively working to overcome. I often find it hard to put words on a page until they sound perfect in my head. This has pervaded in my creation of an experimental design, as well. Things can so easily be changed and amended, yet I have a difficult time erasing content that I have in some way become attached to. Setting out on creating a TikTok felt daunting until I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like.
However, it turns out that it’s quite helpful to simply get something going. Whether that be putting words on a paper, or in this case, starting a video with a single clip, just getting started was the best thing I could do for myself. Although blindly beginning what would ultimately have to become a funny, cohesive, and educational video felt temporarily impossible, that first step was always the biggest, and the rest of the ideas would fall into place.
I also found it helpful to set a goal with each video, and have some answers to the following questions: what do I want this video to convey? Why am I making this particular video? For example, my first video is simply a montage of Randy doing his silly Randy-isms, with cute music in the background. My purpose of this video was to get the hang of editing videos in the format that works for TikTok. My next video is more of a “trend,” where I followed a format common to those seen on popular TikToks. I found myself laughing a lot throughout the process of making these videos with Nora, and of course, bonding further with the beloved minis.
While the TikToks are still a work in progress, I look forward to the improvement that Nora and I will make as we go on making such content. If you’d like to follow along, our TikTok username is @greencarelab. I may be biased, but I definitely recommend it.
Green Care Blog
Here you can find blog posts from each Green Care Lab intern. We'll be talking about our research process, the benefits of Green Care therapy, and sharing pictures of our work. Follow along with us!