When we first decided to take our stories to YouTube, we had a smartphone camera, a wobbly tripod and the pandemic quarantine (in Malaysia, that meant no leaving the house except for food or hospital).
So we set up that wobbly tripod and smartphone and began moving furniture around; a shelf, some books, a big plant pot into the setting and... Action! We produced our first video for YouTube!
Of course the lighting was awful, the sound was a disaster, the neighbour's dog barking nonstop and the motorcycles. We did a little research on noise reduction and video editing. The text was delivered over 4 video sessions and we completed endless hours of recording and making funny mistakes, but we did it and in the end, we were quite happy with the result. However, there was still a lot to learn.
After Grandad’s Island, we decided to approach things differently. Instead of reading published books, we started looking for old folktales from our childhood years, translating them into English and finding illustrators who could give them new life. Hassani was our first project, an old Persian tale. We invested in buying a microphone for better sound quality. We also started taking some online courses on how to record a video, sound and video editing and how to improve the quality of the final work. When it came to video editing, iMovie was limiting us. Making the move to Final Cut pro was not easy, everything was more professional but learning new skills is always fun and also challenging.
As time to publish our story came closer, the issue of not having yet decided on a brand name became more and more of an issue.
Our Yellow Bench was finally chosen from at least fifteen others that we took eternity to decide on. The yellow bench is a real thing, it was found near our house and we decided to turn it into a piece of treasure; fixing, sanding and painting. For no reason in particular, we’ve grown an unusual attachment to this piece of furniture, central in our home and our lives. It is in fact quite the perfect place to have a story. So that very yellow bench became the brand name for our project, website, social media and all things storytelling.