Hello Uncle Foreigner

behind the scenes

Aug 9, 2018

China LIVE STREAM 08: What’s your workflow?

Working with a bedsheet green screen

Due to a website error, I’ve had to type this description out five times. The video is good. Please watch it.

Aug 4, 2018

Live stream #7: A plug for absentee voters

Also, how hot is hot, really?

Our weekly roundup is becoming a thing! We’ve got regular segments, catch phrases, banter, and a ukulele. Also, we seem to have figured out the chipmunk effect; YouTube says to use a sample rate of 44.1kHz, but 48kHz is what works for us. So, there.

Jul 27, 2018

Live stream #6: Steely Dan and some other stuff

Return of the Chipmunk Voice

The live stream is starting to really take shape, with recurring segments and everything! It’s getting easier and easier to talk for a full hour — because I take notes all week of things I want to talk about.

This week, toward the end, we have a riveting discussion about Steely Dan and their presence in Barrytown and elsewhere. And, I tell the saga of our electric bill, including what it takes to run enough air conditioning during the Luzhou summer.

Jun 3, 2018

June is Pledge Month for Hello Uncle Foreigner on YouTube

So SUBSCRIBE already!

Ever wonder how we do what we do? Our “Please Like Us” video introduces you to the world of Whoop wu studios: our staff, our equipment, our process. It’s fun making videos about living in China, but it’s also hard work.

So we are looking for more eyeballs! All this month, on YouTube, we have some special subscriber incentives:

  • First-commenter incentive: A fortune cookie fortune.
  • Subscriber incentive: Tote bags — go get a tote bag out of your closet, and write our logo on it!
  • All-commenters incentive: A sense of satisfaction and sophistication.
  • Like-a-video incentive: A baby in China will learn one word of English.

Subscribe today, you’ll be glad you did. Or we will be glad you did … someone will be glad you did. And, tell a friend, maybe?

May 1, 2018

“Teachers exist in China” the series!

The making of our guide to ESL teaching and expat China life

“Teachers Exist in China” was our biggest project to date! It was a lot of work in a short amount of time, but we’re really proud of what we put together, and it was actually a lot of fun.

The idea grew out of a sort of professional jealousy. I’ll admit it. Another YouTuber whom Uncle Foreigner follows put up kind of a rant about what it’s like to teach in China, and I thought, “I could do that, but way better.” (This is the same reason I got my nose pierced. A sense of superiority drives most of my life choices.) But once we got to work, it was all about figuring out how to best share my experience with those who were seriously thinking about diving into the China ESL game, in a way that would be comprehensive and informative, but most importantly, watchable.

Originally, I had only intended to write the Jobs Guide, which turned into our centerpiece Thursday video. But as Peter and I kept talking about it, we kept coming up with more and more ideas, until we had a six-episode series. We were careful to try and keep the workload balanced and doable: The Preview and Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday videos were of a format that we refer to in-house as “Uncle’s Shorts” — videos that can be written and shot quickly with minimal production. And the Friday video — about the expat lifestyle in China — we decided that I would riff live from an outline. I hate speaking extemporaneously, and would have preferred to write it, but the Jobs Guide took about seven hours to write, three hours to shoot, and a bajillion hours to edit. If we hadn’t chosen a looser format, Lifestyle would probably have taken a similar amount of time, and we just didn’t have it. Also, it’s a good exercise for me to practice “just talking” on camera. Probably.

Anyway, pre-production and shooting took about a week, and editing and posting took another week. We made some mistakes; I said “nature” instead of “neighbor” in one of the videos, but there was NO TIME for a reshoot. And there were definitely some things we’d like to have put a little more polish on. We could have spent an entire month, or more, editing this series to perfection! But part of the experience was to see what we could do given such a tight deadline. And I think we did a lot.