Lights Camera Action

Making videos seems  to have been on everyone’s mind during the past year or so. As schools transitioned back and forth from distance, hybrid, and in person learning creating short videos, as a way of teaching asynchronously, has been an important part of what we have all been doing. Whether you have been using Loom, Screencastify, or another tool to create some teaching videos then I am certain that you have been experimenting with digital movie creation over the past year.  I know I have certainly spent more time coaching teams and individuals on how to do screencasts!

By now you have likely put together some of the components of your final video project, or at least you’ve started thinking about it. I remember back to my time  when I was creating my final project video and laboring over camera shots, balancing audio, and if my voice-overs sounded natural. I thought it might be helpful to put together a few tips…some from me, but also a few from a few experts out there who I have learned from.

Telling Your Story

Creating a video is something that takes time. It is not a quick skill to master and as you edit and tweak your creations it is something that you will always think you can improve on. For me creating a video project is a about telling a (your) story, getting the audience excited or inspired and give them a feeling or emotion. If this is your first foray into video creation then this video will be for. It features some wonderful mobile filmmakers who share their tips and advice.

Video Tools to pull it all together

I have used a variety of tools to create the final movie and wanted to share some of them with you. All the tools are similar in that they will help you create a final video, however some offer some features that are a little more specialized. Whatever tool you end up using as splice and paste your final project I recommend that you choose something that you are comfortable using.

This is, of course,  not an exhaustive list and there are so many tools out there that will help you put together a wonderful final project video.

Video Considerations

  • Have a script…but don’t follow it to a tee: Having a plan for what you are going to say is a great tool for staying on track, but sounding too stiff can make your video come across as rehearsed and insincere. Aim for a conversational feel.
  • Choose visuals that enhance your story: Choose visuals that help rather than distract. This also goes with titles, transitions, and animations. Over-doing it with wild animations and transitions can seem fun, but if they become the focal point you’ve gone too far. You also want to try to pick one style of title or transition and stick to it as much as you can. Repetition in your design ties the whole look and feel of the project together. For example: choosing the same font style for titles throughout the video.
  • Wondering how to get animations you can use? Some awesome options include Keynote, Visme, and even Canva! Just download the animations you create as video files and add them to your video editor. If you download animations with a transparent background you can layer it over video clips using a green screen feature like the one in iMovie.
  • Pick great music: Music sets the mood of your video and keeps those watching it engaged. There are a lot of awesome free ways to get free (or paid) music. Some of my favorites include YouTube Audio Library and Epidemic Sound.
  • Balance your audio: You might have different clips throughout your video from various environments and speakers. By adjusting the audio for each clip within the video to match, you make the viewing experience (and listening) a lot easier.
  • Cutaways: This is a technique used by documentary filmmakers. While the narrator is speaking (you), you can cut away to show footage of your kids working, your school environment, or any other footage that communicates your ideas.

Those are just a few ideas that came to mind when considering how to create your video. I am looking forward to seeing your final products!

Photo by Wahid Khene on Unsplash

Looking Ahead

Here is what is required ideally before the May 2 deadline so that we can give feedback to each other by May 16. 

  • 4 blog posts of your choice. Take a look at the prompts located here for inspiration
  • 1 Community Engagement post. See the rubric here.
  • 1 final reflective post containing your project and video. This post should be a reflection on your process, what you learned, and contain your project materials and video. Please see the questions located in the of Learning section of the My Courses Tab (Course 5). I will be looking for reflection on those in your final post.

If you have any questions at all please reach out! I am here to help and support you.