The Video Creation Process

Like you, I’ve seen many videos, movies, and television shows. I’ve appreciated beautiful cinematography and visual effects. I have seen “Avatar.” But it never occurred to me how much goes into creating a visually appealing video. I’m beginning to understand a little more about the whole process. Here is a link to a website that showcases many of the aspects involved with video creation for the Web.

The first step is coming up with an idea. That makes sense. However, not only do you need an idea, but you need to be able to decide how that idea will manifest on-screen. The next step is to write the script. Use present tense throughout for more energy when talking about the process. In my last video, this was the most challenging part. I thought I knew what the final product would be but was having difficult time getting there.

The next step is to find your cast. I tried to get a student to help, but that fell through. So I began to think of people I know who are animated and vivacious. I remembered that Fiona Lofton, the Director of Career Services at Columbia College, and Helen Tate, the Division Head of Arts and Communication Studies at Columbia College were a hit together for the Campus Campaign Cheer Squad at the beginning of last semester. They performed a skit that was based on SNL’s Spartan Cheerleaders. They were more than happy to help me.

I sent the script to them ahead of time and asked for their input. I received wonderful suggestions that made more sense than the original. With a few adjustments, my original idea really took form.

The next step is the actual filming. There are several things that you need to take into account before you actually start filming. You need to think about lighting. You need to do a test run for the lighting to find out if your location will work. I used the recording studio available for students in the library, and it was perfect for my concept. Another element to consider is the audio. Ambient sounds, such as an air conditioner’s hum, may interfere with the audio quality.

The afternoon of filming was one of the most entertaining ones I have had in a long time. There were quite a few takes and lots of funny facial expressions. I have promised to create a gag reel soon. When I do, I will post it on this blog. The footage that was taken seemed a little choppy at first, but I felt pretty confident that I had enough footage to create something that made sense.

The final step is the editing process. This of course, is the most time-consuming. I am such a perfectionist when it comes to editing that sometimes I drive myself crazy. The final process took me several hours over the course of about four days. This is my favorite step because everything comes together. There is such a feeling of completion.

Several different options for video editing are on the market. I am using iMovie 2009 for this class. It is wonderful software, considering it is for amateurs. It comes with the purchase of a Mac and is part of Apple’s iLife suite. Some other software available are Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premier Pro. Learning how to use these will be my next step.


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College Access Challenge

The College Access Challenge has been just that; a challenge. The College Access Challenge is a contest that challenges current college students to encourage high school students to seek an education beyond high school. The contest is being conducted by the SC Commission on Higher Education and is affiliated with SC ETV. Click this link for more information:

I thought that I had ironed out my idea early, so that all I needed to do was write my script and find my actors or actresses. I began to ponder on different television ads and decided that I wanted to use the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials as inspiration. I watched about 20 of the videos on YouTube and decided that I should be able to recreate the concept. Since the background in the commercials is white, I wouldn’t have any trouble, considering we had a white background in the recording studio. I only needed to find actors or actresses and write the script.

The idea behind the Apple commercials is simplicity. The actors are dressed to influence which choice would be the right or cool choice. The banter between the two, borders on argument but it is minimal and also subtle. This was what I wanted to use to convey my message as well. I didn’t want the college grad to come across as snarky or self- righteous.

I would be depending largely on my actors/actresses. I asked Helen Tate and Fiona Lofton if they would be interested in starring in my video. They have been known around the Columbia College campus to do very amusing skits, and they have the talent and the nerve to pull it off.

They agreed wholeheartedly to be my stars and the script writing began. We made several changes to the original and they improvised a little during filming. Fiona came in chewing gum so we made this part of her character. We had a few interesting things occur during the filming that will make a great gag reel later. Our white background fell during one of the scenes. It didn’t hit anyone but we had to reattach it to the wall. It did not want to cooperate after that so we changed location for our last scene. We shot that scene in the library among the study carrels. This was actually a better fit in the end anyway because if gave more credibility to the studying scene. When all of the scenes were shot, it was time for the editing to begin.

The editing process was probably my favorite part. I enjoy putting bits and pieces together to form the end product. My actresses were afraid that I would not have anything solid because they didn’t have their lines memorized but technology is a wonderful thing. I was able to create a decent video out of just a few clips. I took the advice of Mr. Haworth and Professor Brinson and added a few more photos and some background music. I was happy with the end result and I hope that it will convince someone to go to college.

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Welcome to My Busy Life

Welcome to my busy life! I am a mom, I work full-time, and go to college part-time. I am currently studying computer science but hope to change to the new media program soon. I also plan to minor in education. I would like to earn my master’s degree in Educational Technology to enhance my career in my current field and to learn more about using technology in education.

I have two daughters, ages 11 and 4, who keep me very busy. I have been married 14 years to my best friend. I have a wonderful job at Columbia College, a liberal arts women’s college in Columbia, S.C.

I work in Instructional Technology and love every minute of it. In this position I have the opportunity to work mostly with faculty. I teach them how to use technology to enhance their teaching.

This video illustrates the day-to-day tasks that make up my life.


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