Friday 7 May 2021

Creating Videos

A couple of people have commented on the video pre-work that I produce, asking how I do it - as it is not the standard Powerpoint with a little picture of me in the corner...

Rather, it tends to have an opening title slide, then me full screen introducing the topic, then intercuts between me and slides (or videos etc), and so on. My hope is that that makes it more engaging.

The process is a bit laborious (and if anyone knows easier ways to do this, I'll be interested). What I do is record the talking head bit (me speaking to camera) using Quicktime. I produce (or to be more honest, Jane produces) my slides in Keynote, and I then make recording of them (also in Keynote), synced to the Quicktime talking head movie, so all the transitions occur at the right times, and save that as a movie.

Then I create a new project in iMovie and import the talking head and the slides. From there it is relatively easy to edit between the two, swapping between the slides and me; and then top and tailing it with titles, music and so on.  And the result, I like to think, is quite professional.

One of the things I've learned along the way is not to be seduced by the huge array of options (particularly in iMovie). Just as in typography (when they say you should have no more than three typefaces on any one page, apparently) so in movie making: simple is better.  So I always use the same transition in iMovie (swap), which seems to me to work well, as denoting a change in topic, or timing, or perspective. Likewise, I use the same transition in Keynote and the same way of swapping between slides and talking head.  And, as I have mentioned before, I have invested in a reasonable microphone and camera  (these are, in fact, a Rode NT microphone (which we cheerfully refer to as the rodent, for obvious reasons) and a Razer Kiyo camera.)

S0 here's an example: the introduction to one of the programmes I have filmed in this way, to give you a sense of what I'm on about here.

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