Assignment: Create 3 brief, related instructional videos. Include music, a title, a still, narration, and video in each.
When I began this assignment, I wondered why on earth we needed to do three of these videos. Quality video creation takes much, much longer than you would think when you are viewing the complete version. Scripting, story boarding, recording, creating stills, editing, and putting together all of the elements — it all takes time. I took an video and audio creation/editing class 13 years ago so I am familiar with it, though I’ve not done it since and we used “old school” direct-to-VHS camcorders and editing equipment (not computer-based). I still might argue that creating two of these videos may be sufficient but I am convinced that one was not enough. Multiple videos allow you to learn from your attempts and immediately apply what you learn on the next one.
I decided to create my first video from start to finish before working on my second and third videos in any way, aside from choosing topics. I felt that this would help me discover and adapt to any challenges that might arise without those challenges impacting all of my videos. I am glad I made that decision because I discovered bigger issues than I anticipated using the iPhone’s built-in mic (so quiet, even when standing very near), filming in portrait mode on the iPhone, and the importance of pausing to allow sufficient space for edits. I was able to apply these learned lessons into the next two videos. Unfortunately, it also means that my first video stands out a bit from the series.
I elected to create a series of training videos that we will actually use as a part of our training for new clerks at the UAA Learning Resources Center. I wanted to create videos that would have immediate and concrete application rather than creating something just to fulfill the assignment. I chose to use my iPhone for this project because:
- It’s a tool I always have on me and
- I wanted to explore the potential use of commonly owned tools (like smartphones and apps) for students to complete video assignments/projects in my future classes.
I used the iPhone’s default camera/video tool to record the video and take the photographs used. I edited using Cute Cut, an app that’s free to try but $5.99 to export a video, remove the watermark, and remove a short length limit. I looked into a few video editing options but really liked that I could jump right in to the app to try it out with no account and a relatively small learning curve. The system works very much like screencast editing software I’ve worked with (such as Camtasia). You layer elements in different tracks to create the end product. The app allows you to quickly and easily add 6 different track types: video, image, voice, music, text, and free draw (sort of like a mini version of Paint). I used Microsoft Word to create the introduction and a few other text-based slides.
I looked into a number of options for video hosting but ultimately chose to go with the tried-and-true — YouTube. It’s free, it would let me upload directly from my iPhone without issue, and I have other videos hosted there. I signed up for and tried Vimeo, GorillaVid, Veoh, and Flickr as well. All failed to upload directly from the iPhone despite a fast and strong WiFi connection. My biggest complaint with YouTube was it’s serious degradation of my original video quality. However, given the struggles I had with other services combined with my original reasoning for choosing to work with my iPhone, the ubiquitous YouTube ultimately seemed the right choice.
LRC Training Series
LRC Reserve Call Numbers