Assignment 5 – video element

The brief is to make a presentation which might be a video (max 3 mins), a PowerPoint (max 14 slides), Prezi, Padlet, or a PDF (max 10 pages); and the advice is to use key points to carry it, show don’t tell, and to consider the audience. Working with your strengths is also advised.

Taking the last, first; video was inevitable. It also reflects most keenly the work I’ve been doing and very definitely lends itself to showing rather than telling.

I took the key themes from the course notes in Exercise 6 and answered the questions using a Word document. From this I made a voice track by activating the Read Aloud facility, recording this initially as a screen capture and later modifying it in Audio Director to deepen the female voice and also create a robotic voice from that. Both tracks were used in the video which resulted in an even more robotic echo.

Then I selected the work I wanted to show. After a discussion in a recent tutorial, I approached this as a curation task and, were I to be lucky enough to have solo exhibition, I would be ensuring my visitors were prepared to see physical work, digital work, and physical/digital hybrids. So, having set up my voice tracks as cyber-entities, I went into Second Life (a non-game virtual world) to film a sequence using my Na’vi avatar. There is a Brighton build there which was ideal; early in the day there is rarely anyone around and the place was empty. I filmed a short tour of the area, using the walk, run, and fly movements. This would be the basis for my exhibition with pieces of work being placed within the SL (Second Life) setting in front of, usually, the avatar.

I used Power Director for the first time to make the video. It has many commonalities with other video editing suites but I’m finding it more intuitive and capable of greater potential.

The process involves importing all the elements into a workspace and organising them according to visible priority.

Power Director project workspace.

I had considered using greenscreen to show the art work through an image of old cinema film, but that turned out to be both fussy and redundant, messing up the positioning of elements within or over others to no discernible advantage. The major challenges were going to be lining up audio with video while editing out redundant space or material. I discovered some time ago how to lock tracks so that they weren’t all chopped at the same time whenever I wanted to edit something out, but getting the images, SL video, and audio voice tracks to sit where I wanted them was a task requiring some patience and definitely no cats on the keyboard.

I learned a great deal doing this, and benefited from some remarkably lucky synchronicity of sound and motion at one point that gave me the incentive to be more purposeful about it.

There was also the time constraint and I am more than pleased to have come in at 2:56 including end credits!

I have been flirting with the idea of holding an actual exhibition in Second Life. This brief return to a previous pastime (and government funded research venue, dontcha know?) has livened that up.

One thought on “Assignment 5 – video element

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.