This is the fifth post on my return to university. You can catch up on the last one here. In this post I’ll talk about my experience making a video.
We were assigned a phrase and the task was to create a video that depicted that phrase. We weren’t allowed to use the words in the phrase. My team got “all that glitters is not gold”. We sat down with post-its and came up with some ideas, but quickly we went off exploring some of the quieter places on campus to film.
I found this to be so much fun. I got to try filming (and of course made the silly mistake using mobile and forgot to turn it landscape). The team worked really well together and we just had a lot of fun with it. It was nice to do something outside the classroom, and to try something a bit different.
We did a great deal of prototyping with this project. I did some rough edits and sent them to the team, and we met up a few times after this, moving clips around and refining the video. We also added some effects like gold shimmers, a pot of gold and a rainbow.
We then added music, and intentionally picked it to suit the phrase – choosing music that people would know related to the word gold. Initially we realised we had too much music, so we chose our favourites. We also had a fantastic voiceover. I had never worked with music editing software before and I really enjoyed learning to use it, and raising and lowering the levels, fading in and out etc. Matching the music up to the video and getting the timings right was interesting too.
We spent quite a bit of time refining the video and I thought it really showed. We got people to look at the video during the later stages, and checked if they could guess the phrase. It did take a few more adjustments but eventually those we asked started to guess it correctly. This demonstrates how prototyping can be really effective in unifying on a final product.
What I learned
During this project I got to learn a lot with video and sound editing, and it’s great to see what you can do with free software. It’s easy to forget you don’t need to be a professional to make something look professional. You can go out and try something, learn from it, and then go and try again. I think it comes back to the educating creativity out of people. We’re so afraid of doing it wrong, or it not being as good as something else, and that doesn’t matter. If you’re starting your own business, and you can learn to do something to a decent standard so you don’t have to pay a professional, that’s an amazing advantage.
Am I going to make the next best feature film? Probably not. But do I now have the skills to make a semi-decent YouTube ad? Absolutely.
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