Sunday, February 24, 2008

Online Video Explanations - Take Two

I got a little more time to work on my online video explanation project this weekend. In Take One, I created a mind map of the ideas and elements that I wanted to include and started on a script. Over the last week or so I spent some time here and there editing the script. The next step in the Common Craft process is to storyboard the video, so that was my focus this weekend.

One of the constraints in the approach is to limit the number of scenes to less than 20. So, I created a simple storyboard template in Photoshop of 10 little boxes for the visual component and space underneath each for the script. This was based on the storyboard templates that Lee and Sachi LeFever used in their VizThink session. So, I ended up with two pages for all my storyboarding. As you can see in the photos of them below, I've still got some empty boxes.

Page 1...

Page 2 ...

I'm not sure any of that will make sense to anybody but me, especially given my sloppy handwriting and amateurish drawing skills. I've obviously still got a bit more work to do to come up with visual ideas for a few of the boxes, but I've had some ideas on some of them since scanning these.

The next step will be to go into production mode. I've already started thinking about how I'm going to do each scene. I think I mentioned in the last post about this that I don't plan to use the "paperworks" approach that Lee and Sachi use. I'd like to try a digital version of that, using tools like Adobe Photoshop and Flash and a screen capture tool called iShowU. The whole thing could be done in Flash, which would be an excellent tool to use if I wanted to do a highly polished and refined version. But, I want to keep the production time down so I'm willing to sacrifice a bit on production values. What will be interesting to see is if that sacrifice turns out making it just look really cheesy or if it ends up being similar to the lighthearted and fun but educational style of the CommonCraft productions but digital. As a side note, I don't think I'll try to mimic the "booos" and "yeaahs" that they do. It works for them because that's who they are. I don't think it would work for me. In fact, I think a lesson to learn in this process will be like any writing or artistic endeavor - finding your own voice and style.

Regardless of the outcome it should be fun to work on and I'm hoping I'll get the chance to start on some of it this week. Realistically though, I'm guessing that it's going to take at least 20 hours for the production phase so I doubt I'll have it available for show and tell here very soon. But, I definitely do plan to show it here once I've got it complete.

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