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More on Multimedia

2009 April 7
by Laura Blankenship

In class I mentioned I’d post some more information and a couple of my own examples of multimedia projects.  There are lots of ways to conceive of this project and you certainly don’t have to do your project the way I’ve done mine.  My friend and fellow technologist, Alan Levine, has a wiki page that outlines the basic process of how you might approach this project.  He explains how to find media for your project and links to copyright friendly sources, such as Creative Commons licensed photos that can be found in Flickr.  He also links to more than 50 tools, organized by type, that you can use to build your project.  There’s everything from web-based PowerPoint/Slide tools to Comic Tools.  You can make a collage, a map, or an audio project.  There are a ton of possibilities!  Here are my examples, with a little explanation about how I put these together.

The first one was the latest one I did, and I also posted a draft of it on my YouTube account. In both cases, I started out by narrating the images, creating a script, but I abandoned that to basically let the images speak somewhat for themselves, although I added subtitles and titles that were shortened versions of what I wanted to say. Both pieces were intended as conversation starters, so I felt it was important to give the audience some room for interpretation. Music was also important. The first one includes a copyrighted song, which I don’t necessarily recommend. I think I could argue fair use to some extent here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I got dinged for this. The second video uses Creative Commons licensed music, which doesn’t have quite as professional a feel to it, but it works okay. In the first video, I chose a song that I thought matched my topic and ended up coordinating the images to go both with my subtitles and with the lyrics of the song. So, as you can see, this can be a complicated process. In each case, I probably spent about a week working on them, usually spending a couple of hours a day.  Partly this was because of the tools I was using (iMovie mostly) and because I became obsessed with getting things just right.

I would suggest finding a tool you feel comfortable with so that that’s not a barrier to you and not adding to the time you spend on the project unneccessarily, but I would also suggest pushing yourself a little too.  I knew how to use video tools, and so I felt comfortable from a technical standpoint, but I am not as comfortable working with images, so in that way I pushed myself to think a little differently.  Both of these were fun to put together, and I hope you’ll have fun with yours too!

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