AGP: Digital Video Production Review

AGP-VideoProductionI originally intended to blog my way through the course.  That didn’t happen (obviously).  However, I successfully completed and passed the class (yay)!

I learned a fair amount from working on this class.  First and foremost, equipment isn’t your biggest concern; planning and execution are.  You can do a lot with a phone camera too.  That said, having better equipment can give you better control over your content.  I learned to embrace “progress, not perfection” more in this course: for several projects, I had ideas that I really wanted to execute.  I also learned to embrace the idea of telling a story, even if that story is a very simple vlog.

Our Week 2 project was supposed to involve the theme “numbers” and we were supposed to storyboard, plan, and then do a shot scavenger hunt using a tripod.  I ordered 2 tripods that work with phones (or small handheld cameras).  They took weeks to arrive.  Nature did not cooperate.  Despite taking regular walks, I never found a scene that I felt fit what I wanted to see or do for that video.  I finally admitted defeat and just took a bunch of shots when I was out for a walk after a rainstorm.  I ended up calling it “the soggy walk” video.  It wasn’t what I wanted it to be and the perfectionist in me wasn’t happy, but I accomplished the basics of what needed to be done.  I initially labeled my shots and uploaded, but I subsequently revised this video, so I’ll only show the final version.

For Week 3, we were supposed to create a music video.  This assignment caused me to feel instantly stressed because I have no idea how to do such a thing.  I mean, I know how to add music to a video and make it fade in and fade out, but I had no idea how to express a piece of music in video form.  As it turns out, I didn’t need to (whew).  My initial idea for this video was to use a suggestion from our “recommended reading textbook” that suggested having people at an event each shoot clips that they found important or interesting, then find a piece of music of the same length as the sum of the clips.  The problem is the lack of “events” in my life. Ultimately, I ended up abandoning that idea and adding music to the soggy walk video.

Week 4’s assignment had us create an educational video.  Finally, an assignment that didn’t make me feel stressed!  I hand-animated the video (employing skills I acquired in Digital Creativity) and again added music.  Although less stressful, this assignment was still several hours’ worth of work.  I ended up doing a quick title in Adobe AfterEffects (I actually finished this video last) and recording audio separately and adding it in.  Editing non-synchronized audio narration and animation sequences was a PAIN but it got done.  I also added music.

The final week (week 5) had us use Adobe After Effects to create a title sequence.  For this I went back to my Soggy Walk video and created a title sequence.  I figured out how to add rain.  I wanted the text to look like drops falling into a puddle.  I found an awesome set of stock art images that I wanted to use and went to purchase them but found out that my subscription “credits” didn’t even begin to cover the cost of a single image, unlike most where 1 credit=1 image.  Then I tried my best to make the text look like rain was distorting or splashing the font.  It was imperfect, but it looks better than many things I’ve done.  Some of what my computer showed didn’t render the way I thought it would, but I was out of time and again embraced “progress, not perfection.”

Don’t look for more videos on my Vimeo account.  It was encouraged for the use of this course, but I’m probably sticking with YouTube since I’m not (ever going to be) a pro.

What’s next?

The Adobe Generation Professional Digital Imaging course.  It’s already in progress!

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