As a teacher of English to non-native speakers, it is important to provide as many visuals as possible to help students negotiate for meaning. While there are a lot of video resources available in the world, I’m interested in generating my own materials as much as possible and therefore have wanted to learn more about Adobe Premiere Pro for some time. I learned something new every week, but sometimes there were unexpected lessons as I learned new short-cuts in the Premiere Pro editing process. For instance, I didn’t previously know about the “I” and “O” hotkeys to mark the “In” or “Out” of a video clip I was trying to edit; learning this short-cut has made editing a little easier. Additionally, when editing a portion of a video, I always moved the video and audio separately into the sequence. It wasn’t until I was watching a tutorial that I realized I could click and grab the screen to move the video and audio into the sequence at the same time. Thanks to the five-week AGP Digital Video class, I am a more confident and effective video editor.
Class five - Learning video
It wasn’t that difficult to create an instructional video. I created my first one about 3 years ago when I used Camtasia Studio to show my students how to format their papers. For this assignment, I used the same video but made modifications. I cut the video into sections, deleted my original voiceover, and sped up each section so that it would still contain information my students needed within about 15 seconds long. [This is the 3rd video in a row in which I've sped up the clips; I'm clearly obsessed with that feature.] I added titles to each clip so that viewers clearly understand what is being demonstrated. I wanted to vary the titles so they would roll or crawl in, but it was too distracting, so I just left them all still. I also added some upbeat, ukulele music so that the video was not completely silent. If I learned nothing else from this project, I learned that my original tutorial did not need to be 7 minutes long. I could still make an effective tutorial while keeping it short and sweet.
Class four - Momentum
For this video, I wanted to create a sequence in which poor Kev is trying to leave the house, only to realize he’s forgotten a succession of things: first his wallet, then his cell phone, and finally his keys. I used a post-it note to track what should happen at which point in the timeline. Most of the shots were cut down to about a little over a second long. I repeated the shots of Kev outside the door, rolling his eyes, then of him turning around to go back inside. (What is it about Kev’s clips that make me want to have him star in a Charlie Chaplin/Benny Hill-type video?) For a more hurried start to the day, I sped the action up slightly. Once I added a free music track that sounded a lot like the theme music for the American version of The Office, the video turned into a combination of hurried and upbeat.
Class three - Knock-knock joke
As I’m a novice videographer, I chose to keep the assignment relatively simple. Rather than shooting and using my own footage, I used the supplied resources to put my joke video together. Since it was a knock-knock joke, I wanted to add some music that would evoke comedy. I could think of nothing better than Yakety Sax, most popularly associated with The Benny Hill Show. In fact, I edited a 30-second clip of the music before I even started choosing which shots I would use.
Once I had my music, it was much easier to select the best takes for my knock-knock concept. I eliminated any shots that appeared to shoot from behind the seating area, keeping the 180-degrees from the original front shot. I chose dialogue shots that said the words a bit slower, wanting a strong contrast between the dialogue and the sped-up Benny-inspired shots in between. I ended the video with a facial expression that could have been either White Shirt trying to get Black Shirt’s joke or White Shirt being exasperated by another punchline he doesn’t like.
Class two - Choose-your-own-Theme
I’ve been teaching English in Uzbekistan for the last two years. In that time, I’ve shot a lot of videos to show my friends and family back home what the country is really like. For this week’s assignment, I created a themed video based on my last two years in Uzbekistan.
Choosing the videos was somewhat difficult given the time constraint of only 20 seconds. I had to sift through everything I’ve shot to choose short-yet-specific video clips. Even then, I had to choose the best 3-4 seconds out of every chosen video to show the best representation of the country through my eyes.
I cross cut the first two shots, which was something I had never done. I alternated an Extreme Close-Up of a lady clapping along to music with Pan Left footage from Khiva, an ancient city in the north-western part of the country that is on the Silk Road route. The third clip was a statue of Amir Temur, the George Washington of Uzbekistan, on a horse; I used Zoom on that clip.
The next clip was some footage I took two weeks ago on a trip to the mountains. We visited Lake Charvak and as we were leaving, I stuck my video camera out the window to capture some of the lake. After that, I used Pan Right footage of racks of Uzbek hats for sale in Khiva (hats are sold mostly to tourists).
The next shot was a Pan Up to a green mountain as we drew closer. I closed the video with footage of a babbling stream and panned up to the snow-capped mountain. For the audio, I had 20 seconds of the instrumental portion of a song I heard and fell in love with last year. The singer is from Khiva, a city featured in my video clip. It was the first ancient city I visited in Uzbekistan.
The more I practice with Premier Pro, the more confident I become in getting the final product to look and sound the way I envisioned it. I’m looking forward now to creating a longer video that will also include photos, more videos, and a longer audio clip. These last two years have been very special and I want to share them with people.
Class one - color
For my first video, most photos came from Pixabay. While we were not required to add our own content, I took photos of a green plate from my house. I also added a mountain photo I took on April 30 at Lake Charvak just outside of Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I ended the video with the Uzbek flag as I'm creating this video while living in the country.
I don't have a great deal of experience with Premier, so for now I'm going to keep things simple. As I become more familiar and comfortable with it, I'll add music and/or my own voiceover.
The color seemed appropriate at this time of year. In the spring, nature comes to life after a long winter. Beautiful green hues are suddenly all around us and I like to capture and share them.