Video: There's more to it than fluffy cats Chris Clark - Adobe Gen Pro - Learning Journal

Intro Video

I'm looking forward to another course after just finishing "Digital Me".

Color intensity video

I decided to get a head start and do the first assignment. I had fun finding images on Pexels and Unsplash, and tried to incorporate a variety of different subjects. The snake was my favorite, so he's where I started. I don't have the eye to say whether the color intensity actually increases, but I did my best. The Northern Lights image has a bright green, but the black background sort of tempers it. The exaggerated field of grass was certainly the most neon of the greens!

I've done this kind of image-based project with Premiere Pro before, so it wasn't technically hard for me. I made it a little harder by precisely reducing the duration of the images by 6 frames each, and I exported the file without sound. One thing I have resolved to do during this course is to organize my files into one large folder, rather than making several individual project folders.

Media Production in 20 Seconds

I enjoyed finding usable Pexels clips for the theme I chose. It was relatively easy, but I wish there had been more material related to editing. I could easily use this assignment with my class as they begin to learn to edit. They might also be able to use footage from Pexels in their projects.

I had to edit the music clip to fit the 20 second time frame. I'm experienced with Audacity, and was able to use it to bump up the tempo (a little faster than I wanted, but it works).

I have used Premiere for a while, but am stuck in a limited set of familiar tools and strategies. Trying out new stuff - especially the slip tool - was very helpful. I'm looking forward to using Premiere at a more expert level.

Knock-knock — Shot / Reverse shot

I shot this with an iPad in one take: first the beginning and ending, then all of the first speaker, and finally all of the second. The lighting was not great, so I tried to fix it up a little in post. Neither is the sound awesome - just the internal mic. I shot at a high angle because it was easy. I didn't use a tripod, but it's so short that it really doesn't matter.

In retrospect, I think the poor lighting bothers me most. I could have just asked my friend to close his shades and it would have been much better. Lighting was not the point of the exercise, so I'm not going to lose sleep over it.

I had never done this type of shooting. While the production values are not great, I had a lot of fun and learned a great deal. I thought I would need more than one camera, but it worked out fine.

It's interesting how my colleagues read their lines. One was much more expressive. I used to do community theater and I guess I was expecting they would both just act naturally. Talent makes a difference, huh?

How-to Video

My video is somewhere between expert and novice. I used Techsmith's Snagit to create screencast footage, edited it in Premiere Pro, and then add titles with a little animation. For fun I added sound - a silly music clip at the beginning and one person clapping at the end. This was pretty easy for me.

My topic has to do with a very specific task in our learning management system. The video is timely, because we just moved to the latest version of the system. I have done a lot of screencasts before, and I've been encouraging faculty to learn how to use the software. It has a great deal of potential.

Seeing the demos of text effects was interesting, but I already had experience with animation, so much of it was not new to me. I was a little confused by the way After Effects was added to the mix. I have never used it and don't have a clear idea of how it fits into the picture. That's definitely something I'll need to work on.

Cutting on Action

I created my video with footage from a nice handheld JVC camera and Techsmith's Snagit screencasting software. As with the shot / reverse shot video, I have never done this kind of thing before. It really was a lot of fun!

I made two big mistakes: (1) not paying attention to the light settings on the camera and (2) not raising the input volume on the screencast. I am such an amateur videographer! I was able to adjust the color in post but it's pretty awful. The mic volume was less of a problem; it amplified just fine.

The talent is a librarian friend of mine, and the content is a quick introduction to the library's sound recording booth. I planned on NOT using the audio from the JVC camera, but the screencast recording captured sound from the Blue "Yeti" mic and it's gorgeous.

My main challenge was keeping the time down to 20 seconds, which I was not quite able to do -- close! As a result there are some minor continuity issues, but I don't think they distract from the video.

Final reflection

I took this course as a way to force myself to raise my video editing skill level, and it has done that. Assignments 3 and 4 particularly stretched me, and that was great. I didn't learn major new bits of Premiere (lots of smaller bits), but I learned a lot more about what makes good video.

I will definitely push myself to make my future videos more interesting in ways that were discussed in the course. Up until now, for example, now I have frequently settled for scenes that were way too long. I now know ways to shorten them and spice things up.

I've been sharing a lot of the materials from this course with the person with whom I co-teach. I think we could consider adding one or two more challenging assignments.

I wish I'd had the time to be more careful with all of the assignments. Even though they turned out okay, I'm not as proud of some as I'd like to be. My students surely face trade-off questions like, "Do I spend an extra two hours to earn an A instead of a B+?" I hope I can remember this the next time I'm grading.

Created By
Chris Clark


Header photo by Sebastian Mantel via

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