This is my learning journal for the AGP Digital Video Skill Builder course, which started today, February 20, 2017.
Our first assignment is to create a fifteen second vacation commercial with sound and video, edited together with Adobe Premier Pro CC. We can use video clips from online sources and downloaded free-to-use sound.
After reviewing the information in the classes, this looks like a fun and very doable assignment. Preparing the 'story' and procuring the video clips, I'm guessing, will be the big part of the process.
February 26, 2017 I have thought about the example commercial's general outline - someone is working, gets on a plane, then is vacationing. That is a good outline and I may use it generally. But I wanted to make it different. So as I was at school thinking about it this past week, I realized I was about to go into a class of creatives who are a week or two away from their spring break. So, why not see if they will participate and portray themselves as really ready for a break. Luckily they all heartily agreed and we spent the first (small) part of their class filming my assignment! I am thankful to them. Hopefully the footage will be good in the commercial usage.
March 6, 2017 So, here I am, still working on this first commercial! I think I have it finally finished. My first attempts were too long and filled with too many ideas that I did not know how to accomplish. I realized that I was trying to do more than is necessary for this assignment, and I once that became clear to me, I was able to move forward in a good way. The physical cutting of audio and video was not hard, it was again the decision-making, the 'story line' that is consuming. I also spent a long time pondering how I was going to get text into the video. My first text piece is just photoshop text on black background - very simple. Too simple-looking, but works for now. The second text piece/logo I worked out in Adobe Illustrator, which I do not know how to use yet (so please be kind!). I chose to do that because of the easy transparent background. It also works for now. I also had various sizes of video which needed to be resized and re-rendered.
The audio pieces I downloaded, and I dropped them in early in the process. I did not splice them until all of my video was where I wanted it. Then I finished the audio last. I need to learn the fade out since my sound just cuts out at the end which is disturbing. It's not as simple as the fades are in Audition. Also working with the sound to have more variety in volume levels would be good. I worked in the audio editing panel and was able to adjust the overall sound per track, but still need to learn to adjust within each track.
Anyway, I hope the idea of burnt-out students comes across, as do break ideas for them courtesy of 'SUN Travel'.
But wait, there's more...
March 7, 2017 Well, I couldn't leave the sound so cut off at the end, so I went back in, looked at some more tutorials and info on the web and after a few tries was able to fade the sound with an audio transition called constant power which just fades the sound out. It's not great, but it is also not as abrupt as before.
So, I uploaded it to Vimeo and we'll see what you guys think.
May 19, 2017 Vacation Commercial Part 2 - It's been a while since I've worked on this project. Much has happened! I intentionally waited to finish this because we were going to go on vacation ourselves and I wanted to add some shots from that to the beginning commercial. So, we're back and I'm reviewing what I learned so that I can add some new pics and clips.
May 22, 2017 Well, I've completed the extended commercial video. Here it is: https://vimeo.com/218498275
I ended up changing the entire second half of the commercial. My first version was too tropical to add Italy images into, so I went with all Italy pics. I did not have much footage, but I did have lots of pics. It was interesting to work that way. I enjoyed using the effects on the video and on the sound (I used Bensound). The fades and dissolves add nice movement to the sound and images. I found, again, that the most time is put into the preparation - pic choices and ideas for how they will flow together. I also found that (which is not really new news!) I am picky! I did not accomplish everything that was in my head, but if I had I would never get this done! (It would include several trips back to Italy!) Anyway, for those who have been to Italy, you may notice that the the sign says Rome, but the photos included were made in Florence. That kind of bothers me even though we did fly into Rome and then made our way to Florence. I hope the detail gods will spare me!
I did not find the Premiere Pro process difficult, only time and attention to the program were needed. I enjoyed the challenge and I see the process as totally doable now. There is much more for me to learn about the program, and I confidently see that I am able to do it.
As a final reflection, I think that this course has made accessible to me - and by extension, my students - another way of viewing anything. I primarily use still imagery, so this adds a new level of interest and excitement to any information I may present. Also, personally, video is a great way to tell any story, whether to family and friends, colleagues, or students. I can see using this info for presentations, but also as a way to engage students in storytelling, perhaps in a small group. It's another way for them to present their still photography, and take it up a notch. Music, narration and movement are nice additions to portfolio presentations, and personal documentary information would also bring interest. I'm looking forward to integrating videos and Premiere Pro into my teaching and my everyday life. :)