Campaign video for Number 2

It’s been quite awhile ago, but for week 5 for #prisoner106 one of the assignments was to create a campaign video because we seemed to be missing a Number 2 and we might need to hold an election.

I’m treating this very belated video as a kind of final project, since for it I made:

… all of which were created specifically for this video. Yes, it took me a long time to finally finish the video, but I decided I wanted to follow through on my idea for it even if it’s very late!

 

 

The Process

  1. I did screen recordings of several clips of The Prisoner (the episodes are all found on the #prisoner106 site) to use in this video (see credits for which episodes0. Since I didn’t need audio I just used screencast-o-matic, which is a free screen recorder (though with the paid version, which is very cheap, you can avoid the watermark with the company logo on it, which I did). I thought I might want audio with one of the clips, and followed instructions here for how to use Quicktime and Soundflower on my Mac to record the screen and system audio. Problem was that I got a horrendous echo. Actually, the effect was kind of cool, but not really what I was going for. Good thing I decided I didn’t need the audio recorded, but when I do I’ll need to figure out how to do it right.

2. I was a bit stymied by how to get my animated gif into the video. I thought maybe I could just import it into iMovie and it would work, but no go. There are a number of workarounds posted on the web, but they were time consuming and didn’t seem to lead to the result I wanted anyway. So I just did a screen recording of the gif against a white background. Since I had made the gif pretty small in order to reduce the file size, it doesn’t show up very large in the video. I could have scaled it up using GIMP, but in my experience, once I try scaling something up from when it was smaller the quality goes way down.

3. The images were imported directly into iMovie and I used the “Ken Burns” effect to give them a little movement. The one with the campaign poster was a little challenging because it was so long vertically, but hopefully the panning down works okay. Images I didn’t make myself (the question marks and the number 2) were CC0 from Pixabay.

4. I recorded the voiceover audio in Audacity, where it’s much easier to edit than in iMovie, and then imported it. I wasn’t sure how to add the voiceover to the video, but selecting it and dragging it over the video put it in the right place (leaving room for background music below the video). Since the voiceover and the video weren’t synced up well, I had to cut up the imported audio and make space between the parts to sync with the video. I looked online to find out how to do that in iMovie (click on the voiceover, go to “Modify,” then “split clip”).

5. Background music came next (see credits below). I wanted the first part of the video to be a kind of “retrospective” of past Number 2’s, a bit nostalgic and somewhat sad. Then I wanted the second part, where I talk about the Village Philosopher as saving the day, to be rather over the top patriotic or heroic. Kevin MacLeod’s great site, imcompetech.com, has wonderful descriptors to help you find the right thing (the “epic” category was great for finding the second piece of music!).

6. After realizing that I had used many pieces of music from MacLeod, and that I wanted to thank him for providing such great music with a CC BY license, I went to his donate page and donated. I have decided that when I can, I usually prefer to pay for some great service or app or something rather than “paying” in other ways like having lots of data collected about me and used in ways I don’t really understand. Plus, people like him are doing a great thing and I want to say thank you!

 

Music credits:

“Stages of Grief” by Kevin MacLeod (imcompetech.com) is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0. Direct Link: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100408.

 

“Hero Down” by Kevin MacLeod (imcompetech.com) is licensed under CC Attribution 3.0. Direct Link: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100880.

8 comments

  1. You did fabulous on making iMovie work. There are some nice “done for you” things in it – but next level of artistic creation is often challenging and frustrating.
    Yeah – why would it be that a GIF won’t go in!
    I ran into the same thing in a project. Between a screen cast or opening it up in PS and converting to a video and then importing into iMoive were the work arounds. One more step but somehow less of a deal than going to a higher end video editor.
    The Image size thing worked well for you. Playing between crop to fit and fill screen for images works prior to Ken Burns effect.
    The downfall of iMovie is when you become a mouse jockey and move one thing – everything goes out of whack and you can’t always get back to where you started….

    You mastered this – I would not have thought this was iMovie – you mastered the beast. Congrats on a great finish to the Prisoner106. You are the newly elected #2.

    • Christina Hendricks says:

      Thank you, Kathy! I hadn’t thought of converting a gif to a video…I’m not sure if I can do that in GIMP. I can do a web search and find out, though. And I completely agree about moving one thing and then the rest goes out of whack. Because I’ve only ever worked on video in iMovie I thought that was just par for the course/what has to happen when editing. Now I’m curious to check out other tools and see how else it might work!

      • Running the GIF on your monitor and screen casting it would provide a clip as well. Again an added step.
        Final Cut I like. I have a pre 10 version. It just really is building from scratch no templates or starters. I have sometimes taken some clips from iMovie into FC…it is a an import feature.

        If you can make any tool give you outcomes like you achieved…it’s just a matter of your comfort and avoiding frustration.

  2. Bill Smith says:

    You win! You have my vote. And I’ll recommend you for the Number One position also, as that seems vacant also.

    Very smooth work on the video. Your persistence is a character trait that has paid off for you in the past, and continues.

    I hope you are happy in your new leadership role as No. 2 as we are no longer involuntary prisoners, but choose to be prisoners of #ds106 #4Life!

    • Christina Hendricks says:

      Thanks, Bill. Yes, continued persistence. I really thought I might as well not finish this one, but somehow it just kept nagging at me that I should do it. The fact that I had already recorded some of the scenes from screen grabs helped–mostly it was a matter of getting a couple more and doing the voiceover and music. #4life indeed!

  3. John says:

    Hi Christina,
    phinominal work indeed. Great stuff. Lovely put downs of the opponents and great picks for the scenes grabbed. Love the flow too.

    As an alternative to iMovie and avoiding the learning curve of final cut, screenflow handles gifs rather well. It is a screencasting app/editor. Costs money but great.

    Looks like a landslide.

    • Christina Hendricks says:

      Thanks for the tip, John! I do now have access to final cut but as you say, I am avoiding the learning curve. I hadn’t heard of screenflow, so I will check that out. I don’t mind paying some money if it’s worth it!

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