Saturday, April 4, 2015

We Who Believe in Freedom

This semester I've been sitting in on classes in Photoshop, television production, and video editing.  It's been interesting to be working so much on visual skills, particularly since I am typically so immersed in the world of words.  In my teaching, in my scholarship, and even blogging, I'm very verbally oriented.  To be sure, I have my visual side, as well, in my textile and photography work, but I am generally less well-versed in visual storytelling than in verbal storytelling.  So it's been a terrific opportunity to grow and develop some new skills (although quite a steep learning curve, as well!).

Our most recent video editing project involved creating a music video using still photographs using Adobe Premiere Pro.  I struggled for a while to develop an idea for the project.  I knew that I wanted to do something around the history of social activism movements, but I couldn't identify the right music.  I spent some time researching songs until I rediscovered a song I used to listen to years ago.  At that point, the vision for the video really came together.  Then I spent endless hours looking for suitable photos online (they had to be topically relevant, visually compelling, and sized large enough).  Thank goodness for the Library of Congress online database!  That was a rich trove of terrific images.  Of course, then I had to make choices about which photos to use (I gathered more than I needed) and in what order, as well as creating movement through the piece.  My first draft was good, but Q noted that the movement across photos was less continuous and smooth.  So I tweaked it to create more consistency in the movement across photos, which I think improved the flow of the video.  I spent another day looking for the source information for the photos (trying to find the name of the photographer, etc.), so I could give appropriate credit.  (Have you noticed how often websites use a photo without any information on its source?)

So it took about two weeks of work, but I learned a lot from the project, both in terms of working within Adobe Premiere Pro and visual storytelling more broadly.  I'm also fairly pleased with the final product.  Enjoy!

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