Tech Challenge: Hitting the Panic Button

You know that moment when you suddenly realize just how much work you’ve gotten yourself into? That moment when your blood pressure spikes a bit and all seems futile- yeah that pretty much sums up any project I take on that involves working with unfamiliar technology. I tried to reacquaint myself with iMovie today, (I say “reacquaint”, but the first time doesn’t even really count because I was just watching someone else make physical edits on the program.). I was able to play around with it, and luckily, it does seem relatively user friendly, even for an analog lover like myself. I think the hardest part of my project will be transitioning between clips, because my video will involve a lot of short clips that will need to flow together quickly. I also feel like I still need to explore iMovie more to get a good grasp on intertwining video and audio. I know I can’t just use the audio straight off the camera to get proper sound quality, so figuring out the best way to record clear audio and sync it up with the video is going to be tough. At this point, I have just been learning by playing with the program a bit, but I have found a few tutorials that have also been helpful including the MSU Tutorial.

I have also been trying to get more comfortable using the movie mode on my DSLR, so I perused YouTube for tutorials on how to get the best footage off of the camera I own. DSLRs are not specifically designed for video, but they produce decent quality footage from what I can tell. I am still debating whether it would be better to use a camera that I am comfortable and familiar with (my own), or whether it would be better to borrow a camera from ISS that would be tailored to video. Both require a bit of a learning curve, so I suppose it’s just a matter of weighing which camera seems easiest for me to use and which will give me the optimal quality for my skill level. Oh technology, what a wonderful world.

Sonalee Joshi

Sonalee is a fourth year student in the College of LSA with an Honors major in Biopsychology, Cognition, & Neuroscience with a Sweetland Minor in Writing.

4 thoughts to “Tech Challenge: Hitting the Panic Button”

  1. Right there with you – learning a new technology can be very difficult and frustrating. I think it’s great you’ve reached out to all the different resources you have and I will absolutely follow suit. I’m not sure if I can trust anything from MSU though…we’ll have to see. As far as either using renting equipment from ISS or using something you’re more comfortable with, I would tend to advise towards the second. It will probably be a whole lot less stressful and perhaps even better if you’re thinking more about the content of the video and less about how to operate the camera.

  2. Sonalee,
    Reading your post made me laugh since I can completely relate to the lack of knowledge with regards to video editing. I plan on using iMovie, also, so I know just how overwhelmed I felt at first when looking through the program. (Lucky for us it is relatively user-friendly!) Transitions will most likely be one of the more difficult things for me, also. But, as discussed in class, there are fortunately different tutorial sessions available for iMovie through UofM. I’m curious as to whether you plan on attending one of these sessions or not. If so, I would be interested to hear your feedback about whether it was helpful or not! I think that it would be a great resource for both of us. Best of luck with the rest of your project!

  3. I can relate to your post as well; unfamiliar technology stresses me out so much that I chose to avoid iMovie for this project… I last used iMovie four years ago for a high school English project, and the one thing I remember is that keeping it simple is sometimes better. iMovie offers a lot of fancy title slide and transition options, but sometimes it looks more professional just to leave out the transitions altogether and just jump to different clips. However, if you have a ton of little clips this could start to look choppy so perhaps the MSU tutorial or other online tutorials will help you find a balance with that. In terms of sound quality, could you talk to ISS about borrowing a microphone to attach to your camera? That way you would still be using familiar technology—just slightly enhanced. Good luck with your project!

  4. That MSU tutorial is surprisingly helpful for a PDF document – thanks for sharing! I’d personally recommend using your DSLR instead of renting a camera you’re not used to. If you do that, you can focus on learning to use iMovie so you don’t have to stress about juggling a foreign piece of software AND a foreign piece of hardware. With that being said, I can’t wait to see your first draft on Thursday!

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