Exploring iMovie

This week I started playing around on iMovie, since that is the medium I will hopefully be using for my repurposing project. I am not very technologically savvy, so honestly I’m still having trouble figuring it out. However, I realized that one way I can make this project a little easier on myself, is by using mostly still images. In iMovie, there is a way to upload images and basically create a slideshow (I’m still working out the kinks but at least now I know it’s possible). There is only one segment of my video in which I would really like to use some clips I find from the internet. Hopefully, I will be able to figure this out because I think it would add a nice visual element to the video.

Creating my storyboard helped me realize that I can use the still-image function on iMovie for the bulk of it. This made me feel a lot more comfortable with the software and was honestly a huge relief! I will still have to decide which images, text, and background music (or sound) I will want with these images, but I feel like it’s a little more manageable than solely working with video footage. If I cannot figure out how to incorporate news clips, I realized that I can just use a still image with pictures of recent headlines, which will give essentially the same effect.

I found some iMovie workshops that are available this month and I think it may be beneficial for me to attend one. However, I worry that most of the workshop will entail editing video footage, which I am trying to avoid in making my video. Regardless though it could provide some helpful hints that will make me more comfortable with using the software in general. I think it would be most helpful to find someone who will sit down with me one-on-one and answer questions I have that may be unique to my project. If anyone knows of someone offering this kind of service let me know!

Overall, after trying out iMovie I am still a little nervous to use this software, but I think I will be able to figure it out with some help.

“iMovie for Dummies”

For anyone as technologically challenged as myself, you will completely understand how bold of a decision it is for me to make a video for the Remediation Project.  I have zero experience whatsoever.

Lucky for me, my Macbook has iMovie as a video editing app available for free.  My challenge for myself this week was to explore it.

I was surprised how well it went.  First and foremost, I loved that the app automatically synced up with the videos, pictures, and music I have on my computer.  This made it very easy to drag what I wanted into the editing space.  I also really liked that it has various themes you can use if you don’t want to start your project from scratch. They are professional-looking and are still editable so that one can make various changes to them.

It was made very user friendly by offering tabs for music, text and pictures. By simply clicking on these tabs, this program offered an array of options.  Also, editing a video clip was not as hard as I expected; by clicking on the clip, the selected clip would highlight and then you can drag on the sides or click in the center to make various edits.  This will probably be the most challenging part of video editing for me, though, since I have the habit of accidentally deleting the clip instead of shortening it.  Very frustrating!

Since my sister’s wedding is in the spring of 2015, I used some pictures of her and her fiancé and a theme to get a feel for the program.  Adding slides with text could be done by clicking on the “T” tab, and editing the text simply required you to click on the yellow par above the video clip and then type in the space to the right.  The separation of music, text, and video, made it easily visible how each component was working in the process.  Below you can see how I set up my edits:


I Hate iMovie

For my repurposing project, I turned an academic paper I wrote into a short story. I struggled for a while to think of an exciting way to remediate the story and ultimately decided to make two to three trailers for the “film adaptation” of the story (and possibly a poster…tbd). When I thought of the idea, I thought to myself, Oh – that’s a cool idea! It can’t be that hard right? Well, I was wrong – it is absolutely that hard, especially for a person like myself who has never done anything of the sort before.

screenshot of iMovie's layout I've been struggling to learn
screenshot of iMovie’s layout I’ve been struggling to learn

I’m using iMovie to create the trailers, which has some pretty awesome templates that produce great homemade trailers. Short aside – I had to re-purchase iMovie because I had earlier deleted it thinking I would never have to use it…funny right? What I didn’t exactly realize though is all the different elements you need to understand just to create a simple minute-and-a-half trailer. There are medium shots, close-ups, landscape shots, two-person shots, and like a million others that I’ve had to study in order to start making a storyboard and script.

What could be a replica of myself...
What could be a replica of myself…

Though interesting to learn this entirely new technology, it’s been a frustrating process so far. The first time I sat down with iMovie to try seriously to figure out how to use it, I spent an hour attempting to close a window I unintentionally opened. It’s really a miracle I didn’t break something in my frustration. I’ll definitely be attending one of the iMovie workshops Naomi recommended, as it’ll hopefully make things slightly less confusing and painful (if anyone wants to go with me, let me know). I think in the end I’ll actually be really proud of the final result, no matter its actual success. Writing is something I know, but this is certainly something I do not. Though it might seem daunting now, I enjoy the prospect of challenging myself. The greatest satisfaction might just be pulling off something you never thought you could. I have my doubts right now, but we’ll just have to see how I’m feeling come December 10th.

This should be interesting.

This is me when it comes to trying to make video.

 I have no idea what I'm doing meme

This will honestly be the first time I have ever made a video. I have attempted to do so in the past, but the process was so painstakingly long, I simply gave up and moved on. However, this is something I know that I cannot do for this remediation project, and I’ll admit, I am really looking forward to it. So for our #techchallange, this week I am committing to learning iMovie.

I was deciding between working with iMovie and Final Cut Pro and decided that iMovie would be better since A. It is already free on my mac. and B. I will have access to it beyond my time in school. Although I’m almost positive most newsrooms or tv stations probably use Final Cut Pro, I’m sure just general knowledge of video editing through iMovie would still be very helpful in the job market. Learning iMovie simply makes more sense.

I have a few ideas of how I will learn this program. The first place I will go will actually be an iMovie workshop sometime this week. There are a few of them here at the University, and even if I don’t have time, I will make and appointment with Informational Student Services to see what they can teach me. I also plan on using lynda.com. Although we might no longer have free access to the website, I know about a couple of podcasts who promote the website that provide a code that gives you a month for free. Even if it’s a subscription service, as long as it doesn’t cost a fortune, I’m sure it is worth the money. I feel like both of these will give me a pretty in depth look at that program.

However, I think the best thing I can do right now is go to apples website and look at their overview of the program. I know it probably will not tell me HOW to use it, but I know it will at least give me an idea of WHAT it can do. Plus let’s not forget, there’s always plenty of free help on youtube.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 9.36.52 AM

iMovie Basics #TechChallenge

So I have a small bit of experience with iMovie, but I know I will be taking on a bigger challenge this time with what I plan to attempt. I want to make a mock video that will use similar stylistic qualities of MTV and other music interview websites but in a way that is humorous and makes a play at Pop Music Culture. To do this I plan on being the cheesy MTV interviewer and I will go around campus and talk to students about Pop Music.

For my tech challenge, I decided I need to learn more about iMovie. I got onto Youtube and like expected I found loads of informational videos there for free. First, I checked out Lynda.com, which I know is another great resource, but it required payment so I backed off. Maybe I heard this wrong, but do U of M students get access to Lynda.com for free somehow? If anyone knows I would really appreciate a comment on here about that. But the youtube videos were quick at showing some pretty advanced tricks that I plan to take advantage of. I didn’t consider using a pre-designed format until now, such as the action movie format. But it could be useful for my video, or I could look at how that template is designed to find tricks in mine. After finding these youtube videos, I feel I should have no problem putting together a decent video, the bigger challenge will be storyboarding and executing with limited time.

Remediation was the first problem, where to start is the second… (#techchallenge)

I would never categorize our remediation project as easy. In fact, I’d actually categorize it as just the opposite: difficult. However, difficult is not always a bad thing. In this case, the difficulty I am experiencing throughout the different steps of this project are actually teaching me most, second to writing and media, about the importance of decision-making. In transitioning from my repurposing to remediating project, I was unsure as to which medium form I wanted to use. I thought about creating a podcast, however, was unsure as to how I would organize my project in a way that wasn’t simply a script of my repurposing project. I also thought about creating an informational brochure on salsa, later realizing that the transformation from a magazine spread into a brochure would barely differ in terms of organization and appearance. All in all, I wanted to create a project that would enable me to guide my readers on a hypothetical journey across the world. I needed something more three-dimensional. That is when I finally came to a decision: a website. Websites offer interactivity, visuals, display themes, and most importantly, a virtual space for the organization and layout of my argument.

In beginning to design the storyboard for my remediation project, I am using PowerPoint to layout each and every page of my website. Although PowerPoint is limited in terms of its design features, font styles, header features, etc. in comparison to WordPress, it has allowed me to start at a more elementary phase and take baby steps toward the creation of a more complicated website. In creating my storyboard, I am getting a better sense of how my website is going to turn out. During the proposal stage of this project, I had a hypothetical image of my website lingering in my head: the colors I wanted to use, the themes I wanted to use, and the layout that I believed would work best in conveying my argument. However, because I am designing my storyboard on the computer rather than drawing it out, I am drawing upon the computer’s abilities and formatting features, rather than my own ideas. Therefore, I am learning, in actuality, and not just in my head, what the computer will and will not allow me to do, which fonts look best, which colors schemes look best, etc. The storyboard assignment is allowing my project to slowly come to life within reasonable parameters, which is exciting.

In conjunction with my decision to use WordPress, for my technology challenge, I have decided to commit to trying iMovie as the additional program that will aid my project. I don’t have a lot of experience with iMovie, and figured it would be a good program to create a “Lookbook” sort of feature for my website. I am picturing almost a running, continuous PowerPoint presentation of salsa images, ones that are visually appealing to online users. For instance, I could upload images of salsas with, for example, unique and atypical ingredients, salsa spread across lavish and fancy dishes, or even famous renditions of salsa prepared by famous chefs. I plan to create a short movie out of these images, which will offer a visually interactivity and a captivating way for users to “experience” salsa, rather than just read about it.

In downloading iMovie on my computer, I was able to learn a lot of basic information about the program in a short period of time. I put an old video I had downloaded on my computer years ago into the system, and was able to cut and chop up the video. I also taught myself about the transition features, which I noticed is similar to those in PowerPoint. There is also a microphone feature in iMovie, which would allow me to create a voiceover describing each image in my mini-salsa movie, if I wanted to. Lastly, I learned that I could also add text over the images of my movie, which would allow me to create captions describing them. I think iMovie will allow me to get creative with my website, adding video features of my own rather than simply posting videos on my website that were created by other people.



More Things I am not good at…part two: iMovie and Macs

I really, really, reallllllly like words.  In case you didn’t get that vibe from my last personal exploration of technological failure aka “I’m not a Computer Programmer,” I’m going to re-explore why words (and this time friends who stayed up with me until 3 AM) are great.  Sitting in our in-class iMovie workshop, this movie creation concept seemed totally do-able.  I thought to myself, random people post random videos on YouTube everyday that involved some editting, I can totally do it too.  This idea is false.  My video roughly looks like it was made by a 12-year old.

Writing is terrific because you can outline your essay before you execute it and get pretty much exactly what you want.  I tried doing this with my video and I promise, it looks nothing like I ever anticipated.  I’m trying to be positive here and think of the baby accomplishments.  I successfully split a video from its audio! It may have taken me a full 7 minutes to figure out how to right click on a Mac (true story), but I did it.  I did in fact throw my hands in the air with excitement when I right clicked.  I also figured out how to use the Finder on a Mac.  Also huge seeing that I didn’t realize that not all the programs were accessible through the bar on the bottom.  I can now perform pedestrian tasks on a computer that isn’t a PC…. I’m pathetic.

Back to my video- its not pretty.  But, more importantly, it actually does convey what I want it to say. It tells about the law and it says why I don’t like it.  And for that, I am excited.  Go me!