Wednesday, September 16, 2009

spend time exploring different video genres and affinity spaces

As you are thinking about what kind of story to tell and how to tell it, you're going to want to explore video hosting sites like YouTube,, Break. com and others, looking for excellent examples of the kind of video you want to make.

Here is a listing of some of the vdieo types you can consider making--or spend some time exploring:

Podcasting (useful for creating your soundtrack)

Podcasting once referred to digital audiorecordings that were issued as part of a single series. Listeners could subscribe to each episode using software like iTunes or online syndication services (e.g., Podcast Alley). Now, the term “podcast” is used to refer to almost any edited digital audiorecording that has been made publicly available.

Music video editing
Do-it-yourself music video editing can take any number of forms, but typically refers to the process of splicing together still and/or moving images in a meaningful sequence and synching this sequence with a pre-selected music or song track. It entails using video editing software like Windows Movie Maker (ships with PCs) or iMovie (ships with Macs) to edit both images and sound.

Music videos can use “found” images and footage, or can include live action footage you’ve shot specially for this project. Music videos typically pay close attention to mood, interpretation (well beyond merely illustrating the lyrics literally), the appropriateness of transitions and effects, etc. For assignment purposes for this course, your music video needs to include multiple images (with at least two of these being moving image clips) and multiple edits (transition and speciual effects, etc.).
• watch lots of DIY or fan-made music videos on (if you don't have a favourite music artist to search for, just try searching "music video") (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws) or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Anime Music Video remixing

Anime music videos—or AMV for short—are a subset of music videos. They draw entirely on anime—animated Japanese cartoons—as their source material for the music video. Thus, AMVs work on a number of levels; fans, for example, can read entire universes of meaning into the music video because they are familiar wit the series on which the AMV draws. AMVs can be “in cannon”; that is, the AMV draws from only one series (e.g., Naruto, Card Captor Sakura), or can draw from multiple series (e.g., search for “Anime Hell” on YouTube).
• Main affinity space: (search for how-to guides; watch lots of AMVs) (for copying videos from DVDs—watch copyright rules) (Creative Commons licenced music)
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac or (for downloading videos from YouTube) (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): or

Stop motion animation

Stop motion animation is a process by which physically manipulated objects or drawings can be made to look as if they are moving unaided. It begins with a series of still images taken of a scene wherein carefully planned, but slight, changes are made in each still shot. Run together, these still images create the illusion of movement. Digital stop motion animation is like an analogue flipbook animation created with a digital still camera and video editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Popular examples of commercial stop motion movies and television series include: Wallace & Grommit, Coraline, Corpse Bride, to name but a few. stop motion animations can be music videos, or short stories, or full-length movies.
• You’ll need a digital still camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you.
• Stopmotion animation comes in a range of forms, including: whiteboard line drawings, hand-drawn images, action figure or doll stop motion, Lego stop motion, claymation, and so on. Search YouTube for examples.
•An overview of the process:
• A useful affinity space:
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac

Live action video that includes multiple edits

Live action video is anything captured “live” and in the moment. YouTube is replete with live action videos. For the purposes of this assignment choice, your live action video needs to include multiple edits; that is, it can’t be a single, one shot take with a title slapped onto the front end and credits at the back end. Your live action video can be narrative in some way (tell a story, an anecdote, etc.), documentary-like (e.g., interviews about local history; multiple perspectives on local key issues), or even mockumentary in nature (a spoof documentary).
• You’ll need a digital video camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you (you’ll also need an IEEE cable to hook up your video camera to your computer. Check to see whether you need a four-pin or six-pin plug.
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
• You might also want to play around with live action video and

Flash animation

Flash animation is a form of digital animation, as distinct from cel-based animation we all grew up watching, where each cel of the animation was painted by hand. Cel-animation comprises two types of frames: key frames and in-between frames. Key frames mark principal points in the animation (e.g., where a character starts to fall, a hand moving to brace for impact, etc.). In-between frames fill in the moment between key frames. Key frames are drawn by the master artists, and in-between frames by “tweeners” or people specially hired to this often-tedious work. Flash animation automates the in-between (or “tweener” “cels”, saving the animator hours and hours of time. For this assignment, your final flash animation video should be at least 1 minute long.
• Search YouTube and, and watch lots of examples
• Use Google and YouTube to search for how-to tutorials (e.g.,
•Online service for creating your own flash animation:
•Download and muck around with the trial version of Adobe CS4 (popular flash animation software): (click on “Get the trial”; for PCs only)

Second Life machinima
Machinima (machine + cinema) describes the process of using video games or 3D worlds to generate the scenes, sets and actors for a movie. A Second Life machinima is a movie filmed using the world of Second Life as your location. Your actors will be the avatars of each person in your group. the easiest way to create a Second Life machinima is to sign up for an account, explore Second Life a little, then watch a whole bunch of Second Life machinima in order to get a sense of how it’s done. In a nutshell, creating a Second Life machinima requires three different pieces of what we’ll call software. The first is the Second Life client. This client works like, say, MSN and Yahoo Messenger, where you have to install the interface software before you can use the service. This is what you use to log-onto the virtual world of Second Life. As you are moving around in Second Life you use screen capture software to record what’s happening on your screen. This generates a video file that you can then edit in the third piece of software, your video editing application (e.g., windows Movie Maker or iMovie). You can use a digital voice recorder—a separate device, or audacity, free recording software—to create your spoken soundtrack. For the purposes of this assignment, your Second Life machinima should be at least 2 minutes long, involve multiple edits, and be a stand-alone story.
• The Second Life Machinima channel:
•Search YouTube for “Second Life machinima”
• How-to guides and other resources (including links to free screen capture software):
• Set up a Second Life account (, download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL:
• Audacity (for creating your sound track; free software):
•How to use Audacity to create a soundtrack:

Additional hints-and-tips sites include:


  1. Hi, Dr. Michelle,
    Regarding the video making project, what is the purpose of this project? Does this project need to involve school-related activities? Originally, I thought what we need to learn is video-editing skills; however, after I read through the syllabus, I am probably wrong. What my original idea was to video tape my dog Bella. Please let me know whether I am on the right track. Is there any specific topic/theme we need to follow?

    Thank you.

  2. No, no need to focus on school stuff. You're probably feeling a little adrift right now because you haven't done all the set readings or spent a lot of time looking at narrative videos. The main purpose of your final video is to explore using moving images to tell a good story. So using Bella is fine, but you need to think about how you can use clips of Bella to create a really engaging narrative. You'll also want to think about how narrative structures are changing too (the chapter from Henry Jenkins' book is useful to you here) and muck around with storylines that don't follow a neat orientation-conflict-resolution pattern.

  3. Thank you,
    I need to find some time to read those articles and view some narrative videos. After that I believe I will grab more ideas from there. I am reading "Enter Here: Personal Narrative and Digital Storytelling".