Engaging authors and audiences with iMovie 08
This afternoon I played around with iMovie 08 in an effort to explore the design and user-friendliness of iMovie. I was incredibly impressed by how intuitive the program was after having struggled with an earlier version of the program about a year ago. To emphasize the wistful attitude that I took while performing this task, I chose my two cats as the stars of this film. Using new and older footage of the cats at play, I created a film that introduces them to an audience while providing various character insights (none too deep given the subjects). See the film embedded below.
I had no trouble adding footage from a digital camera; clipping scenes accordingly to eliminate dull footage and maximize the joy of the audience; including transitional sequences and titles to avoid jump cuts between unrelated footage; and adding rolling credits and an audio file of a classical piece by Strauss to emphasize the medium of film/video. While editing, I realized that the original audio that had been recorded often disrupted the continuum of the music, so I quickly found the audio editing tool and minimized the intrusive effects.
Overall, the only point of which I struggled was figuring out how to export and compress the file so that it would not be overly large, and so that it could be easily embedded on YouTube and this blog. If I was teaching a class on how to use iMovie to produce videos, it would be necessary to model how to save videos appropriately either through a video tutorial or in class. Also, I would want to provide a written text that students could refer to during this process. Further, I don’t think that this film does as much as it can with using various shots to influence/enhance a film narrative’s structure. As the narrative is mostly developed in the transitional frames, this wasn’t too big a problem.
Given the chance to integrate video production in the curriculum, I would ideally give the students the chance to make a relatively brief, similarly playful narrative for an initial assignment. This initial assignment would facilitate engagement and humor. A final assignment might require that students develop more serious ideas and expressions around issues that have personally meaningful significance to them (e.g., family histories, dramatic interpretations of texts, editorial positions, journalistic inquiry, etc.).