As a teacher, I realize the value of a well-crafted video. Taking the written word and making the themes, images, and ideas explode in a cacophony of color for the learner. What many of those learners do not realize is the sheer amount of time it takes to make each minute of those short videos come to life.
This project was the same. Days were spent going through all of the different options for this video remix project. Finally, I settled on looking at movie that influenced or left a lasting impact on my life.
The task for this assignment was to find three to five movie clips and discuss through my narration how the movies changed me, influenced me into the person that I am today. On the surface, this seems easy. But in reality, I had a difficult time deciding which movies to include and why. Limiting the choices to just 5 made this assignment even more challenging. Should I have a theme (best firsts, best teachers, most memorable)? Should I just say I “like” this film? I struggled with narrowing down a focused theme so that what I was creating had a specific intention that would be obvious to a viewer. I finally decided to look at notable films – my firsts, my favorite, and my influencers. Now I was ready to begin the creation of the video.
Step One – Collection
I located specific clips for each of the five films that I wanted to use. In order to accomplish this, I used Youtube.com and a Download program to capture the exact clips that I wanted. I convert the videos to .wmv for use in the video creation program. The five clips that I chose were:
It’s a Wonderful Life (my first movie memory);
Star Wars: A New Hope (my first drive-in movie – influenced me to learn to play the trumpet);
Elf (the movie I watch at least twice a year);
and of course the teacher movies that have influenced me to be the teacher that I am – I leave those choices a mystery for you to discover!
Step Two – The Script
I wrote a script to explain how each of the clips have left a lasting impact on my life. Then, I recorded the script using Audacity. This free program is easy to use and save the files into the extension that I needed. I split the narration into parts so that each file would be small. In part, this makes it easier to insert the narration after. However, the true reason I split the narration into chunks is that it takes me forever to get the text correct and I often have to re-record the section over and over and over. Eventually I have the script recorded just the way I want, and then I export them as .wav files for the video.
Step Three – Create the Introduction
Any good video has a great introduction that captures the eye of the viewer. I wanted mine to include elements of a visual, music, and text. After several attempts, I decided to go with a typewriting-esque entry of letters. This effect looks cool but is actually a lot of work. Using PowerPoint, I typed out the way I wanted the final text slide to look. I then duplicated each slide, removing one letter on each new slide until I started with only the visual image without any letters. Twenty-eight slides later, I saved the PowerPoint slides as individual .jpg files.
Step Four – Choose the Background Music
Music is one the most essential parts of a well-crafted video. I wanted something that was fitting as a movie score, upbeat, and majestic. I decided on a song from Pirates of the Caribbean Sound track. This song would support the title entry, the credits, and the narration between the music clips.
Step Five – Assemble the Video & Publish
The program I like to use for my video creations is Adobe Premiere Elements. Yes, there are free programs available, but I like the options that this program offers. When I get to this step, I find it easier to intentionally complete each section, perfecting it’s appearance before moving on to the next scene. I began with the introduction and the individual .jpg files. Then I add the music. Finally, I time each slide so that the .jpg files move swiftly as if the letters are rolling onto the screen, timed to the music. With the intro done, I quickly begin to add the rest of the narration, movie clips, and background music. The final touches included adding a Works Cited page and transitions (cross-dissolve) between each slide. With the video assembled, I save the creation as a .wmv file and upload it to my Youtube.com channel.
The one wrinkle that I encountered during the project occurred after I uploaded the file to Youtube.com. The video was blocked and flagged for violating copyright law. The file admittedly contains copyrighted creations of others. However, I protested the flagging by stating that the project was a remix project, one that adds values and changes the components from their original structure.
Overall, I am pleased with how the video bloomed. I enjoyed sharing it with my family and students. This is an activity that I would like to add to the beginning of the school year lessons next year. I often have the students do some sort of creative telling that introduces who they are. By adding this movie remix project, students could explore their sense of identity through movies.