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Archive for February 2011

Walk of Hope

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Footage from the Walk of Hope which marched around Birmingham today in support of the city’s youth services.

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Written by Andy Watt

February 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Social Media Cafe – an offer of work

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Today, I went along to the social media cafe where I was discussing online video production with a number of people. The meeting proved very interesting as someone who had seen recorded footage I have uploaded and had discussed the work with me has tentatively offered me some filming work for a project they are involved with.

Written by Andy Watt

February 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Posted in Online Journalism

Video editing: The Making of ‘In A Muddle With Moodle’

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I had done quite a lot of video editing in the past but this was mainly using tape to tape machines or basic Windows editing software. I had never used a Mac computer for editing film before the start of the Online Journalism course and wanted to look at developing this further.

As part of the work on Birmingham Budget Cuts, I have recorded certain events and produced video presentations from the footage so I wanted to develop my skills in this area.

I put a call out to my fellow students for brief video responses to the bane of my university course, Moodle, which is the content management system used by the university. Unfortunately, I only received one response so I had to rethink what I was going to do.

The post which received only a single response

I had to look for an alternative and YouTube seemed to ideal place to look. A quick search for Moodle related videos brought up a number of links but the problem was how to get them onto my computer so I could use them in my video.

I had two options. I could either record them off the screen using a video camera (which would result in poor quality images), or try to find a way in which to download them off the site. I search internet discussion forums with no luck as the links they only provided links to scripts and software which did not work. After an exhaustive search with a lot of trial and error, a Google search came back with a site called KeepVid which did exactly what I wanted it to. In fact it offered various download options in two formats which was more than I needed.

Having located footage I could use, I then cut and placed the clips in an order and recorded linking footage with as much interaction as I could. I was going for a Harry Hill’s TV Burp kind of approach, especially when using the phone during the Moodle Angel clip.

Tight editing was key and I am quite pleased with the finished product and the response it has got. The final version can be viewed below.

Written by Andy Watt

February 22, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Posted in Online Journalism

Tagged with , ,

Tackling Trailers

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For my next venture into trailer making, I decided to see if I could produce a narrative using footage I had recorded myself.
Taking the footage from the closure of the Erdington Connexions office I shot for a report Birmingham Budget Cuts, I selected shots and wrote a short script and chose quotes from people I met on the day.

I took the themes of closure and job losses and chose scenes accordingly. While filming initially, I recorded the metal guard which protected the front of the building lowering to the ground to illustrate the fact the service itself was closing and I used this as a recurring theme throughout this ‘trailer’ with it reaching ‘full closure’ at the end. I also used footage of a member of staff miming pressing a car horn for ‘getting the push’ and Jack Dromy moving his hand in a ‘cut’ motion to symbolise his ‘absolutely wrong’ quote.

The theme for this trailer was as an emotional and sympathetic account of the day.

My final task was to think up a title, so I chose ‘Dis-connexions’ as the staff were being disconnected from their service users and the misspelling of connections echoes the name of the organisation itself.

The trailer can be viewed here:

For the second trailer using the same title and footage, I chose a more upbeat, heroic and positive theme on the same event.

The second trailer can be seen here, and it builds from a slow, desolate theme using black and white footage to what I tried to covey as an uprising or revolution.

Written by Andy Watt

February 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Online Journalism

Tagged with , ,

Snickers Drop

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As part of our Online Journalism on online video, we were given the task of taking a Flip Camera and filming a brief ‘interesting’ video.

My first thought was to have the camera recording as I bungee jumped it down the stairwall on string, but while passing the snack dispenser in Baker Cafe, I had a better idea.

So I started the camera recording, selected which snack I would be buying and placed the camera facing up inside the maching under where the dispenser door opens so customers can collect their purchase. I tried to line up the lens with where I thought the food would drop and below you can see the results of this experiment.

Written by Andy Watt

February 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

Production Labs #1

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Working through the checklist and the following have been completed:

  • Brown group organised, emails sent and chairman chosen
  • Skills audit complete
  • Project proposal completed and sent

Now to do the actual work!

Written by Andy Watt

February 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Posted in Production Labs

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Social Media Army

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Following on from the Thunderbirds clips I had used with a little bit of other video from my student colleagues, I decided to put together another trailer celebrating the coffee themed sessions and social meet ups we have on a regular basis.

This time, I tried to do a quick cast list at the end, selecting appropriate video for the ‘stars’ of the production. It was important to choose something which showed the person clearly and gave some indication as to their character and personality.

Anyway, it is here under the title of ‘Social Media Army’.

The response on Facebook has been very positive with these being a selection of responses:

Written by Andy Watt

February 15, 2011 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Online Journalism

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