Find Yourself Here: Behind the Scenes

My story begins with some feelings of generalized anxiety.  For my social media class this week, I was asked to create a video to tell a client’s story using Animoto.  I still struggle to get the universal remote to turn on and off all the various TV-related devices it commands.  I am getting comfortable with this blogging thing – I like to write.  But video?  I’ve never made a video and had no idea how to go about it; that is, how to capture a story with images and sound rather than (or in addition to) written words.  This is an entirely new technology-related genre for me.  I thought (or worried, rather) about it for days.  As is typical with worry, eventually one worries about the worrying itself and it becomes larger than life.  I’d read about the assignment on the course syllabus and started taking pictures and looking for them online a couple of weeks ago.  Somehow though, the thought of their metamorphosis into a video had me frozen in fear.  As my molehill became a mountain, I decided to create an Animoto account just to see what I was up against.

After watching a short “how to” video, I found a format that I thought lent itself to my client’s (The LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland) story and got started.  The rest was easy.

Click on the picture below to see the results of my first (O.K., this is the third revision in all honesty) video attempt.

Some general thoughts:

  • Our video could be no more than two minutes long because, according to the research, viewership begins to drop off after 10 seconds, and then continues to drop.  Apparently, 2 minutes is the limit of our digital-aged attention spans.  What does this say about us? We expect our children to sit through an entire day of schooling and we can’t even watch 120 seconds of video? Though, my seven year-old daughter made a movie (yes, she figured out how to use my webcam long before I even knew I had one) that consisted of her hand waving in front of the camera, with her singing a non-melodic, we’ll call it very postmodern song.  I couldn’t listen to more than 10 seconds of that. In preparing this assignment, I viewed a number of videos on YouTube and Facebook.  My research revealed a few videos that I might classify as well done: they were capable of generating interest in a cause or event.  Others were more on the lines of my daughter’s video.  I guess this is another example of the long-tail (see last week’s post).  You’ll find a number of videos for whatever it is you are seeking online, but only a handful of them will be worth watching past the minute mark.  I’m not sure why I can read an entire book in one sitting but can’t watch a video for much more than 2 minutes on the internet without multitasking, but I caught myself doing it several times.  Sitting in front of the computer must make our brains work differently…  Any neuroscientists out there who could explain this?

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