day 2 screenshotAs you can tell from the screenshot, much got done today. Much had to get done though because I had an idea that doubled my work: I am making two versions. The one I am working on now will be the poem and will be a sample for my poetry workshop classes. When it is done, I will use the visual track and add new music, voiceover, and maybe some text in order to transform it into an essay sample, one suitable for my McGuffin essay assignment, which is a narrative persuasive essay that I scale to fit both composition classes and English Education classes.

With that in mind, today I added many more cutaways, my purpose being to set up a pace that worked with the poem and that also balanced the nature images with the family photos. That sounds easy now, but there were quite a few tweaks along the way. For example, there was one photo that absolutely refused to work as a cutaway. It was invisible. As it turned out (Thank you, Cindy Selfe!), the photo was a tiff file and because my loaner Macbook Pro was set to hide file extensions, I didn’t know it wasn’t a jpeg. Once that mystery was solved, the fix was easy. Go into Preview and change it to a jpeg. Another task was manually removing the Ken Burns effect from all but one or two of the photos. The first time through, I set the photos to “fit,” but noticed later that many of the photos suddenly had black bars to fill in outer edges. I didn’t like that. I started over using the crop menu, then one by one reset the miscreants to “crop.” The whole photo doesn’t show that way, but they have more of a seamless look and I was able to adjust the positioning.

Once I had all the visuals in place, I then started tweaking the time since I was about thirty seconds over. I knew the photo clips were too long, and used the “change all” check box to reset all the photos to a shorter time. This took three tries, but I finally settled on three seconds and set a few photos longer or shorter in order to get the right rhythm.

One feature I am especially please with is the title screen. I used a split screen to put a photo of my mom and of me side by side. The overall color tones blended and it also allowed the credits to be read.

day 2 screenshot 2The video was finally at 1:30 and ready for music and a voiceover for the poem. I went to the Creative Commons site to see what search engines they recommended for a Creative Commons music search. I tried the Free Music Archive first, and will remember it in the future because it has old Edison cylinders of music from 1911, Including some wonderful classic blues performances. That was not what I needed here, And I was stuck in the position of “I’ll know it when I hear it. However, one limitation that cut down on choice was that it needed to be instrumental so that it would not conflict with the voiceover. I went to Jamendo, a site I’ve used before, and it still works well. If anything, it has even more choices than before and its search engine has three categories full of related tags to assist in a search. I ended up with this music.

At that point, I was on a roll. I wanted to know if the poem fit within 90 seconds. I thought it would. My first reading was 20 seconds over. The second went over two lines– so close. The third time worked, and it gave me the leeway I needed to have the title and the credits be music-only. This version is now saved and ready for feedback during lab time tomorrow.

day 2 screenshot 3

I still have big questions about the essay version though. Can I duplicate a project? That would be the easy way, but the easy way is not always the software way. DMAC is all about finding ways to get things done, so I’m glad I’ll have that chance tomorrow.