Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How Do You Tell Your Story? Part 3 of 3 - IMovie Wins, for Now

This series has been about different ways to tell your story using various kinds of media. I took a scenario from a recent experience I had attending the StartUp Crawl in San Francisco on November 20, and "replayed" it 3 different ways with the audience in mind: Animoto, Flickr, and here in this post the IMovie version. I also used all the same 30 images, except the movie in this version features an interview about with Michael Chen, that the other version do not. In my first post, I showed about a 2-minute video I created and of course had a lot of fun with using Animoto. Animoto is a great way to tell your stories to an audience, but still took me well over an hour by the time I organized and downloaded the photos, chose the music, and decided what text and othe editing features I wanted. I was also aware that 30 images was definitely on the longer side for the typical Animoto video, and that 10-12 were more standard, producing a video about one minute long, versus my final product - 2 minutes and counting.

In my second post, I explained how I used the same 30 images from the StartUp Crawl to create a Flickr slideshow. I discussed how I liked getting more into the story by writing out all the captions, although this proved time consuming, not to mention the time it took to tag the photos and deal with the "groups" and "sets" that Flickr uses as its main template. Since writing the Flickr post, I will confess that last night out of curiosity I did try out Picasa. Many of my photos had already uploaded from my blog (both are Google), and I was surprised at how easy it was to upload new photos, write captions, and create a slideshow. It's not obvious how to tag images for key word searches - I had to look this up - but there is a small toggle on the right once you click on your photo in the main menu. No groups or sets to worry about, your photos are already organized into batches you can rearrange and rename as you want to. I also liked how in the slideshow, the captions pop up well positioned below the images and are easy to read. In Flickr for some strange reason, they cover the center of the image and even though the text boxt is transparent, it's an awkward interface and always seems to cut off someone's head!

So finally here is the IMovie version, and compared to the others, I like this the best. Even though my version of IMovie is about 3 years old, it still has a lot of convenient features, like a neat way to drag and drop your photos and video clips into a working grid, or template, and also a drag and drop feature for adding music. I also had fun using the transition effects such as fade ins and fade outs, and the cropping function came in handy when I wanted to trim the interview down a bit. I feel this version tells the story of that night as well as the others, and although the time it took came in slightly longer at 2 hours, much of that had to do with more subtle controls like playing with the volume adjustment and adding my new identity info at the end.

Since I am now way more into video then I planned when I first got my laptop, you guessed right if you are thinking I'm hanging out at the Apple store and exploring the latest version of IMovie. It's on my technology wish list, of course.

So...which version out of all 3 did you like and why? How do you tell your stories, and let me know any tips and tricks to share with readers.

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