This video attempts to give a feeling for the main theme of this Movie-Tom.Com site as well as numerous points for discussion in under 2 minutes:

The above sequence is what I term a ‘movie’. It is short and intended to serve an educational purpose, beyond what a text description could do. It embodies the adage “Show, don’t tell.”  It deliberately does NOT start out “Hi, I’m Dr Tom and in this video I’m going to show you … blah, blah, blah”. That’s a waste of bandwidth for the sort of thing much more efficiently said in text. Principles and techniques to look for and discuss are:

  • putting elements of message into a short video.
  • one man operation – no helpers.
  • involve viewers’ interest by letting them guess the purpose.
  • giving credibility to a character by showing him in a role.
  • identification with character by invitation to ‘cup of tea’.
  • elements of surprise.
  • transformation from live action to a voice-synched avatar/talking image.
  • avatar can follow on in a less-resource-intensive media by just changing audio.
  • re-usability of the avatar with different audio messages.
  • use of archival footage, which can be substituted.
  • audio prop of loud hailer to give illusion of size.
  • chroma-key (blue screen).
  • colour de-saturation and blurring effects to blend with background movies.
  • [educational uses are a separate discussion in this series]

The idea of such a movie is to give the overall ‘flavour’ of a topic in the shortest, least-resource-intensive manner possible. Therefore, additional  movie segments will be needed to cover the separate issue of the actual educational use and presumed benefits of such movies.

Finally, these movies are left ‘rough’. I’d spend far more time with finishing touches than in making the movies. I’d then be lying to teachers to tell them I did these quickly if in fact I’d used a pro studio and pored over them for hours or days fixing bits. The whole idea is to demonstrate that a theme movie, even an epic, might with digital methods be done quickly and cheaply enough to serve a teaching purpose.


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