A super-quick movie about how to make super-quick movies

Make a documentary with your netbook. The introductory scenes are to remind us that we now take for granted tools such as animation that used to require whole studios and big budgets. Now we can do the whole thing on a netbook.

This is intended to show how to use typical netbook-configured software to make a movie from the desktop -ie- no live shots. The end result can be very similar to the Ken Burns Effect: PowerPoint (or equivalent) can take clip art and still shots and zoom & move them around to a voice-over. This remains a powerful contemporary format highly suited to educational presentations. The advanatage of clip art is that it can be customized to make historical documentaries by changing costumes and scenes.

PowerPoint 2010 now can save directly to .wmv format.  For those using earlier versions this video used the sequence: PowerPoint > Audacity > Presenter >Captivate > Premiere

There are alternative ways to do this. Sound files can be attached either in Presenter (which then auto-adjusts slide length) as I did in this demo or in Premiere (which allows last-minute positioning, multi-track, and adjusment of volumes). There are dis/advantages to each.

I made heavy use of screen dumps (print screen) for the visuals assembled as elements in PowerPoint slides as an alternative to the more common capture of live action using Captivate. The PowerPoint method has the major advantage that the slides can be re-edited if the bits are too small or illegible. It’s hard to go back and edit a live demonstration.

Even without PowerPoint 2010 the whole PowerPoint > Audacity > Presenter >Captivate > Premiere cycle only takes a few minutes so can be done and re-done before finally publishing to the Web. This allows editing & fixing.

A .pdf of the movie which shows the screen shots more clearly can be found here:  Make a Movie


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